Redskins-Buccaneers keys to the game: offense
In this week's game against the Buccaneers, the key to the Redskins' offensive success will again rest on how the game starts up front so here are the keys.
The offensive line will have to set the tone of the game. What they do blocking-wise will determine if the running and passing games have a chance. They should be able to have some success against this fairly young defensive front. If they can hold up, Donovan McNabb may be able to have a good day throwing the ball.
The passing game will have a chance this week. Ronde Barber, Tampa's best defensive back, is aging and isn't quite the player he used to be. The Bucs' defense will have to pressure McNabb to be effective. The zone style they play will give the tight ends an advantage in the seams against the linebackers, who are very athletic, but Cooley and Davis have the edge. If the tight ends can win their seam matchups, it will also give the wideouts a chance to run their routes. The Tampa defensive scheme is predicated on playing zones and pressuring with four.
It's usually harder to run the ball against teams that play 2 coverage scheme out of the 4-3 front because the scheme calls for a read-and-react approach rather than an attacking style. Nonetheless, the Redskins need to continue to try to establish the run. If they can, it will hold the defenders at the ball longer, allowing for better lanes to throw in. If they don't and abandon the run, it will be trouble for the Redskins.
There were way too many turnovers last week, and that is a game-killer. Ball security is a must. If they protect the ball, they should make some good drives and be right in this game.
To piggyback off ball security, the Redskins have struggled to catch the ball this year --way too many dropped passes. If they can catch and secure the ball, they should be able to move the ball against this team.
The Bucs are playing for a playoff spot and are a better team than the Redskins right now, but I'm going to give a slight advantage to the Redskins' offense.
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