2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
6-3, 1st in NFC East
4h

Barnwell Show: NFC Picture with Will Brinson

Are you an NFC or an AFC person? In this episode, Bill and Will Brinson of CBS share their allegiances and take a look at the NFC playoff picture as it currently stands, including which teams are most likely to prevail in the South (3:55), West (31:02), East (43:30) and North (56:03).

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins intercepted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick twice Sunday, which was not a surprise to anyone on the defense. They talked about it during the week. Linebacker Zach Brown said after the game, "We know Fitz was going to throw interceptions. He's a gun slinger. With gun slingers you throw interceptions."

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

It's not hard to tell that Jonathan Allen played at Alabama. After the Redskins' 16-3 win, he said "still not overly happy with our performance. We gave up [501] yards. If we're gonna get to where we want to go we can't do that. So got to give a lot of credit to Tampa Bay. They missed some opportunities that we gave them. We have to tighten up as a defense....As a defense we want to dominate and we didn't dominate today. Definitely glad we got the win, but a lot of things to clean up."

AP
1dJohn Keim

Norman: Redskins fans better on road than home

The Redskins had a lot working against them entering Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. But one thing in their favor, according to cornerback Josh Norman, was playing on the road -- and away from a stadium that no longer sells out.

Norman rips Redskins fans after road win vs. Bucs (0:32)
Smith credits offensive line for Redskins' win vs. Bucs (0:22)

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins won a game in which they were outgained by 212 yards -- but they forced three turnovers and didn't commit any themselves. It's why they still lead the NFC East after the 16-3 win over Tampa Bay. The Redskins didn't do anything fancy at all on offense and they relied on Tampa making its usual mistakes. But they deserve credit for having a makeshift offensive line protect quarterback Alex Smith, who did just enough to win. The Redskins have found a formula that works for them: Get the game into a punching contest and win with a tough mindset. It worked today.

Smith fires a dart to Doctson for 6-yard TD (0:27)

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins' defense appears to have decided that giving up chunk yardage between the 20s is fine as long as they hold Tampa in the red zone. Their corners, aside from Josh Norman, have often played eight to 10 yards off the receiver to not get beat deep. It's worked so far as Tampa only has three points and while the Bucs have a lot of chunk plays the Redskins haven't been beaten deep. They know how dangerous DeSean Jackson is and are willing to give up quick hitches at the expense of game-changing bombs.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins' makeshift offensive line has done enough to protect Alex Smith. But both guards -- Jonathan Cooper and Tony Bergstrom -- have had their issues. Cooper has been flagged twice for holding and Bergstrom allowed a couple pressures in the first half. Their struggles have been more in the run game, though, than facing Tampa's four-man rush.

Fitzpatrick intercepted on opening drive (0:23)

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins somehow lead Tampa Bay, 6-3, despite being outgained 279-136 in the first half. The Redskins' defense has stiffened when needed in the red zone, forcing one turnover and benefitting from one missed field goal. A major culprit again today is third down: The Redskins have failed on all four while Tampa is four-for-seven. And if the Redskins can't do a better job on the ground, where Adrian Peterson has rushed for 18 yards on five carries, it'll be difficult to keep the lead. It'll be asking a lot for the defense to continue keeping Tampa out of the end zone.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins need to run well on first down in order to move the ball. But they haven't done so. Running back Adrian Peterson has lost one yard on four of his five first-down carries; the other gained 16 yards. They haven't thrown well on this down most of the year: Alex Smith had completed just 52.6 percent of his first down passes and he went four games without completing a first-down pass for a first down. That streak was snapped in the first quarter. They may need to try it more because the run game is struggling.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

If the Redskins want to win with a makeshift offensive line, they need strong blocking by the tight ends and receivers in the run game. Thus far they've received it from tight end Jeremy Sprinkle and receiver Michael Floyd among others. It's clear the Redskins will be using Sprinkle more today for this reason; he'll need to produce all game.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins' defense has been giving up chunk plays in part because they've been sucked up on play-action and they're giving a lot of cushion with some of their young corners. That means, however, if playing off they must tackle well. But the Redskins have done a good job of creating negative plays, mostly vs. the run and then applying enough pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins must be on guard for a heavy dose of first down passes. Tampa quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick likes to throw on first down, but lately that hasn't been as effective. For the season, he owns a 115.6 passer rating and averages 11.2 yards per pass attempt. But in the last four games it's only 7.13 yards per attempt and a 69.0 passer rating, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Adrian Peterson said this week that opposing players tell him how hard it can be to defend their run game because of how much they do, from style of blocks to power and also zone. The Redskins hope that, because they have a lot they can do in the run game, they can tailor it to what they now have up front. The hard part, though, is that some of the blocks -- the double teams -- require precision and trust. That's tough to gain in a week. And another big key has been the ability of guard Brandon Scherff to pull. Losing that will hurt.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Redskins inactives: CB Quinton Dunbar, WR Jamison Crowder, LT Trent Williams, LB Zach Vigil, LB Pernell McPhee, DL Caleb Brantley. The lone surprise is McPhee but the Redskins signed Cassanova McKinzy off their practice squad Friday. McPhee has been most effective playing the run.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

Given that linebacker Zach Brown tweeted last night about how the coaches were blaming him for Atlanta -- a tweet that has since been deleted -- it'll be curious to see what his role is for today. Not because of the tweet, but because of the style of game -- especially if it becomes a passing one. Does that mean more work for Josh Harvey-Clemons in nickel? Harvey-Clemons has been solid covering backs.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The Redskins' inside linebackers played an excellent game two weeks ago vs. the New York Giants. They did not play well in the loss to Atlanta. The Falcons ran the ball well in part because when they used duo -- two double teams inside -- the running back took a counter step before racing to the hole. It would sometimes get Zach Brown, for example, out of position. Brown is at his best when he can attack the line. Atlanta froze the backers with play-action and the threat of it. But the Bucs have not always held double teams well, which should give Brown and the front more chances to be successful.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

It'll be interesting to see how Tampa attacks the Redskins early in the game, especially if corner Quinton Dunbar can't play. The Bucs struggle to run the ball, but can be explosive in the pass game. But one reason they've piled up passing yards: In all five of their losses, they've trailed by double digits late in the third quarter. In three of those games they ended up losing by five points or less.

John Keim ESPN Staff Writer 

The other position to watch for Washington: tight end. The Bucs have allowed the sixth most catches by tight ends and fifth most in yards per catch. Washington has two solid targets in Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. Ideally for the Redskins they'd get explosive plays out of two tight end looks. But after averaging 9.98 yards out of this set in 2017 (regardless of who catches the ball), they're averaging just 6.47 out of it this season. That must do a better job taking advantage of potential mismatches from this set.

Team Stats

Passing Yards216.2
Rushing Yards121.2
Points For19.626th
Points Against19.4Tied-4th