NFC Wild Card

(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at (4) Washington Football Team

Bucs: As the season approached, they entered with a bullseye on their back. They won the Tom Brady sweepstakes and signed the legendary quarterback. The motto was simple. It’s win this year or bust. In the beginning, it took a while for Brady to get acclimated with his new teammates. There was no training camp because of COVID-19 and I remember saying the first five games or so would be his “preseason”. Looking at him now, I see a completely different guy compared to then. He’s on the same page with his teammates and I see him throwing the football with more authority when he drops back. For the first time since 2007, the Buccaneers are in the postseason. I still worry about their defense because if their front seven doesn’t get a rush, the secondary is in for a long day. They begin their run on Saturday night.

Washington: The carousel that is the NFC East continues. It’s been quite some time since a team repeated as division champions. On the other hand, they’ve been one of the feel-good stories of the season. Alex Smith returned when many thought he wouldn’t and Ron Rivera defeated cancer. From a football standpoint, they aren’t a flashy team. They rely on ball control. Running the football and controlling the line of scrimmage. What’s set the tone for this team has been that defense and I can’t say enough about them. The Washington Football Team had the best defensive line in the league this year anchored by rookie defensive end, Chase Young. They get to you with pure effort and athleticism. To some, they’re boring, but what they’ve done has won them football games and they won their division. This Saturday night, they welcome a legendary quarterback to Landover.

Bucs X-Factor: Jason Pierre-Paul– His experience at this time will come in handy. JPP has played in some big playoff games. What I enjoy about him is how he’s able to consistently create pressure up front meaning he can impact the pocket without even touching the quarterback. They’ll need that from him on Saturday night.

Washington Football Team: Ryan Kerrigan– He’s an underrated, yet dominant outside linebacker in the league. Ryan is one of those guys who’s tough to run on because he’ll lock up the edge and force you to run inside. His motor is always going because when you think he’s blocked, he is still going. He’s a veteran on this young defense.

Final Thoughts: This will be Tom’s 42nd career playoff game. Chase Young said he wanted Tom, he got his wish. He’ll get to see the legendary signal-caller. Running the football for Washington will be tough because that Bucs defense has been one of the best at stopping the run. Also, they have the capability to keep the Bucs offense in check with a lot of different looks up front. Tampa’s offensive line better be ready to play in this one. That will be a war up front in the trenches.

Prediction: Bucs 24 Washington 17

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *