Preseason ends, now in one week the Bucs start the season in Miami
Washington and Tampa Bay finished off their final preseason game with the Redskins won 13-10 in a game played at Raymond James Stadium. Unless you were playing for a roster spot it was a hard game to watch.
Washington finished the preseason at 2-2 while the Bucs were 1-3 and neither team played any of their key starters. In short, this one was to make sure coaches on both sides had plenty of video on the men who will make up the 53-man roster.
Now, the Bucs will start game planning for their season opener next Sunday against the Dolphins in Miami. Meanwhile, Washington will face an NFC East rival home at Fed Ex Field, next Sunday against Philadelphia.
“None of us really know how the season is going to unfold,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said, stressing that preseason records are meaningless. “There has been a lot of talks … but talking time is over.”
The Bucs fans expect big things from their offense this season as quarterback Jamesis Winston, that has game breakers like the newly acquired wide receiver DeSean Jackson and top draft choice tight end O.J. Howard.
But there is also room for some concern because despite throwing for over 4,000 yards the past two season’s Winston has had trouble guiding the Bucs into the end zone.
It has been nine years since the Bucs have been a playoff team and last year’s record of 9-7 was good enough to get peoples hopes up that they could make the postseason. Many preseason publications have Tampa Bay right behind Atlanta in the race for the NFL South.
But while it is only preseason, the facts remain that with 14 possessions over three preseason games, the Tampa Bay first team offense just tallied one touchdown and five field goals.
The key at least in the eyes of Koetter has been to make it through the preseason without any injuries. He wanted every one of his weapons to be ready to go when the games count.
“Preseason football is really weird because winning isn’t the thing,” Koetter said.
The game gave coaches a chance to look at Winston’s backups, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sefo Liufau. Neither was effective against a Redskins team that has been stressing defense in the preseason.
Meanwhile, Washington saw a great deal of their third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld. He began the game under center and played the entire game. He looked good at times as his Redskins outgained the Bucs 194-40 in the opening half and 290-75 through three-quarters.
“He did some good things,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said after Sudfeld completed 22 of 33 passes for 228 yards and no interceptions.
“He missed a couple of throws which I’m sure he wishes he had back,” Gruden added. “For the reps, he’s received in training camp and all that stuff to go out and perform the way he did, I thought he led the team well, got them in and out the huddle, good tempo and he did enough to win the game.”
The Bucs started Fitzpatrick started and he was just 2 for 7 passing for 6 yards before being replaced by Liufau late in the second quarter.
Liufau, the rookie who played under former USF coach Jim Levitt, who was an assistant at Colorado last year had some good moments last night.
The undrafted free agent, bounced back after throwing an interception that Harvey Clemons ran back 41 yards for Washington’s only touchdown.
But Liufau did manufacture a late scoring drive that ended with Bernard Reedy’s 10-yard TD catch.
Well, it is a highlight for the young third string quarterback. Next week he won’t dress when the curtain for the 2017 NFL season comes up in Miami as Jamesis Winston will lead the Bucs to what they hope will be a playoff season.
Quotes in this story came from the NFL Network.
Here are the final stats provided from the NFL
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