Re-Focused: Week 14, Buccaneers at Redskins

| December 16, 2010

While the Redskins’ botched extra point didn’t break the Redskins season, and it hasn’t made the Buccaneers’ season, it is the type of small margin that seems to separate 5-8 from 8-5.

The Buccaneers had that little bit of extra effort: Josh Freeman drove in for a two-point conversion where the Redskins fell short — it’s on these fine margins that the teams find themselves with reversed images in the win-loss columns.

Buccaneers: Three performances of note

Kellen Winslow (+0.5) has struggled to make an impact ever since his arrival in Tampa Bay and Sunday was another quiet outing for him. Until crunch time. When it mattered, Winslow was able to show just what a matchup problem he is for defenses as he got behind Rocky McIntosh to make the decisive play for the Buccaneers. Winslow’s lack of impact in Tampa has been compensated for by the emergence of Mike Williams, but you do begin to wonder just when Winslow the fantastic athlete and receiver is going to explode onto the scene for the Buccaneers and give them a terrifying trio of receivers to match the receiving corps boasted by division rivals Atlanta and New Orleans.

The Redskins racked up massive yardage in the first half of this encounter, down largely to some terrible reads and tackling from the Buccaneers’ defense. Chief culprit among these was Geno Hayes (-4.2), who was his usual active self but not in the usual positive manner. Hayes frequently overpursued, missed two tackles and registered one. A sack on a slow blitz pickup by Ryan Torain was Hayes’ sole positive impact on this game.

Quincy Black (+2.1) has put in a number of strong performances this season, and though the rest of the Buccaneers’ defense did its best to look like a JV squad in the first half, Black was a rare beacon of good quality throughout the game. He registered seven tackles, six of them stops, and a sack to go with that fine work in run and pass games. Black was targeted four times and yielded four catches but allowed 13 yards, with a long of 5 yards to Anthony Armstrong.

Redskins: Three performances of note

Kory Lichtensteiger (+3.5) has now put in two consecutive strong performances and is starting to show some potential at the end of what had been a dreadful first season. Though he yielded a sack, that is the only pressure he has yielded in the past two weeks. His +3.3 run-block grade was far and away his strongest performance of the season, putting his +0.9 grades against the Texans and Lions firmly in the shade.

One Redskins lineman who isn’t turning things around as the season goes on is Maake Kemoeatu (-2.4). Coming into the season Kemoeatu was viewed as a perfect player to hold down the nose tackle spot in the Redskins’ 3-4 defense — in reality he has been nothing but a shell of his former self. Again this Sunday Kemoeatu was shoved around at will, showing no stability over the nose and registered another disappointing run-defense grade (-2.1). He may need another year to return fully from the knee injury that stole his 2009 season.

For the fifth time this season Kareem Moore (-4.1) graded below -1.0 overall for a game, and for the fourth time this season the safety graded below -1.0 in pass coverage. Moore’s coverage grade was his worst of the season (-3.2), as he yielded 80 yards with a long of 43 to rookie Arrelious Benn. As solid as Moore was in 2009, he has been anything but this season. The Redskins desperately miss LaRon Landry‘s presence in the secondary right now.

Rookie report

LaGarrette Blount (-0.2) ran the ball with purpose but struggled to find daylight on rushes from middle left to right tackle, averaging just more than 2 yards per carry on 9 rushes. … The Buccaneers’ rookie WR pairing saw contrasting days in testing conditions: Benn (+3.3) caught everything thrown his way, including a couple of deep balls to pick up 122 yards through the air, while Mike Williams (-1.1) struggled in the slippery conditions, collecting one catch for 15 yards and dropping two passes. … Ted Larsen (+0.8) struggled in pass protection (-1.8) but had a strong day in run blocking (+2.3) with some effective second-level and pull blocks. … Derek Hardman (-2.7) struggled in his first start, yielding a sack and two pressures and knocking the ball out of Freeman’s hand to cause a turnover on first-and-goal. … Gerald McCoy (+1.2) was putting in another strong performance in run defense (+1.4) before being lost for the season 11 plays into this game. … Al Woods (-1.3) took the snaps McCoy left behind and struggled in run defense. … Myron Lewis (-0.4) had a quiet day in primary coverage. He was targeted once, and that pass was not completed.

Keiland Williams (+0.9) was once again solid in his third-down role, the beneficiary of the Bucs’ loose approach to defense on his longest gain of the day. … Brandon Banks (+0.3) had his sole return of the day shortened on a holding penalty (something he must be getting used to by now), as the Bucs chose to squib kick every other time in the damp conditions. … Logan Paulsen (+0.5) registered only two snaps but in those plays managed to register his first career touchdown reception. … Trent Williams (+1.0) was perfect in pass protection for the second straight week but struggled blocking for the run (-1.6).

Random note

Ronde Barber (-3.8) yielded more yards (121) in this game than he had surrendered in the prior six games. He also yielded more receptions (eight) than in the prior five games.

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