Bold off-season acquisitions and big name coaches have not helped the Redskins lately, but this year could be different. Shawn Springs will replace the departed Champ Bailey at corner. This is a downgrade that the upgrade at running back more than compensates for. The pressure is on the Skins shoulders, giving the Bucs an advantage this weekend.
The best offensive lineman on the Redskins ruptured his Achilles tendon in week one of the pre season. Jon Jansen will be missed as the line tries to protect the 34-year-old Mark Brunell. Patrick Ramsey knows what it is like to play behind the weak Skins' line; he was sacked more than any other qb last year. Simeon Rice is licking his chops.
The Redskins are excited about the promise of first round draft pick Sean Taylor out of Miami. The team will not like what they see if they put too much responsibility on the young safety. All the talent in the world does not provide NFL experience. Brad Johnson should be able to capitalize on this come Sunday.
The Bucs' offense is going to be better than people think, and Washington will be the first to figure this out. Charlie garner will have 100 yards of total offense, and Mike Alstott can't wait to get back in the saddle. The first string offense has looked good in the pre-season and will finally have a whole game to put together the long drives that will sustain the offense all year.
The Buccaneers will face a tough test in stopping Portis. He should get his 100 yards, but the Bucs should be able to stop Laverneus Coles with the return of Brian Kelly. Kelly and Ronde Barber match up well against Coles and James Thrash freeing up the rest of the defense to contain Portis.
The Bucs will win this game by at least a touchdown as the pressure of high expectations crushes the Redskins. The hangover has run its course and the Bucs should be healthy Sunday.
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