Can I Help You?

Clinton Portis rushed 29 times for 148 yards, enough to make anyone tired. Luckily for the Skins, members of the Bucs' defense helped him up after nearly every touch. It was as if the Bucs were standing in line to be the first to help the back off the turf. No wonder Portis never looked gassed.

The defense won the Super Bowl for the Buccaneers in 2002, and for some reason they did not find it necessary to help opposing runners off the ground after every play. The attitude has clearly changed and, despite scoring a touchdown, they were pushed around all afternoon as a result.

Simeon Rice and Anthony McFarland were not factors Sunday's game, they combined to make four tackles. Joe Gibbs must know how to scheme a running game as the Redskins held the Bucs' D to zero sacks. Shelton Quarles made 13 tackles, but badly over pursued Portis on his 64-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter.

The Bucs' offense was inept. Portis' per carry average of 5.1 was greater than Brad Johnson's average yards per pass. The only bright spot on the offense was the play of Michael Clayton. The rookie led the team in receptions and yards, finishing his first NFL game with seven catches for 53 yards.

The special teams unit was the Buccaneers best in Washington. Martin Gramatica hit a 47-yard field goal and added the extra point on Ronde Barber's fumble return. Gramatica's confidence was shaken, having played poorly last season; not to mention this year's pre season. Frank Murphy looked determined to end the drought in the kick return game. He did not bring rain, but he managed 125 yards on four tries. His average of 31.3 is higher than any other player with as many returns in this young season.

Bucs Blitz Top Stories