How’d they do in 2017?
Washington finished 7-9 and third in the NFC East, missing the playoffs. They won three of their first five games but then went on to lose four of their next five, putting them in a 4-6 hole through the first 10 games. Washington ended their season with a 18-10 loss to the New York Giants who were under interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo and without former General Manager Jerry Reese.
The big splash of Washington’s offseason was trading for quarterback Alex Smith, formerly with the Kansas City Chiefs. Washington traded away cornerback Kendall Fuller along with a third-round pick to land the veteran quarterback. Washington was looking to fill the hole their own veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins left when he departed for Minnesota and a fully guaranteed $84 million deal.
On the free agency front, Washington was pretty quiet, adding only three players – none of which are big-name players. They did land wide receiver Paul Richardson from Seattle with a five-year, $40 million deal to presumably help out Alex Smith. With their No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Washington took Da’Ron Payne from Alabama, marking the second year in a row they took a defensive lineman with their first pick. Payne happens to be former teammates with that other first-round pick, Jonathan Allen, who will be on the line with him. Washington needed to put a focus on improving their defense and they seem to have adopted a similar strategy as the Bucs in starting with the defensive line. The Bucs’ offense will put them to the test come Week 10.
Anything interesting between the two teams?
This will be the second NFC East team the Bucs face in 2018 – playing the division in its entirety this year. The all-time series is tied at 10 games apiece, so it’s fitting this season’s Week 10 matchup will serve as the tiebreaker. The last time the two met in the regular season was in 2015 when the Bucs traveled up to D.C. After holding a six-point lead with under three minutes to play, the Bucs would fall after quarterback Kirk Cousins hit wide receiver Jordan Reed for a 6-yard touchdown with 24 seconds on the clock. A converted extra point and the final score was 31-30.
The two teams have played each other 20 times, which is the third-most of any team the Bucs haven’t shared a division with.
What about off the field?
Washington D.C. is the nation’s capital and home to the federal government. It’s also a city known for civil planning. Its transit system is the second-most traveled in the country behind only New York City. D.C. also uses letters instead of numbers for its streets. However, there is no ‘J’ street because the streets were actually named before the letter ‘J’ existed. The streets were named in the early 1600s and according to the English alphabet at that time, there was no ‘J.’ How’s that for your history lesson of the day? (Or maybe useless trivia fact.)
So… what if I want to go?
Luckily, you won’t have to navigate the streets of D.C. if you want to catch the game. Tampa Bay and Washington will be facing off right here at Raymond James Stadium. It will be the Bucs’ first home game in the month of November, taking place at 1 p.m. on November 11.