Photos of the projected starters for the Redskins as listed on team depth chart.
Last November, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the lead in their all-time head-to-head history with the Washington Redskins for the third time in seven years. The problem is, Washington keeps tying it back up.
An all-time series that began with dueling four-game winning streaks, first for Washington from 1977-93 and then by Tampa Bay from 1994-96, has since evolved into an unpredictable give-and-take. The Buccaneers won three straight from 2005-07 (though Washington won the most important game in that span, in the postseason) to take an 8-7 lead but the Redskins tied it back up in 2009, and again in 2012 after a 2010 decision in the Bucs' favor.
As such, the Buccaneers will head to Washington this weekend in an attempt to pull two games ahead of the Redskins for the first time ever. At the moment, Washington is the only NFC team against which the Buccaneers have an all-time winning record, and that's an advantage they'd prefer to keep.
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To further underscore the even nature of this series, the two teams have also met twice in the postseason, and of course split those two games. The Buccaneers pulled off a thrilling 14-13 comeback win in the Divisional round in 1999 to earn a trip to St. Louis for the NFC Championship Game. Six seasons later, the Redskins got revenge for a memorable 36-35 Bucs win in Tampa by coming back to town in the Wild Card round and forging a 17-10 win over the NFC South champs.
The two four-game runs that started the head-to-head series came together in very different fashion, as indicated by the amount of time each streak covered. While Washington's four wins to start the series were spread out over 17 seasons (1977-93), the Bucs got their answering four-game run in a three-season rush. The two teams met just three times during the first 17 years of Tampa Bay's franchise existence, but then paired up 16 more times in the next 21 years, or 18 times if one includes the two postseason affairs. Since the Buccaneers were placed in the newly-created NFC South during the 2002 NFL realignment, they have obviously played the highest number of games against their three division mates, Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans. Next on the list, with nine regular-season meetings (and a 10th scheduled for Sunday) is Washington. The Redskins have become a very familiar foe.
The Bucs and Redskins weren't always this close, nor was the series always so entertaining for Tampa Bay. The series rumbled slowly to life back in 1977, when the Buccaneers were in their second season of play and the Redskins were in the midst of their seventh straight winning campaign. That first meeting occurred in Week Four of the '77 season, when the Tampa Bay franchise was still searching for its first win (which would come in Week 13 of that year). However, what would eventually grow into the league's best defense had already shown some signs of life that season for Tampa Bay, and in this case all Billy Kilmer, John Riggins and the Redskins could muster was 10 points. That was more than enough, however, because DE Dennis Johnson led a 10-sack effort against poor Randy Hedberg and Gary Huff and the Buccaneers only crossed midfield once before the game's closing seconds.
Photos of Buccaneers rookies in action through Week 5.
The Buccaneers had been to the playoffs twice by the time Washington came back to Tampa for a rematch in 1982, but the Redskins were on their way to a Super Bowl title in that strike-shortened season. Still, it was a competitive matchup this time, with the interesting tidbit that three of the four extra point attempts in the game were missed! A blocked punt recovered in the end zone for a touchback gave Washington an 18-6 lead before halftime, but Tampa Bay pulled to within three points on James Wilder's seven-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Bucs' hopes of completing the comeback were thwarted when repeated runs by the bruising Riggins allowed Washington to hold the ball for 13:13 of the last 13:44 on the clock.
The two teams wouldn't meet again until 1989, a season in which the Buccaneers played a lot of very high-scoring games. This was one of them, a 32-28 decision for the Redskins in Tampa Bay's first trip to the capital, though a 21-point fourth quarter by the Bucs made it look much closer than it was. WR Mark Carrier, in the midst of his best season, caught eight passes for 106 yards and one touchdown. Washington capped its four-game winning streak in the series with a 23-17 win over Sam Wyche's Bucs in 1993 in which Kurt Gouveia returned a Craig Erickson interception 59 yards for a touchdown.
Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak began the next year during a very rare home-and-away double dip against a non-division opponent. That kind of setup was possible under the old scheduling format, which strongly emphasized the previous season's standings. In this case, it worked out well for the Buccaneers because, two weeks after beating the Redskins 26-21 in Tampa, they completed the sweep with a 17-14 decision on the road. That's one of just two times in team history that the Bucs have beaten the same non-division opponent twice in the same year (also the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992). The unifying theme in those two '94 wins over Washington was rookie RB Errict Rhett, who was in the midst of a huge second half to the season. Rhett ran for 192 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries in the first game and followed up with 64 yards and two scores in the second.
The two teams got together in each of the next two seasons, as well, albeit only once each. Those both ended in victory for the Buccaneers, both times at Tampa Stadium. It was 14-6 in the Bucs' favor in 1995, with Rhett continuing his punishment of the Redskins with 104 yards and another touchdown. The Bucs rallied from a 6-0 halftime deficit in that one, but in 1996 they scored 10 points in the first quarter, including a Jackie Harris 22-yard touchdown catch, and rolled to a 24-10 final. Mike Alstott built on his very promising rookie season with 67 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries. Rhett went for another 97 as the Bucs rolled up 209 yards on the ground while completing just eight passes.
The next two games went into Washington's side of the ledger, including an overtime contest in 2000 that the Bucs lost despite scoring 10 points in the game's last two minutes. QB Shaun King lost a fumble in the backfield but recovered it and was able to throw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Reidel Anthony. The ensuing onside kick failed but Warren Sapp blocked a short field goal try by former Buccaneer kicker Michael Husted and the Bucs used the final 43 seconds of regulation to drive for a 42-yard Martin Gramatica three-pointer. Each team failed on its first possession of overtime, but future Hall of Famer Deion Sanders decided the game with a 57-yard punt return down to the Bucs eight, setting up Husted's 20-yard game-winner.
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In between that contest and a 20-16 win for the Redskins in 1998, the two teams also met during the 1999 postseason. Tampa Bay won the NFC Central and got a first-round bye but nearly bowed out early to the visiting Washington team in the Divisional Round. The Bucs were down 13-0 midway through the third quarter and having absolutely no success moving the ball until John Lynch sparked a rally with a sideline interception. Alstott scored six plays later to pull the home team within six. In the fourth quarter, facing a third-and-goal at the Redskins' one-yard line, King faked a handoff and spun to his right for a play-action pass only to see Washington lineman Ndukwe Kalu barreling down on him. Somehow the rookie QB got off a lob that TE John Davis caught in the end zone for what proved to be the winning score.
Photos of this week's featured Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader.
Brad Johnson was the Redskins' quarterback in that game. In 2003, he was the Bucs' quarterback when Tampa visited the capital, and he compiled a 140.0 passer rating in a 35-13 blowout for the visitors. Two of Johnson's four touchdowns were caught by TE Todd Yoder who, to complete the them, played his last four NFL seasons (2006-09) in Washington. The Redskins evened the score with a 16-10 win in 2004, but the most memorable regular-season game between the two teams was probably their meeting in 2005.
In a wild shootout that included five second-half touchdowns, the Bucs saw a 31-13 halftime lead turn into a 35-28 deficit in the fourth quarter. With one minute left to play, QB Chris Simms threw deep to WR Edell Shepherd, who made a diving 30-yard catch as he crossed the goal line. The Bucs lined up to tie the game with the PAT but the Redskins jumped offside and blocked Matt Bryant's kick. When Washington jumped offside again on the second attempt, Head Coach Jon Gruden elected to have the ball moved to the one-yard line and to go for the game-winning two-point conversion. There was no artifice to the play-call, simply a dive over right guard by goal-line specialist Mike Alstott. Alstott barely got the ball to the line for the successful conversion and one of the most remarkable victories in franchise history.
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Washington ended up winning the more important game between the two that season, however, with a 17-10 victory at Raymond James Stadium in the Wild Card playoff round. Amazingly, Tampa Bay's defense held the Redskins to 120 total yards in the game but the home team still lost thanks to three turnovers, including a critical Cadillac Williams fumble.
The Bucs struggled to a 4-12 record in 2006 and then rebounded to make the playoffs again in 2007, but each season included a win over the Redskins in Tampa. The '06 version, a 20-17 decision, hinged on Cadillac's 122 rushing yards and a 34-yard TD catch by Joey Galloway; the '07 game finished 19-13 in the Bucs' favor even though Washington had a whopping total-yard advantage of 412-192. Interceptions by Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly plus four lost Washington fumbles helped quite a bit.
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The 2009 and 2010 Bucs-Skins games were played at FedExField. In '09, three Aqib Talib interceptions off Jason Campbell were not enough to avert a 16-13 loss as Campbell rallied in the second half with TD passes to Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. The 2010 game was a wild affair that Washington appeared to tie on a Moss touchdown catch with nine seconds left in regulation. The TD came on a fourth down that many observers, including those in the FOX broadcast booth, thought was actually a fifth down because of a snafu with the down markers on one side of the field. Unfortunately for the Redskins, that touchdown did NOT tie the game because the ensuing extra point try went awry on a bad snap.
Washington's last trip to Tampa came in 2012, when Tampa Bay rallied all the way back from a 21-3 deficit to take a 22-21 lead in the fourth quarter. However, Washington got the last laugh with a 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with three seconds left, giving the visitors a 24-22 win. From a series standpoint, it is the Buccaneers who have laughed most recently after turning in their best performance of a rough 2014 season at FedExField. Rookie WR Mike Evans continued his midseason coming-out party with an amazing 209-yard, two-TD effort against the Redskins that was the key to a 27-7 runaway win for the visitors. Tampa Bay's defense picked off QB Robert Griffin III twice, with CB Johnthan Banks taking his 19 yards to the house.Bucs-Redskins Game-by-Game Record:
L, 20-17 (OT)
Bucs-Redskins Game-by-Game Postseason Record:
Series Notes (regular season):
- Overall Season Series: Bucs lead, 10-9
- Bucs' Home Record: 6-4
- Bucs' Road Record: 4-5
- Current Streak: Win 1 (2014)
- Buccaneers' Longest Winning Streak: 4 (1994-96)
- Redskins' Longest Winning Streak: 4 (1997-93)
- Regular Season Point Total: Buccaneers 371, Redskins 334
- Most Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Buccaneers 36-35 (2005)
- Most Points in a Game, Redskins: Buccaneers 36-35 (2005)
- Most Points, both teams: 71, Buccaneers 36-35 (2005)
- Fewest Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Redskins 10-0 (1977)
- Fewest Points in a Game, Redskins: Buccaneers 10-6 (1995)
- Fewest Points in a Game, both teams: 10, Redskins 10-0 (1977)