Tampa Bay won the toss and elected to receive to start the game, wanting to get off to a quick offensive start. The Bucs drove down the field on a well-balanced drive that saw Tampa get inside the red zone quickly. The drive was halted as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was picked off at the goal line as he overthrew running back Shaun Wilson just slightly. Washington cornerback Josh Norman returned it to the Washington 32 but the possession was stopped short by the Buccaneer defense who forced the punt.
The next possession was a bizarre one for the Buccaneers as Tampa Bay was faced with a third-and-19 situation after a snap infraction and a tackle for loss. Early pressure made it look like Fitzpatrick was doomed before he evaded multiple sack attempts to spring forward and take off. He then attempted a lateral to wide receiver Adam Humphries who was running alongside him down the far sideline. The pass was complete and initially ruled a 30-yard gain before a Washington challenge brought the play back as it was ruled an illegal forward pass, after all.
The Bucs were forced to punt and Washington took the ball to the Bucs' 25-yard line but would settle for a field goal to open scoring on the day, pushing Washington up 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
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The Bucs were knocking on the door on their next drive, behind big runs from running back Peyton Barber and even a third-down scramble by Fitzpatrick himself, before being called for offense holding that backed them up ten yards. On second-and-14, Fitzpatrick nailed a pass to tight end Cameron Brate to give the Bucs a fresh set of downs. They ended up having to settle for a 30-yard field goal attempt that kicker Chandler Catanzaro failed to convert, leaving the score 3-0 with 8:33 left in the first half.
Washington again came up empty on their next drive with the Bucs' defense forcing another three-and-out. Humphries called a fair catch and the Bucs started at their own 20. The Bucs again got inside the red zone but were forced to try another field goal attempt. This one was good from 33 yards and the Bucs tied it up with 2:33 left in second quarter.
With two timeouts, Washington employed their two-minute offense. They quickly got down the field into Bucs' territory and after defensive tackle Gerald McCoy got to quarterback Alex Smith and forced him to get the ball out on third down, Washington was successful on a 43-yard field goal attempt to put Washington up 6-3 with :20 remaining in the half.
Washington came up empty on their opening drive of the second half and the Bucs went all the way down to the red zone again before being backed up be a bad snap on third down. Catanzaro attempted a 48-yard field goal that went wide right as Tampa Bay missed the chance to tie up the game.
Washington got to midfield quickly with help from a roughing the passer call on the Bucs. Alex Smith was dropped for a loss of eight on a sack credited to defensive end Carl Nassib. Washington was able to continue the drive and get inside the red zone. On third-and-five at the six, Smith evaded pressure and was able to throw a dart to Josh Doctson in the back of the end zone in tight coverage. Washington increased their lead 13-3 with 14:07 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bucs got the ball back only to have Fitzpatrick's first pass intercepted and returned to the Tampa Bay 14-yard line. It was cornerback Greg Stroman who got in front of tight end O.J. Howard to pick the pass. The Bucs' defense held again, making Washington settle for a field goal. Kicker Dustin Hopkins was good from 26 yards to put Washington up 16-3 with 12:03 left in the game.
The Bucs again were knocking on the door before Fitzpatrick completed a pass to running back JacQuizz Rodgers but as he turned upfield and started running, the ball was punched out from behind and went sailing into the end zone. Washington took over again at their own 20-yard line, erasing what looked like a promising drive.
The Bucs were able to stop Washington on their next possession, with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy coming up with his third sack of the year on third down, forcing Washington to punt. The Bucs got the ball back at their own 14-yard line and drove down to the two-yard line before Fitzpatrick was sacked and fumbled the ball. Washington recovered and got the ball back with 3:30 left to go in the game.
Bucs threw a challenge flag without any timeouts left to give Washington a fresh set of downs at the 46-yard line at the two-minute warning. With no timeouts on either side, Washington was able to run the clock down to :17 with the punt. Tampa Bay's offense had one more possession that would start at their own six-yard line. But it would yield no results, leaving the final score 16-3 in favor of the visitors.