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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Series History: Bucs-Redskins

The Bucs are once again preparing for a series tiebreaker, as they've split 18 previous meetings with the Washington Redskins...The two teams have also met twice in the postseason, each winning once


  • The Bucs-Redskins series began with alternating four-game winning streaks and has been back-and-forth ever since
  • Tampa Bay's 36-35 win on a two-point conversion in 2005 is one of the most memorable Buc games of recent vintage
  • The Bucs also beat Washington in the playoffs in 1999, but the Redskins got postseason revenge six years later

    For the second week in a row, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will battle for the all-time lead in a series that is dead even after nearly four decades of being contested.

Last Sunday, the Falcons pulled ahead, 22-21, in the head-to-head history with the Buccaneers, though the biannual meetings of those two teams promise the likelihood of more ties in the future. The Buccaneers and Washington Redskins are not division mates, however, so whichever team comes out on top on Sunday at FedExField could hold on to the bragging rights for a few years.

As of now, those two teams have played to a 9-9 standstill. They've also split the last four, dating back to 2007, or the last 10 if you prefer, dating back to 1998. They've even met twice in the postseason…and of course split those two games. In recent years, the two teams have alternated wins and losses, and each team has won once at home and on the road. However, this series started with a pair of four-game winning streaks.

Those two streaks came together in very different fashion, however. 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 have since paired up 15 more times in 21 years, or 19 times if one includes the postseason get-togethers of 1999 and 2005.

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 season. 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, 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.

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 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.


Washington's last-second victory in Tampa in 2012 evened the all-time series at nine wins apiece

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 that 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 Errict 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.

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 a Washington lineman barreling down on him. Somehow he got off a lob that TE John Davis caught in the end zone for what proved to be the winning score.

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. Washington 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 replayed try, 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.

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.

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.  The most recent Buccaneers-Redskins tilt occurred 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.

Bucs-Redskins Game-by-Game Record:


L, 10-0



L, 21-13



L, 32-28



L, 23-17



W, 26-21



W, 17-14



W, 14-6



W, 24-10



L, 20-16



L, 20-17 (OT)



W, 35-13



L, 16-10



W, 36-35



W, 20-17



W, 19-13



L, 16-13



W, 17-16



L, 24-22


Bucs-Redskins Game-by-Game Postseason Record:


W, 14-13



L, 17-10


Series Notes:

  • Overall Season Series: Tied, 9-9
  • Bucs' Home Record: 6-4
  • Bucs' Road Record: 3-5
  • Current Streak: Lose 1 (2012)
  • Buccaneers' Longest Winning Streak: 4 (1994-96)
  • Redskins' Longest Winning Streak: 4 (1997-93)
  • Regular Season Point Total: Buccaneers 344, Redskins 327
  • 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)
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