Yardbarker Horiz

Friday, December 10, 2010

Buccaneers Can Finish Off Redskins This Weekend

Ahhh, Revenge -- A Dish Best Served Cold!

This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the 5-7 Washington Redskins and the architect of the Great Collapse of 2007, Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen.  Allen, who prefers 30+ year old quarterbacks (Brad Johnson, Brian Griese, Jeff Garcia, now Donovan McNabb), has constructed one of the oldest rosters in the NFL with 18 players (33% of the 53-man roster) having 8+ years of NFL experience.  The list of long-tooths include the suspended Albert Haynesworth and three on injured reserve:  Clinton Portis, Mike Furrey, and Josh Bidwell (a punter on the Buccaneers roster in . . . 2007).  Allen was the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004 through 2007 and is best known for the 4 game losing streak which ended his tenure with the team (taking head coach Jon Gruden with him).

For comparison, the 7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have just three players on their roster with 8+ years of NFL experience.

There are several current Washington Redskins with familiar faces.  Buccaneer fans may remember Phillip Buchanon, who last played for the Buccaneers in . . . 2007 . . . and left as one of the poorest tacklers in team history.  They may also remember Anthony Bryant, a defensive tackle drafted in the 6th round by Allen in 2005 who appeared in four games over two years for the Buccaneers before being released.  Sadly, Tampa Bay fans will not get to see former Buccaneer Joey Galloway who was cut by Allen this past Thanksgiving weekend after last playing in Tampa in . . . yep, 2007.

Allen, who was unable to orchestrate a playoff win in his five years at the top of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers personnel department, finds himself in familiar territory 13 weeks into the season:  a somewhere-around-.500 record, injuries piling up, and the experienced players on his roster not forming a cohesive whole.

Allen made a splash by getting Donovan McNabb away from the Eagles last offseason, then resigning the 12 year veteran to a lucrative extension, generating preseason expectations of challeging the mighty Dallas Cowboys for supremacy in the NFC East.  Turns out Washington is challenging the Cowboys for the bottom of the NFC East instead, struggling to a 5-7 record (loss to Minnesota; one of only two teams to lose to Detroit) while the Eagles currently sit atop the division at 8-4, including a 59-28 drubbing of the Redskins back in Week 10.  Now, who got the better end of the deal?

The Buccaneers can stop the suffering of the Redskins fans this weekend.  A Tampa Bay win guarantees Washington a non-winning season.  Considering the NFC already has six teams with 8 or more wins this season (the Buccaneers will be the seventh should they beat Washington this Sunday), it is clear Tampa Bay can basically end the playoff run in Washington this Sunday, forcing Bruce Allen to again comb the free agent market for next year's solutions.  Too bad the Redskins are not in the NFC West, eh?

Still not convinced this can be the knockout blow for Washington on Sunday?  The Redskins already have tiebreaker losses to the Green Bay Packers (8-4), the New York Giants (8-4), and the Philadelphia Eagles (8-4).  Add the Buccaneers to the list once they finish their business this weekend.  Clearly, there will not be a scenario where an 8-8 Redskin team (and it is unlikely they reach eight wins this season in any case) can be a wildcard team in 2010.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a position which seems light years away from the 1-11 record at this time last season.  A position they can put to good use this weekend by eliminating the Washington Redskins from playoff contention and keeping pace in the NFC Wildcard Race.

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