What happened: Jason Campbell was sacked on consecutive plays on Washington’s first drive, fumbling the ball the second time. Tampa Bay recovered, and two plays later Josh Johnson tossed a short touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant. Washington’s next drive swiftly stalled after three plays, leading to Hunter Smith’s first and final play of the game; he injured his groin and left the game for good (and the punting to kicker Shaun Suisham). Campbell ended the quarter with another turnover, this one on fourth-and-4 at the Tampa Bay 37, when his pass for Malcolm Kelly was picked off by Aqib Talib.
Analysis: A horrible start for the Redskins nearly across the board. Even out of the shotgun, Campbell looked rushed and tentative. His two turnovers were out of character; for all of his flaws, the one thing Campbell hasn’t often done is give the ball away. Clinton Portis tripped over his own lineman’s feet on one prematurely shortened run. And the Redskins certainly couldn’t afford to lose Smith, one of their most important players. Fortunately for Washington, the hapless Bucs seemed determined to keep the game close, doinking a field goal off the right upright and committing untimely penalties.
BY THE NUMBERS
11 Consecutive games the Buccaneers had gone without scoring first, a streak they broke Sunday.
What happened: The Redskins got a rare sack from an unexpected spot when seldom-used cornerback Justin Tryon recorded one. It ended the Buccaneers’ drive, and Washington started moving the ball with Portis (and Marcus Mason) grinding out yards. The possession ended abruptly with another Campbell interception on a pass intended for Malcolm Kelly, but Tampa Bay missed another field goal attempt. The Redskins’ ensuing drive ended with another sack of Campbell and another Suisham punt, this one a 17-yarder to the Tampa Bay 21. The Buccaneers used the rest of the clock to drive the length of the field, giving kicker Mike Nugent another chance; he came through on a 37-yarder.
Analysis: You can file “Being down 10-0 to the Bucs at halftime” under things the Redskins didn’t want to do Sunday in front of the home fans, who loudly voiced their displeasure as the teams headed back into the tunnel. Again, the Redskins are fortunate the Bucs are so bad; their kicker in the first half missed two field goals, and Tampa Bay’s quarterback was not accurate. But his ability to scramble caused problems for Washington; Johnson’s 15-yard scoot up the middle kept a drive alive late in the half.
BY THE NUMBERS
106 Consecutive games with a reception Chris Cooley would need to tie Art Monk’s Redskins record. Monk finished his streak of games with a catch at 183; Cooley has 77 in a row after his second-quarter grab.
What happened: DeAngelo Hall picked off Johnson on the third play of the quarter to start things off for Washington. After a Campbell scramble kept the drive alive, it soon stalled, leading to Suisham’s 42-yard field goal (held by Smith). Washington stifled the Bucs on the ensuing drive and took over at its own 31. What followed was the team’s most impressive drive of the day, with Campbell doing most of the damage; he went 4-for-5 passing, including the 17-yard scoring strike to Cooley, and scrambled for 13 yards on third-and-11 to keep the drive alive. The Redskins got the ball back four plays later, and Campbell hit Moss on the first play of the drive for a 59-yard touchdown.
Analysis: Good things happen when Moss returns punts. On the play before his long touchdown, he returned one for only 4 yards. But the touchdown reception that followed was a thing of beauty - a double juke move that left Talib flat-footed and playing catch-up. Suisham seemed to benefit from the extra work as well; he didn’t need to punt, but he put all of his kickoffs except for the first of the half into the end zone.
BY THE NUMBERS
11 Offensive plays (not counting punts) run by the Bucs in the third quarter, during which the Redskins scored three times.