Can Redskins score enough to beat Bucs?

by Gary Shelton on January 8, 2021

in general

Evans could be a. difference-maker./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 4 am.

Can the Washington Redskins score 38 points on the Tampa Bay Bucs?

It's a stretch, since Washington has scored more than 37 points in only one game of 16 this season (a 41-16 win over Dallas). Yet, that may be the challenge awaiting the Redskins in their Saturday playoff game against Tampa Bay.

The Bucs are averaging 30.8 points per game -- including 45.5 the last two games. But Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians is aiming higher.

“I think (40 points a game) is going to be a reach," Arians said. "I’ll take 37 – I don’t think with our defense we’re going to lose too many games if we can score 37. I’m really satisfied with 30. I think that would be a heck of a reach.”

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Thirty-seven? As in five touchdowns, four extra points and a field goal?

“I think that’s doable right now, but we’ll see," Arians said." In the playoffs, it’s different.”

Arians is thinking high. Only two teams in NFL history have averaged 37 points per game -- the 2013 Broncos (37.9) and the 1950 L.A. Rams (38.8). The St. Louis Rams' Greatest Show on Turft didn't average that many. Neither did the Cowboys' triplets of the 90s. Not the old Vikings with Cris Carter and Randy Moss.

The Bucs are 11-5 and in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. But Arians admits the team has to go deeper in the playoffs for the season to be a success.

“We’ll see how far this goes," Arians said. "It won’t be [a success] if we don’t win this one. Really, it’s not going to be if we don’t put rings on our fingers, because once you’re in the tournament, that’s what you’re playing for. We did enough to get here and it will not be satisfying unless we finish it.”

The strength of the Washington team is its defense, especially with pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Bucs' rookie Tristan Wirfs will have his work cut out for him.

“I think just how athletic (Young) is," Wirfs said. "I think they’ve got a good one-two punch with Chase and Montez Sweat. Montez Sweat – he’s more of a power rusher. Chase – he throws a lot of moves at you and tries to bend that edge. I think that’s another big thing too – if you bubble him when he’s coming around the edge, he can dip down low and he does a good job keeping his toes pointed at the quarterback. They’re both really good rushers, so it’s going to be fun.”

Arians has faith in Wirfs, however.

"I thought he should’ve been in the Pro Bowl," Arians said. "He’s a guy that’s given up one sack all season as a rookie – it’s unbelievable. When we run behind him, there’s a lot of movement, so you couldn’t ask anything more of a rookie offensive lineman for sure.”

Washington has allowed the second-fewest yards per game (304.6) in the league. They've given up the fourth fewest points in the league.

The Bucs still aren't sure if Mike Evans will be back, but Arians is hopeful.

If he goes out there, he’s healthy," Arians said. "We’re not putting him out there to limp on one leg, so if he’s playing, he’s good to go.”

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