"Wanna play catch?"
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided they didn't want to win the fourth preseason game against the Washington Redskins. Sitting all of their starters as well as a few key backups like Dekoda Watson and Jeremy Zuttah, the Buccaneers used their final preseason game to evaluate the bottom of their roster. The Redskins decided to give those backups some extra work, keeping in some of their starters throughout the first half.
The game started out with a lot of backups and third-stringers playing the Redskins' starters, as Rudy Carpenter was given the start with Josh Johnson sitting out. Predictably, this did not end well. The Bucs started off with a fumble recovery, but then failed to convert a fourth-and-goal, leaving them with no points. A couple of possessions later James Lee gave up a stripsack near his own goalline, handing the Redskins a quick 7 points.
Two possessions after that, the Bucs gave up another touchdown, this time on a punt return. After a Jonathan Crompton interception, the Bucs managed to hold near their own goalline and the Skins opted for a field goal instead. The Bucs finally got on the board with a field goal just as time expired in the first half, after Rudy Carpenter led the team downfield in a two-minute drill. Going into the second half the Washington Redskins led 17-3.
In the second half, the Bucs started off slowly too. The Redskins drove down to the Bucs' four-yard line, but Devin Holland made his first good play of the preseason. The rookie safety picked off John Beck in the endzone for a touchback. This gave the Bucs the opportunity to go down the field, adding another field goal. Of course, the Redskins then struck right back with a field goal of their own, making it 20-6.
That's when the Bucs really came back. It started with an amazing 96-yard touchdown catch by Ed Gant off a Rudy Carpenter pass. The teams then exchanged field goals, before the Bucs added another touchdown on a screen pass to running back Armando Allen, with Ed Gant adding the two-point conversion to make the score 24-23. Unfortunately, the Bucs' defense could not stop the Redskins, as Kellen Clemens connected with Donte Stallworth for the game-winning touchdown.
While the Bucs lost this game, the result was still good. The team got a very good look at the backups. A few players made a push for the regular season roster, like Ed Gant and D.J. Johnson. Meanwhile, other backups failed to deliver and may have lost their jobs. The Bucs will cut down their roster to 53 players by September 4.
Injuries: Myron Lewis left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter.