NFL Sneak Peek – Week 11 – Tampa Bay at Washington

In what has been a difficult season for both squads, week 11 provides an opportunity for both Washington and Tampa Bay to turn things around. They will square off on Sunday, November 16, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

The Bucs are just 1-7 on the season. They had week 7 off and, while the Bucs record is no better since the bye, they have played competitive games, and are seeking momentum down the stretch. The team recently announced that QB Josh McCown – who entered the season as the starter – would be back under center in week 10, after Mike Glennon failed to impress during the last few weeks.

Despite a 3-6 record, Washington will come into week 11 with some momentum. They have won two of their last three, finally have QB Robert Griffin III back healthy, and have a bye in week 10 to prepare for the Bucs. However, Washington missed a huge opportunity last weekend, dropping a close game to the sub-.500 Minnesota Vikings and rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Washington and Tampa met in their final preseason game, with Washington winning 24-10 in Tampa Bay. Colt McCoy led the Redskins, completing 22 of 29 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Glennon was two for three passing in a cameo role for the Bucs. The Skins outgained Tampa Bay 443 to 157 and limited the Bucs to 65 passing yards. Washington and Tampa have split their 20 head-to-head regular season matchups, with each winning ten. Most recently, the Bucs won 24-22 at home in 2012, but the Redskins are 5-3 against Tampa all time in the Capital.

Washington has played two straight and three of four on the road. Coming off of four straight losses, the Skins beat Tennessee 19-17 in week 7, won at Dallas 20-17 in overtime in week 8, and fell 29-26 at Minnesota last weekend. Washington has not been a good bet this season; their record against the spread is identical to their record straight-up: 3-6. While they are 2-2 straight-up at home, they have only covered once. Turnovers have been a big part of Washington’s struggles this year, as the team boasts a -9 turnover margin, one of the worst in the NFL. The turnovers have clearly kept points off the board. The Skins rank among the top teams in the NFL in terms of yards gained, but their 21.9 points per game ranks in the bottom third of the league.

The highlight of Tampa Bay’s season came in a 27-24 win at Pittsburgh in week 4. The Bucs have consistently played well on the road since then, but don’t have any positive results to show for it. In week 5, Tampa fell to the Saints in New Orleans, one of the toughest places in the NFL to win. Then, in week 9, they fell at Cleveland 22-17. Their worst road game came on a Thursday in week 3 at Atlanta, where they were run out of the building early en route to a 56-14 loss. Statistically, Tampa struggles on both sides of the ball. They give up 30.6 points per game (last in the league) and gain just 303 yards per game (second last in the league). Much of their statistical struggles stem from two bad games, though: the blowout versus Atlanta and a 48-17 loss at the hands of the Ravens in week 6.

Unlike Washington, Tampa Bay has been a decent bet this season, especially on the road where they are 3-1 against the spread. That is a marked turnaround from last year, when Tampa was 2-6 ATS on the road, but is in line with their 6-1-1 mark from 2012. This will be the first of four road games during a five week span for the Bucs.

(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)