By Leo Haggerty


The week started with a Friday sit down with HC Bruce Arians after practice .  Below are the answers to my questions.

LH : From a coaching standpoint, how hard is it to have to make game time decisions on players when it come to your roster? 

BA : It’s not very hard.  We kind of have an idea and guys are all prepared and ready to go and, if they can’t go, the next guy is ready to go.  That’s not too hard for us.

BH : The way the officials are interpreting the taunting rule, do you have to remind them every week to be careful?

BA : There’s no doubt.  Every week, you give a scouting report on who is calling the game and how they call it.  Yeah, with the new now you can’t look at the other bench.  That’s another new one and we have talked about it today.  Soon, you’re just going to have to tape your mouth shut and play.

LH : The bye week is good from a standpoint of getting healthy.  Could it be bad from a standpoint of rust or is that just too short a time period for that to happen?

BA : I think the way we practiced this week, there was no rust for sure.  A lot of energy.  Most show teams did a hell of a job.  When they bring that energy to practice, everyone has to step it up.  It was an excellent week on the field.

In a game where Washington never trailed, the DC Gang beat Tampa Bay 29-19 at FedEXField.  The win propelled the Burgundy & Gold to 3-6 in the NFC East four games behind the division leading Dallas Cowboys.  The loss dropped the Bucs to 6-3 but kept the Buccaneers one game ahead of the New Orleans Saints for the top spot in the NFC South.

After a Buccaneers punt on their initial possession of the contest, the DC Gang put up the first points of the tilt at 9:57 of the opening period.  K Joey Slye booted a 46 yard field goal to finish off an eight play drive that went 32 yards in 3:36 to give Washington a 3-0 lead.

The home team scored again at 5:56 of the first quarter.  After WR Jaelon Darden (1 for 29 yards) had a pass go off his hands into the arms CB William Jackson, Washington moved 18 yards in seven plays taking 3:50 before the Buccaneers defense stiffened.  That forced another field goal by Slye, this time from 28 yards, that increased the margin to 6-zip.

The Burgundy & Gold took advantage of another Bucs miscue and padded their lead at 12:27 of the second period.  After the DC Gang picked off QB Tom Brady (23 of 34 for 220 yards and 2 TD plus 2 INT) again, the home team moved 46 yards in 10 plays taking 5:59 finishing off the drive when QB Taylor Heinicke (26 of 32 for 256 and 1 TD) found WR DeAndre Carter (3 for 56 yards and 1 TD) with a 20 yard aerial in the left corner of the end zone.  Slye converted the extra point and that put Washington up 13-nil.

Tampa Bay finally dented the scoreboard at 6:47 of the second quarter.  K Ryan Succop drilled a 25 yard field goal that completed a 13 play drive that traversed 68 yards in 5:37.  That closed the gap to 13-3.

The DC Guys answered that field goal with one of their own with 1:01 left in the first half.  Slye connected from 28 yards to end an 11 play drive that took 5:46 to go 59 yards and increased the Washington lead to 16-3.

The Pewter Pirates cut into the lead on the last play of the second period.  Succop split the uprights from 31 yards completing a 50 yard drive that took eight plays and 58 seconds making the score 16-6 as both teams went to their respective locker rooms for halftime.

The Bucs inched closer at 8:51 of the third period.  Brady found TE Cameron Brate (1 for 6 yards and 1 TD) in the back of the end zone with a six yard toss to complete a 43 yard drive that took four plays consuming 2:00.  Succop hit the PAT and it put the Buccaneers within striking distance at 16-13.

The Burgundy & Gold answered that score with one of their own on their next possession.  RB Antonio Gibson ended an eight play drive that consumed 4:25 travelling 58 yards with a one yard plunge.  Slye converted the extra point and Washington moved out to a 23-13 advantage.

Tampa Bay put up points at 11:02 of the final quarter.  Brady hit WR Mike Evans (2 for 62 yards and 1 TD) streaking down the left sideline for a 40 yard catch and run touchdown.  That capped a 47 yard drive that took just three plays and 1:32.  The usually reliable Succop was wide left with the PAT and that kept the score at 23-19 in favor of the home team.

The DC Gang eliminated any doubt on their next drive that ended with 29 seconds left in regulation.  With the Pewter Pirates needing a stop, Washington went 79 yards in 18 plays chewing up 10:24 with Gibson doing the honors again from a yard away.  Heinicke took a knee on the two point conversion and that made the final arithmetic 29-19 in favor of Washington.