WASHINGTON DC- Coming off a bye week and given extra time to heal up and prepare for a non-divisional matchup with the Washington Football Team, Tampa Bay didn’t look too ready to face anyone Sunday afternoon.
Early turnovers and untimely penalties became the primary issues in Tampa Bay’s 29-19 loss to Washington, moving the Buccaneers to 6-3 on the season heading into what is now becoming a pivotal stretch of games. The Buccaneers will get an extra day to heal up when they face the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Giants had a bye week this past weekend.
The player looking somewhat off his game was quarterback Tom Brady, who threw two first quarter interceptions to Washington. One was more on wide receiver Jaelen Darden, who was hit moments after catching the ball and it popped up in the air and was intercepted. From there, Washington took advantage and was able to capitalize with field goal makes.
Both teams faced each other in last year’s postseason and it was a bit of revenge for quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who made a name for himself in the postseason loss to the Buccaneers. Heinicke displayed once again why he was given more opportunities to start and maybe why he may get to start beyond this 2021 campaign. The quarterback finished 26-of-32 for 256 yards and one touchdown, an efficient day against Tampa Bay’s defense.
The defense, already beleaguered with injuries all throughout the secondary, received another major blow late in the game. Nose tackle Vita Vea suffered what looked to be a serious injury and had to be carted off the field towards the end of the game. It’s a Tampa Bay club that’s already without the services of Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Richard Sherman, Sean Murphy-Bunting and others.
Now the Buccaneers will set their sights on regrouping when they face the Giants, who played well recently against the Kansas City Chiefs in prime time. If the Buccaneers, who still remain atop the NFC South, want to win, they will need to force quarterback Daniel Jones into some bad decisions and the offense will need to regain a sense of rhythm.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.