WASHINGTON — Lost in the excitement of the Redskins completing the biggest comeback in franchise history on Sunday were the many blunders the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made.
The Bucs had a chance to win the game when they got the ball back with 24 seconds left, down just one point. But Tampa Bay was out of timeouts and, led by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, was unable to effectively use the sideline to stop the clock.
That didn’t stop the Redskins from celebrating, as captured in a Vine of quarterback Kirk Cousins after the game, and 106.7 The Fan Redskins reporter Brian McNally told the Sports Junkies Monday morning that moment was representative of the whole team after the game.
“Yesterday was one of the rare times we actually saw pure joy,” McNally said of the locker room after the game. “I wouldn’t call it pandemonium, necessarily, but there was a buzz and a giddiness, I guess, that we just haven’t seen in a long time, and that was epitomized by that Kirk Vine.”
Despite the win, in which Washington came back from a 24-0 hole to win, 31-30, McNally says the game was hardly indicative of an ideal win. Tight end Jordan Reed returned from injury to have a career day with 11 catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns, which boosted the offense, but running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones combined for just 34 yards on 15 carries.
McNally says the whole offense has to be functional if the Redskins are to win consistently.
“That’s not a blueprint, yesterday, for any kind of sustained success, I don’t think,” he said. “Having Jordan Reed back…that was the one thing, I guess, that allowed them to get away with having what really was an atrocious run game.”
The Redskins played smart, nearly mistake-free football in the second half. This came after a dreadful first half in which Washington could not find a rhythm, the offense was out of sorts and the defense had no answer for receiver Mike Evans.
McNally acknowledged Washington’s adjustment, especially on offense as Evans continued to dominate in the second half, was a huge reason why it was able to get back in the game and ultimately complete the huge turnaround.
On the other hand, the Bucs did everything they could to let the Redskins back in the game. Tampa Bay committed an almost-unbelievable 16 penalties for 142 yards, including nine for 77 yards in the second half. Washington, meanwhile, committed just four penalties for 20 yards in the game.
“We know the penalties on the Bucs were borderline incredible. I don’t think, as bad as the Redskins have been at that over the years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team commit that many dumb penalties and extend drives and help the other team out,” McNally said. “So [the Redskins] got a helping hand yesterday, I think we have to keep that perspective and admit that, while also acknowledging having Jordan Reed back allows them to do different things, it allows them to open up the offense a little bit.”