In each of the last two seasons, the underdogs are 6-2 outright. Not against the point spread. Outright winners. Why would this year be any different? The Washington Football team will go into the home of Super Bowl 55, Raymond James Stadium, and stun Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Here's why.
The reason Washington will win is simple, the pass rush. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers lost 5 games this season, 3 losses came against teams that were just better than the Bucs (Kansas City once and New Orleans twice). The other two losses are where we can start to see why Washington will have success Saturday night. The first loss came in week 5 against the Chicago Bears. What do we know about the Chicago Bears? Well, they have a terrible offense that rarely scores over 20 points, uncertainty at the quarterback position and a pass rush that is relentless on defense. Sound familiar?? The Bucs offense struggled more than they had all season against the Bears defense, only scoring 19 points and converting less than 20% of their 3rd downs. Tom Brady had an awful night, posting one of his worst quarterback ratings of the year and got sacked 3 times. So now you say, well that was just an off night for Tampa and it was early in the season. Well lets go to the other loss. In week 11, Brady and the Bucs welcomed Jared Goff and the Rams to Raymond James Stadium. Again lets asses the Los Angeles Rams: they have an offense that disappears at times, uncertainty at the quarterback position and they have a pass rush that can get to the quarterback on almost every play. Brady went on to throw 2 interceptions and had a completions percentage barely over 50%. Are you seeing the trend? Washington's defensive line is better than both Chicago's and Los Angeles's, and Chase Young has shown an ability to strip sack as good as anyone else in the league. Brady will be in for a long day against the best defensive line in football that will be looking to capitalize on any forced mistakes.
I understand that Alex Smith is basically playing on one leg and I get the Washington offense is terrible at times, but too not acknowledge the impact the pass rush will have on Tom Brady and the offense is crazy. Brady will most likely not have Mike Evans on Saturday and he will be forced to get the ball out of his hands very quickly. This does not mesh well with the Bruce Arians offense and could lead to a bunch of mistakes. Brady has shown recently how susceptible he is to throwing pick 6's on mistimed quick routes, especially outside the numbers. The Washington defense will force turnovers. If the offense can give them minimal help, that will be all they need to shock Tampa Bay.