|2009 Bucs at Redskins Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 30 September 2009 12:09|
Washington, D.C. - The Washington Redskins allowed one team to snap a lengthy losing streak against them last week.
They don't want it to happen again.
Coming off a loss to a team that hadn't won in more than a year, Washington returns to FedEx Field on Sunday to face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers club that's dropped seven straight.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Redskins -7 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 63% of bets for this game have been placed on the Bucs +7 (View NFL bet percentages).
After a chorus of boos reigned on them during a 9-7 home win over St. Louis the week before, the Redskins (1-2) fell 19-14 at Detroit on Sunday. The Lions had lost their previous 19 straight games.
"It's surprising to me that we as a team couldn't come out and pound and jump on these guys from start to finish,'' cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "It puzzles me, too. I'm mind-boggled as well."
Redskins coach Jim Zorn, though, remained upbeat despite growing speculation that his job is in jeopardy.
"In the big picture, I think things are progressing," said Zorn, 9-10 as the team's head coach. "We're getting better. It's not coming in the win. We're going to continue to press on and take care of those details.''
The players, though, didn't sound as confident following a 45-minute meeting Monday.
"Maybe guys tend to think that (we're an elite team), and that you can just show up,'' linebacker London Fletcher said. "That's not the case. We're struggling to win ballgames. We're going to be in tough ballgames, week-in and week-out.
"We're not a great football team - never have been since I've been here - and it hasn't been in a long time, since, what, the '80s? It's been a long time since the Redskins have had a great football team. We have to come in here with a workmanlike attitude, with the mindset that we must work to win."
Quarterback Jason Campbell was a bright spot for Washington on Sunday, going 27 of 41 for 340 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Campbell has completed 59.0 percent of his passes for 497 yards, three TDs and two picks in two career starts against Tampa Bay, both Washington losses.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Johnson will make his first NFL start Sunday after first-year coach Raheem Morris gave him Byron Leftwich's job this week.
Leftwich was 7 of 16 for 22 yards and an interception before Morris benched him for Johnson in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-0 loss to the New York Giants.
"I don't want us as an organization to say that game was all Leftwich - but Byron is suffering the consequences," Morris said.
The Buccaneers' 86 total yards against the Giants were their fewest since they had 78 in a 17-0 loss against Atlanta on Nov. 27, 1977. Tampa Bay (0-3) was shut out for the first time since Sept. 10, 2006, and it matched a franchise low with five first downs.
"It was disappointing, a little bit embarrassing,'' wide receiver Michael Clayton said. "We have to play better.''
In search of their first victory since a 23-20 win over New Orleans on Nov. 30, the Buccaneers hand the offense over to Johnson, a fifth-round pick in 2008 with 10 career pass attempts - all last Sunday.
"I'm not promising a specific thing," Johnson told the team's official Web site. "I'm just going to try to play the game and get us a win. It's obvious I can run around a little bit, I can move around the pocket, I can do things with my feet."
Tampa Bay's running game could use a boost after finishing with 28 yards on 10 carries last week, the team's lowest total since it had 28 in a 49-20 loss to Minnesota on Oct. 23, 1988.
The Redskins haven't impressed with their ground attack either, ranking 24th in the NFL with 91.7 rushing yards per game. But they'll have a good chance to break out against a Tampa Bay run defense that's 31st in the NFL (187.3).
Redskins running back Clinton Portis has gone eight straight games without reaching 100 rushing yards, but he's averaged 120.0 in three career games against the Buccaneers. He had 148 yards, including a 64-yard TD, in Washington's last home game versus the Buccaneers - a 16-10 win on Sept. 12, 2004.
Portis, dealing with a calf injury and bone spurs in his ankles, missed practice Wednesday but Zorn expects him to be ready for Sunday.
Zorn is similarly optimistic that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will be on the field. The defensive tackle, who signed a seven-year contract worth about $100 million in the offseason, strained a hip muscle in last week's game.
Posted: 9/30/09 5:09PM ET