TAMPA BAY (11-5) at WASHINGTON (7-9)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
OPENING LINE — Buccaneers by 6 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Buccaneers 9-7; Washington 8-6-2
SERIES RECORD — Washington leads 12-11
LAST MEETING — Washington beat Buccaneers 16-3 on Nov. 11, 2018 at Tampa Bay
LAST WEEK — Buccaneers beat Falcons 44-27; Washington beat Eagles 20-14
AP PRO32 RANKING — Buccaneers No. 8, Washington No. 16.
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (7), RUSH (28), PASS (4).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (21).
WASHINGTON OFFENSE — OVERALL (30), RUSH (26), PASS (24).
WASHINGTON DEFENSE — OVERALL (2), RUSH (13), PASS (2).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The franchises split two previous postseason meetings, with Washington winning the most recent matchup 15 years ago. ... Tampa Bay is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season; Washington hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2014 season. ... The Bucs earned a wild-card berth, finishing second in the NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints, in QB Tom Brady’s first season in Tampa Bay after playing for the New England Patriots for 20 years. ... The Bucs went a franchise-best 6-2 on the road this season. ... First-year coach Ron Rivera led Washington to the NFC East title despite a 7-9 record, making it the third division champion in NFL history with a losing record. One of the others, the 2014 Carolina Panthers, also was coached by Rivera. ... Brady has appeared in a league-record 41 playoff games, leading the Patriots to six Super Bowl championships. He also ranks first on the career playoff list in wins (30), yards passing (11,388), TD passes (73) and seasons with playoff appearances (18). ... Brady threw for a franchise-record 40 TDs this season and was third in the NFL with 4,633 yards passing. ... The Buccaneers have played 15 playoff games in the franchise’s 45-season history. They haven’t won a postseason game since the team’s 2002 Super Bowl championship run. ... Brady’s long-time teammate in New England and now with the Bucs, Rob Gronkowski holds career playoff records for a tight end with 81 catches, 1,163 yards receiving and 12 TDs. ... WR Antonio Brown has five career 100-yard playoff games, one shy of tying Julian Edelman and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin for the second most in league history. His 837 yards receiving in the postseason -- all with the Pittsburgh Steelers -- rank third among active players behind Larry Fitzgerald (942) and Gronkowski. ... Three players who have played more than 100 career games with Tampa Bay -- LB Lavonte David (137), DL William Gholston (119) and WR Mike Evans (106) -- are expected to make their NFL playoff debuts. ... Evans caught 13 TD passes this season and became the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first seven years. ... RB Ronald Jones set career highs with 978 yards rushing and seven TDs on the ground. ... DT Ndamukong Suh has five sacks in six playoff games. ... The Bucs finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak in which they averaged 37 points per game, but none of those opponents made the playoffs. ... Only three teams scored more than Tampa Bay’s 59 TDs this season; the Bucs scored a team-record 492 points, averaging 30.8. ... The Bucs' defense allowed 80.6 yards rushing per game, by far the lowest in the league, along with 3.6 yards per carry and 10 TDs on the ground, both also the best in the NFL. ... Washington failed to score a single point on any of its initial possessions through the season’s first 15 games before finally managing an opening TD on a 15-play, 91-yard drive in a Week 17 victory at Philadelphia. ... Washington QB Alex Smith returned to action this season after nearly two full years away because he fractured his right leg in two places during a game, then needed 17 operations. Washington went 0-3 in his first three starts this season, then 5-0 in his last five. ... Smith missed 2 1/2 games in December because of a strained right calf, then returned for the regular-season finale. ... The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft has averaged 249.3 yards passing and thrown for 14 TDs with two picks in seven career playoff games with the 49ers and Chiefs. ... DE Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, led rookies with 7 1-2 sacks, 10 tackles for loss. He has a fumble recovery in three of the past four games, returning one for a TD. ... Young was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for December and was picked for the Pro Bowl. ... RB Antonio Gibson’s 11 TDs rushing were tied for the most among rookies this season. ... RB J.D. McKissic’s career-high 80 catches ranked second at his position in the league. ... WR Terry McLaurin had a team-high 87 catches, 1,118 yards receiving, the first Washington receiver to reach those totals since 2013. ... Logan Thomas, who played QB in college, led NFC TEs with 72 catches and was second with 670 yards receiving. ... DE Montez Sweat led Washington with nine sacks. ... Rookie S Kamren Curl had three interceptions. ... Fantasy tip: Brady and Smith like to use their tight ends, so playing them could be a wise choice.
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