Tampa Bay Buccaneers @

Washington Football Team

Sat, Jan 9
5:15 PM Pacific
Rotation: 145
Odds: Washington Football Team +9.5, Total: 45

Game Analysis

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Lean – WASHINGTON (+8.5) over Tampa Bay

Note: Washington QB Alex Smith has been downgraded to OUT and Taylor Heinicke will start. The model favors Tampa Bay by 7.4 points (and 46.1 total points) with Smith out and I’d still lean with Washington without Smith if the line was +10 or more.

Tom Brady averaged 9.2 yards per pass play during the last four games against pass defenses that rank 30th, 24th, and 31st by our metrics but Washington’s pass defense ranks 4th in the league and the WFT can bring the pressure. Brady now leads the NFL with 36 completions to targets 20 or more yards downfield but Washington’s defense is conceding just a 9.4% explosive pass play rate (3rd). Washington has a 37% pressure rate (8th) and Brady has one of the league’s biggest differentials between efficiency facing pressure and not facing pressure. Defensive rookie of the year front runner Chase Young will line up across from LT Donovan Smith, who ranks 42nd out of 55 qualifying tackles in pass blocking efficiency. However, interior defender Jonathan Allen has 47 pressures (11th) and will likely be held in check by LG Ali Marpet, who leads all guards in pass blocking efficiency. Nickelback Jimmy Moreland is allowing only 0.94 yards per cover snap in the slot (2nd) and he should limit Chris Godwin on the inside. Mike Evans is nursing a hyperextended left knee so Tampa Bay’s passing attack could come down to Antonio Brown, who averaged 2.07 yards per route run in the second half of the season (17th).

Alex Smith averaged just 4.1 yppp last week, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and now Washington may rotate in Taylor Heinicke on Saturday night. Whoever is under center likely won’t have much help from Washington’s supporting cast as top WR Terry McLaurin should be shut down by Jamel Dean, who is allowing only 0.68 yards per cover snap (4th). The Buccaneers rush defense ranks 7th so Washington’s ground game will also be bottled up.

Our model makes Tampa Bay a 7.4-point favorite, with a predicted total of 46.1 points, and I find it interesting that the 4 previous teams to host a playoff game with a .500 or worse win percentage all won their games straight up, as did the 4 teams that were home dogs of more than 3 points with worse records than the opponent. The two teams that fell into both groups won as dogs of 10 points (Marshawn Lynch’s ‘Beast Mode’ run against the Saints) and 8.5 points (the Tim Tebow Broncos over Pittsburgh). If Chase Young can get to Brady consistently I wouldn’t be shocked if Washington won this game.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Buccaneers
  • Football Team


  • Pass Plays 40.5 41.6
  • Succ Pass Plays 49.3% 46.3%
  • Sack Rate 3.2% 7.4%
  • Int Rate 1.9% 2.5%
  • Deep Pass Rate 21.7% 14.6%
  • Big Pass Yards 41.3% 33.7%
  • NYPP 7.1 5.9


  • Rush Plays 23.1 22.4
  • RB YPR 4.0 3.2
  • Stuff Rate 17.6% 24.8%
  • Succ Rush Plays 46.7% 45.3%
  • Big Rush Yards 36.5% 34.9%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.0 3.6


  • All Snaps 63.6 63.9
  • Early Down Succ 51.2% 48.1%
  • Succ Rate 48.5% 46.0%
  • Big Yards Rate 41.5% 35.5%
  • Yards Per Play 6.0 5.1
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.5% 0.9%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 27.2 29.1
  • Run Ratio 35.9% 34.8%
  • Starting Field Pos 31.2 27.9
  • Game Control 2.2 -2.2
  • Points 30.8 22.2
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