Best and worst moments from Washington’s 24-10 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
Best Pregame Pump-Up Speech: “In 24 hours, this team’s going to look different,” Redskins safety Akeem Davis shouted as his teammates gathered around him before kickoff of Thursday’s preseason finale. “But right now, this is what we’ve got. So we’re all we’ve got and we’re all we need, man. Whatever you’ve got in your heart, whatever’s beating in your chest, I got to have it tonight, baby. Let’s go. Skins on three. One, two, three, SKINS!” It almost — almost — got me fired up for this game.
Worst Reality: The team will look different by Saturday’s deadline to trim the 75-man roster to 53. If you’ve seen HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” you know that watching guys get cut is brutal. As meaningless as Thursday’s game was to most everyone else, it meant the world to a handful of players fighting for a job, including Davis. The second-year player out of Memphis, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in April, did everything he could to make the decision difficult for the coaching staff.
Akeem Davis wants to make this team. Racing downfield on punt coverage. Narrowly missed making the tackle.
— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) August 28, 2014
Best Way to Make the Roster: Do what Gabe Miller did. The converted tight end, who is competing for a reserve role as an inside linebacker, made the defensive play of the game when he chased Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Kafka out of the pocket, forced a fumble and recovered it inside the Bucs’ 5-yard line in the first quarter.
Worst Metamorphosis: It was a tough night for Kafka, who entered the game on the Bucs’ second offensive series and finished 7 for 14 for 86 yards. On his second play, he was flattened like an insect on a windshield by Clifton Geathers. “A building just fell on Kafka,” color analyst Joe Theismann said. “An entire building.” Geathers added another sack in the fourth quarter and Frank Kearse also had a sack for Washington.
Best Speed: Rookie running back Lache Seastrunk made a nice catch on a Colt McCoy screen pass and took it 80 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown in the third quarter. Seastrunk also carried six times for 23 yards.
The other day asked Seastrunk about his speed. His response: “Speed kills.” Yes, yes it does — John Keim (@john_keim) August 29, 2014
Best Preseason Revelation: Rookie wide receiver Ryan Grant. The fifth-round pick out of Tulane, who entered the game with nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown over the first three preseason games, had a second quarter touchdown catch and finished with five catches for 73 yards. Not bad.
Worst Sight: Redskins defensive lineman Chris Neild was carted off the field after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Best Answer: During the pregame show, Chick Hernandez asked Theismann about Jay Gruden’s decision to sit Kirk Cousins for the final preseason game. “I think it’s a smart move,” Theismann said. “You just don’t want to put anybody that you think may contribute going down through the year in a situation where they might get hurt.”
Worst Star Power: The only starters to play were along the Tampa Bay offensive line.
Best Backup Quarterback: Gruden. The former Arena Football League star still throws a pretty good ball.
Worst Uniforms: Speaking of the Arena Football League … not a fan of Tampa Bay’s new duds.
Best Chance to Shine: McCoy. He played the entire game and finished 22 of 29 for 321 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions in the end zone.
Best Domination: After last week’s abysmal showing against the Ravens, the Redskins outgained the Bucs 197-14 in the first half and 443-157 in the game.
Best Kicker Competition: Rookie Zach Hocker and veteran Kai Forbath entered the game in a virtual dead heat for the placekicking job. Forbath improved to 4 of 5 on field goals this season by making a 45-yarder, while Hocker was wide right on a 39-yard attempt, his first miss of the preseason. “Whichever kicker is not selected will be a kicker somewhere in the National Football League in this 2014 season,” Theismann said before the game.
Best Backup Running Back Competition: Chris Thompson vs. Silas Redd vs. Evan Royster vs. Seastrunk. Seastrunk made the biggest play, but Redd (14 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown) and Chris Thompson (59 total yards) also played well.
Best Sunset: Beautiful, right? Much more so than the Tampa Bay offense.
Best Reason to Watch: Pizza toppings. Six of them.
The only thing on the line for fans tonight for Redskins game is toppings. — Rick Snider (@Snide_Remarks) August 28, 2014
Worst Crowd: Can you blame them?
Best Kiss Goodbye: See ya, preseason.