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3 things we learned about the Buccaneers

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WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins put Code Red to bed. At least for now.

Kirk Cousins threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left and the Redskins rallied from a 24-0 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-30 on Sunday, completing the largest comeback in team history.

Following last week’s loss to the Jets, Washington head coach Jay Gruden used the term “Code Red” when referring to the Tampa Bay game, which leads into the bye week and then a date at New England.

“We laid an egg again in the first quarter,” Gruden said. “I like the fact that nobody blinked. Nobody stopped believing. Offense rallied, defense got some big stops. It has nothing to do with any Code Reds or talks at halftime.”

The Redskins largest previous comeback was 21 points, done on several occasions.

After getting the ball down by six with 2:24 left, Cousins drove the Redskins 80 yards in 11 plays, completing 9-of-11 passes for 75 yards along the way.

Reed, back after missing two games with a concussion, had 11 catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Cousins finished with 317 yards and three touchdowns on 33-of-40 passing for the Redskins (3-4).

Dominant early, the Buccaneers (2-4) led 24-0 midway through the second quarter.

“You know all losses really hurt, but you have some that really leave a great scar,” Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said. “This is definitely one of those. Definitely. Two drastically different halves we played.”

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston finished 21-of-29 passing for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

Running back Doug Martin 19 carries for 136 yards, and wide receiver Mike Evans had eight catches for 164 yards and a touchdown, but Tampa Bay hurt themselves with 16 penalties for 142 yards.

What we learned about the Buccaneers:

1. Wide receiver Mike Evans is back on track. After catching just 13 passed for 174 yards in his first four games, Evans reeled in eight passes for 164 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 31-30 Washington. “I hope so. I think so,” Evans said when asked if this would be a springboard for him for the rest of the season. “I feel like my old self.”

2. The Buccaneers still have a penalty problem. Tampa Bay had 16 penalties for 162 yards on Sunday, and have been flagged 64 times in six games. “Some of the penalties really got them going a little bit when we had our big lead,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “We had trouble with penalties early in the season but I thought we had gone past that. But we haven’t.”

3. Quarterback Jameis Winston is progressing. Winston turned in his second straight solid game, completing 21-of-29 passes for 297 yards. He threw two touchdown passes, no interceptions and finished with a 128.1 passer rating. “I think he did some good things,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “I thought he made some good plays today.”

Etc.:

–RB Doug Martin had another strong outing, carrying 19 times for 136 yards in the Buccaneers’ 31-30 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. He added three catches for 35 more yards. Martin has rushed for 365 yards in his last three games.

–WR Mike Evans had another excellent day at Fed Ex Field. Last year, he grabbed seven passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-7 Tampa Bay win. In Sunday’s 31-30 loss, he had eight catches for 164 yards and a touchdown.

–WR Vincent Jackson had one catch for 13 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury in Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Redskins. Head coach Lovie Smith said after the game that Jackson is being evaluated.

–QB Jameis Winston had perhaps his best game thus far. The rookie completed 21-of-29 passes for 297 yards in Sunday’s 31-30 loss to Washington. He threw two touchdown passes, no interceptions and finished with a 128.1 passer rating.


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