The Redskins, if they protect Robert Griffin III, should have success down the field, especially off play-action. Tampa is 16th when it comes to allowing pass plays for 20 yards or more -- the Redskins have the fifth most such plays. Though the Bucs are terrific at preventing yards after the catch -- an NFL-best 5.66 -- they will be tested by receiver DeSean Jackson. His 7.78 yards after the catch per reception is tops among receivers with at least 25 catches, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Paulsen's status could impact how many receivers Washington has active Sunday. If Paulsen is active, the Redskins likely will keep five active. If not, they might activate six. The big question, though, is which two sit out if it's only five. There is no guarantee at all that Leonard Hankerson will be active for the first time this season, after missing the first nine games while on the physically unable to perform list.
Murphy moved into the starting lineup two games ago after veteran pass rusher Brian Orakpo was lost for the season due to an injury. In his first start, the Stanford product had an uneven outing in Dallas. But he was much more impactful in Minnesota, where he recorded his first sack, a first quarter takedown of fellow rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Murphy also posted a season-high four quarterback hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Another Redskins media type and I had a theory about the Redskins' paucity of interceptions (they have three on the year). We thought that one of the reasons might be that the Redskins have faced teams and quarterbacks who are particularly good at avoiding interceptions. But I put the theory to the test and it doesn't hold water. On average in the NFL, 2.5 percent of pass attempts get intercepted. The Redskins' opponents' interception rate is 2.7 percent.