Bucs blow 24-point lead, fall 31-30 to Redskins
LANDOVER, Md. -- The Bucs blew a 24-point lead, giving up the winning touchdown with 24 seconds left and taking a hard 31-30 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Fed Ex Field.
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins went 9-for-10 for 75 yards on the winning drive, hitting former Gators tight end Jordan Reed for the winning score, his fourth total touchdown of the game.
The Bucs got to their 42-yard line with 0:12 left, but threw down the middle of the field with no time outs, and Charles Sims' attempted lateral was recovered by the Redskins to clinch the win.
The 24-point blown lead matches the second-largest blown lead in Bucs history, trumped only by a 25-point blown lead against the Cardinals in 1987.
Tampa Bay (2-4) had the ball inside the 1-yard line for a chance to put the game away late in the fourth, but Charles Sims was dropped for a loss and the Bucs settled for a 21-yard Connor Barth field goal and a 30-24 lead.
The Bucs had stormed out to a 24-0 lead, punctuated by a 43-yard defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery by first-year defensive end Howard Jones. Jones scooped up a fumble forced by Jacquies Smith on his fifth sack of the season.
From there, however, the Redskins clawed their way back, first with a Kirk Cousins touchdown to make it 24-7 at the half.
Washington got a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to receiver Ryan Grant, then executed a surprise onsides kick, recovering to set up another touchdown, this 3 yards from Cousins to tight end Jordan Reed.
Their lead cut from 24 points to just three, the Bucs stepped up, with Winston hitting Evans for gains of 24 and 20 yards and Connor Barth hitting a 45-yard field goal to extend the lead to 27-21.
Washington pulled again within a field goal on Dustin Hopkins' 35-yard field goal with 7:29 left, cutting the lead to 27-24.
The Bucs had dominated early, scoring on their first three offensive drives. Winston had a 40-yard touchdown to Evans, then a field goal, then a 7-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Donteea Dye. Jones' defensive score put the Bucs up 24-0, and it looked like a repeat of last year's 27-7 win in the same stadium.