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NFL Preseason Preview - Washington (2-1) at Tampa Bay (1-2)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - It might not be a full blown quarterback controversy just yet but Robert Griffin III better start playing a little better for the Washington Redskins, who will conclude their 2014 preseason slate on Thursday night when they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Some high-profile supporters of backup Kirk Cousins have started to get more vocal inside the Beltway as RG3 continues to struggle in the preseason.

Last Saturday, the Redskins suffered their first defeat in exhibition play, dropping a 23-17 decision to the Baltimore Ravens. The loss was the Redskins' first in preseason play since Aug. 18, 2012 at Chicago, a span of 736 days.

Overall Washington has won eight of its last nine practice games.

Against the Ravens, Griffin went just 5-of-8 for 20 yards with an interception, while Cousins threw for 122 yards on 14-of-20 efficiency with touchdowns to Santana Moss and Nick Williams.

"It's going to be a decision that (head coach) Jay Gruden is going to have to make," former 'Skins star and current Redskins Broadcast Network analyst Joe Theismann said. "Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn't be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run (the offense)."

The Bucs, meanwhile, made a slash on the field last week and one off it this week.

Tampa Bay built a big halftime lead behind touchdowns from Doug Martin and Mike Evans, and held on from there to beat the Buffalo Bills, 27-14, on Saturday

Josh McCown passed for 112 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first half as the Buccaneers got their first win in three preseason games.

Evans had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown while Martin had 12 carries for 38 yard. Mike Glennon completed five of his seven passes for 44 yards in the second half.

The Bucs then pulled off a stunning trade with the New England Patriots, acquiring six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick in 2015.

Mankins, a first-round selection of New England in 2005 who has started 130 games during an impressive nine-year run with the Patriots, fills an obvious need on a Buccaneers' offensive line that lost left guard Carl Nicks to a possible career-ending toe injury.

"We feel very fortunate just to have Logan," said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who formerly worked for the Patriots as the team's director of pro personnel. "He's a very good player. [I'm] a first-hand witness of what he means to the locker room as well. Any time you have five consecutive Pro Bowls, All-Pro player - I mean, [that's] a lot of accolades. But he's a great person. He's going to be great for that room, he's going to be great for this locker room."

08/27 15:24:09 ET