Ron Rivera lists keys to victory ahead of Washington Football Team’s NFL playoff game against Tampa Bay

Washington Football Huddle

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Saturday night’s NFC Wild Card game between the Washington Football Team and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may well be decided in the trenches.

With the exception of Washington’s 25-3 and 41-16 wins over Dallas, the team’s seven victories have been close, grind-it-out affairs.

That’s the formula the home underdogs will likely have to follow again to beat Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, according to Washington head coach Ron Rivera.

“We’ve got to keep this game close,” Rivera said. “We’ve got to play well on defense. We’ve got to put points on the board when we get the opportunity and make sure we keep it close. “

Rivera wants to be able to establish the run and not put too much pressure on Alex Smith and the passing game.

That will also help prevent a dangerous Buccaneers defense from blitzing too much.

“They can’t pin their ears back knowing that we have to throw the ball. It gives us a chance to stay balanced. And that’s what we have to do, is stay balanced against these guys. And I think we can. I do,” Rivera said.

Washington and Tampa Bay kick off at FedEx Field at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday night.

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