Pump the brakes Bucs fans. Not time to panic… yet. Yes, we lost to the Lions. Yes, the offense looked inept for 3 quarters. Yes, LeGarrette Blount had just 15 yards.
But you know what? If there was a game to help the Bucs get back on track it’s this one. Although, I’m certainly not saying it’s going to be easy.
The Vikings biggest strength might be the Bucs biggest weakness. Last week, we let Jahvid best gain over 100 total yards. Our tackling was terrible, and the D-line failed to make stops in the backfield. So, you think AP might be licking his chops? He’s a lot bigger and badder than Best.
But here’s the thing, I think we’ll be ready. After being officially welcomed to the NFL, I expect our young defensive line, and linebackers will make more of a splash. There was a lot to learn from last week about when to bull rush versus when to speed rush, when to go inside and when to go outside. And here’s a bit of good news, perhaps our best lineman last week, Brian Price, will start this week (he might be a beast!).
The other player to watch is LeGarrette Blount. He has to get more involved, and said this week he wants the ball more. That shouldn’t be hard since he only had 5 carries last week. I imagine he gets at least 20 touches and probably 3 or 4 catches.
My concern with Blount is he could be the next Chris Simms. Remember 2005? Simms comes in week 8 and lights it up (sound familiar?) and takes the Bucs to the playoffs. The next season he was awful until his spleen ruptured. Blount has 1-year-wonder written all over him. I’m not ready to make that call yet, but I don’t think I’d be shocked (he’s awesome in Madden though).
The best news for the Bucs is Donovan McNabb is still the starter in Minnesota. A couple things. One, he was horrendous last week but he can’t be that bad this week (last year with the Redskins he had 228 yards and 2 TDs against Tampa and was an failed PAT from tying the game). However, if there’s one guy McNabb hates to see on the other side of the field it’s Ronde Barber. A few years ago, Barber had two picks for TDs against McNabb (let’s hope it happens again) and seems to play well against him.
The Buccaneers need to right the ship this week. The most pressure is on the coaches and the play calling. The were a number of questionable play calls and decision, both recognized by the coaching staff. That has to change if the Bucs want to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see the coaches unleash Josh Freeman. It seems like we’ve become to conservative and really need to open it up.
With the Saints playing the Bears, the Falcons playing the Eagles, and the Panthers taking on the Packers, the Bucs have the best shot of winning this week… and could take the lead in the NFC South. That would be something worth going BUC WILD over.
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About the Author
Written by Justin Chechourka
Born and raised in California, I inexplicably became a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. Now I bleed red and pewter. The best part of being a Bucs fan in California... I never have to worry about blackouts.