The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) will face the San Francisco 49ers (2-8) this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Both teams enter this game at the bottom of the NFL in the turnover margin and in wins.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a 49ers team that’s returning from their week eleven bye. And, this game may have key draft order implications for the 2019 NFL Draft. But, the Bucs have turned back to quarterback Jameis Winston after his big second half performance last week versus the Giants. For this to be a game featuring two of the league’s worst teams there is still a lot to watch for. Here are your key match-ups.
Matt Breida vs Buccaneers Defense
The 49ers’ Matt Breida leads the NFL with 5.59 yards per rush. He is coming of a week ten performance where he had 132 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. He had 101 rushing yards and a 31 yards touchdown pass for his first multi-touchdown game of his career.
The 49ers success on offense depends heavily on its third ranked rushing attack with 133.6 yards per game on the ground. And after starting the season off hot and ranking in the top five of rush defense, the Buccaneers has now fallen to 19th ranked rush defense. They are now allowing 113.6 yards per contest against the run.
Peyton Barber vs 49ers Linebackers
The Buccaneers may have finally found patience in their running game. After ranking in the bottom third of the league in rushing all season long, the Bucs gave Peyton Barber more opportunities. He rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown last week against the Giants. They want to take some pressure off of their quarterbacks who has thrown 23 interceptions through only ten games.
The 49ers are giving up over 100 yards on the ground and can be exploited so that Bucs can find success using a balanced attack. This would bold well for quarterback Jameis Winston and the Bucs’ high volumes of play-action. Image how good the Bucs offense could be if linebackers actually reacted to their play-action
Jameis Winston vs 49ers Defense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers polarizing quarterback Jameis Winston is back starting under center. Winston replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick mid game and almost rallied the Buccaneers from a multi-touchdown deficit. Winston completed 12 of 16 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and a rating of 129.9 rating.
The 49ers’ defense has held opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 60 percent. They ranked second in the NFL, and only give up 242 yards through the air. But, all eyes will be on the play of Winston throughout the rest of the season.
Winston’s play could decide if he’s on the Buccaneers 2019 roster. If he’s productive down the stretch of this season, he can give is supporters reasons to speak louder in his defense. But if he continue to turn the ball over at this alarming rate, he’ll give his naysayers more ammunition to run him out-of-town.
Rod Thurman is a contributor for the Full Press Coverage covering his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow him on twitter @BucBoy for anything Buccaneers and everything football.