The bye week is over and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had two weeks to prepare for the Tennessee Titans. Even though the Buccaneers are still in the middle of a torturous away game stretch that has never been seen before this could be the time the Buccaneers needed to get things in order to right the ship. In Tennesse, the Buccaneers will pull out a win, here’s why;
Bye Week Preparation
The bye week provides teams with a great advantage. The staff is able to look into their own roster and the tendencies of the opposing team for an extended period of time. But does it really matter? Since 2015 the Buccaneers are two and two after the bye week. A Bruce Arians coached Cardinals were four and one. Given this staff the Buccaneers hold an advantage in this aspect.
Additional Pass Rush Help
Jason Pierre-Paul is set to return to this field this week. The more pass rush this team can muster will alleviate the inability for the secondary to fail. Could this team get back on track with sacks this week? Pierre-Paul was the sack leader for the Buccaneers last year with 12.5 sacks. After missing the last seven weeks he looks to get back in the game and show he still has “it”. Remember he restructured his contract and is now a free agent at the end of the season. He needs to prove to everyone he can still play in order to fetch another big payday. This also may free up Shaquil Barrett who has not had a sack since week four.
No Longer The First Pick vs Second Pick
Jameis Winston will start and play Sunday, but on the other side will be Ryan Tannehill. Marcus Mariota has been benched, possibly signaling the end of his time in Tennesse and the league as a starter. Tannehill does bring something to the game Mariots doesn’t, that’s consistency. He will surely have a chance to prove he still can sling the ball against one of the worst secondary units in the NFL. Tannehill will give it his all as he could stand to replace Mariota as the team’s quarterback for the foreseeable future in what is sure to be a rebuilding year next season.
Adam Humphries lines up against his old tea for the first time. I don’t know if you can call it a revenge game as he walked away to get paid. Looking at his stats he should have taken the pay cut and remained in Tampa or chosen a different team. Either way, he will look to try to impress against his old team. I am sure they will dial up some tosses his way especialy in the red zone in order to appease the skeptics and those rooting against him since leaving Tampa.
The Real Key to the Game
Can the Buccaneers offensive line hold? The Buccaneers brass did nothing to improve the line in free agency and the draft. They gambled on the group they have and it has been a losing hand. The run game has suffered and Winston has been sacked 25 times. The offensive line is sure to get someone fired at seasons to end along with the secondary. THEY MUST PROTECT. With that said though Winston needs to know when to run and to get the ball out quick. Can he do it with two weeks to prep? I think so!
It’s a close one. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23, Titans 21. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers get back to .500.