The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time as I think we all needed a break after the beating we incurred at Chicago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to get back on track this week, but what’s it going to take from them to pull off the win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
Defensively neither team has been able to stop anyone, while offensively, they both have explosive capabilities. How should Dirk Koetter and company approach this game?
Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense go toe to toe with the offense of the Atlanta Falcons?
This game could turn into a shootout, quick. Atlanta has the NFL’s ninth-ranked scoring offense. They have weapons all over the field especially with Matt Ryan under center. Needless to say, the Falcons have the ability to score at will. Atlanta features a deep receiving core with veterans Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Talented rookie receiver Calvin Ridley has exploded on to the scene with six touchdowns through five games.
Devonta Freeman missed the first three games of the season and is off to a slow start. A match-up against the Buccaneers may just be what he needs to get on track. We saw how Mitch Trubisky was able to exploit the Bucs’ defense. Thinking about what Matt Ryan and company could do against this less than stellar squad is the stuff of nightmares.
We all know that the Buccaneers’ defense can’t be counted on. How can the Buccaneers slow down the Atlanta Falcons offense this Sunday?
The winning recipe for this game is something we haven’t seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do successfully yet this season. The Buccaneers must run the ball and run it effectively. The key to this game will be keeping the Atlanta offense on the sideline. With an unreliable defense, the best way to accomplish this is by establishing the running game and controlling the clock. We have seen the Bucs have a lot of success through the air this season and they should still take their shots downfield.
However, this game should have a “run-first” approach. With Falcons’ star linebacker, Deion Jones, out, Tampa Bay should be able to find success on the ground. Lean on Donovan Smith and the $55 million man in Ali Marpet. Along with center Ryan Jensen, Smith and Marpet are the best run blockers on the team.
The offensive line is not the key to this game. The key to this week’s game is the running backs.
The offensive line should open up holes against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s on the running backs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take advantage of these holes. We saw the debut of rookie running back Ronald Jones last week against the Chicago Bears. With the exception of a dropped pass, Jones did an admirable job. Jones actually received more carries than veteran Peyton Barber in that game.
Jones and Barber had similar yards per carry average. Ronald Jones was adequate in pass protection which is of utmost importance to Dirk Koetter and it looks as though he has earned himself more playing time. Facing the Atlanta Falcons this week with the combination of Jones and Barber should be something the Bucs take seriously. It’s up to the duo of running backs to take what the offensive line gives them. There is no need to look for the home run. If the Buccaneers can average four yards per carry, it will keep the chains moving and the clock running.
Taking the pressure of the defense is key!
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ best defense is a good offense. Playing keep away is the best game plan when facing the Atlanta Falcons. Is the Bucs’ offense good enough to match the scoring of the Falcons offense? Featuring the sixth-ranked scoring offense, it’s likely that the Buccaneers can keep pace with the Falcons, but why try?
Old school ground and pound football will win this game.
This is a chance for rookie Ronald Jones to show that he belongs. It’s also an opportunity for Peyton Barber to show that he is not ready to cede the job to the rookie just yet. Barber and Jones need to make a statement this week. A successful rushing attack adds another dimension to the offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game plan this week should be simple.
Run, run, and run some more.
If Barber and Jones get it done, the team will fly out of the Atlanta with a win.