Jameis Winston has gotten off to a rough start. In the last six games, he’s played before the bye week the team went 2-4. With a lot of ups and downs, interception plagued games, and missed opportunities. Winston can turn the pirate ship around to his favor, with two games against Atlanta in the future and their current matchup this week.
The Tennessee Titans play host to the Buccaneers this Sunday. Winston must find a way to exploit a defense that has been sack happy two of the last three weeks. On the road in the past four games, Winston has thrown for 283 yards. So if he’s going to throw for yards, he’s going to need some open outlets. These are some of the steps to take to ensure that he has a good day on Sunday against the Titans.
Punish The Front 4
It might be a bold move, but it would be smart to attack defensive end Jurrell Casey. Casey has been a problem for opposing offenses with his gold rush and his occasional sack as of late. If Casey can be held in check, that would ensure the running game for Ronald Jones and company. Also, to pick on the rookie DE Jeffrey Simmons. It would be best to test him. Chips, double teams, anything you could do to get in his head and frustrate him. Just might believe that there is potential for edge rush capabilities whenever needed if constant chips are given early.
Don’t Pick On Byard
Safety Kevin Byard has been a monster these last couple of years. He has had five passes defended and two interceptions in his past four games. Since 2017, he leads the entire NFL in interceptions — 15 of those bad boys. Whatever you do, try to beat him in courage in places you are not throwing. Be aware of his actions on the field, and use his intensity against him when doing for deep balls. On some of those deep balls, Chris Godwin had 10 receptions in his last game, it seems to have a good connection with James. Look for Byard to bite on long passes towards Godwin’s direction for an open mid-route to convert first downs. By separating the secondary from the front four, it will allow for miscommunications to happen with the linebacker core; the true group that needs to be exploited and picked on in this Tennessee Titans defense.
Good Ol’ Wesley
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard is a match up to exploit with O.J. Howard and the running backs. Make the Tennessee defense commit to the run and use play action to find Howard making good decisions on the field. If the running game gets going, that opens up play-action passes with Jones, while Peyton Barber gouges the front line to consistently plug-in three yards a carry. With Barber, you can keep them honest.
Exploit Wide Receiver Matchups
Imagine if you had Mike Evans on Logan Ryan. Evans is much bigger at six-foot-five, and if not faster, a better leaper than Ryan. Malcolm Butler will have to be featured on Evans to slow down his productivity. If that happens, look for Godwin to try to abuse Ryan. Logan takes chances and will be looking for the pic. But, if Winston can get Godwin cooking early, that will open up opportunities for Evans later. Since Tampa Bay is lacking a number three, double tight end sets would make sense against the Titans defense. Besides ensuring running game productivity, one would have to find another linebacker to cover Cameron Brate. Since 2016, Brate has 22 touchdown catches. He has been known to be Winston’s security blanket. Exploit the favorable matchups from a defense that isn’t able to substitute on multiple downs. The more plays ran the better.
It’s time to welcome back Bucs football and instill a culture of winning. The season isn’t over folks; welcome back Tampa Bay football.
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