There are many storylines to this weeks game against the Houston Texans. Can the Buccaneers win their 5th game in a row? Will Jameis Winston and his injured thumb continue to set the world on fire? Will Bruce Arians pull people out of the stands to play wide receiver?
Deshaun Watson leads a Texas team that can win their division with a victory on Saturday. Buccaneer fans knew weeks ago that facing Watson this week would be a big challenge. Its not like Coach Arians doesn’t expect much from the Texans 3rd year QB.
Bruce Knows Watson
Pro Football Talk reported that while Bruce Arians was head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2017, the plan was to draft the Clemson phenom and National Champion quarterback at #13. The Texans would trade their first round pick(#25) in 2017 and the first round pick in 2018 to Cleveland and move up to #12. One pick ahead of the Cardinals and draft the QB.
The knock on Deshaun Watson out of college is he needed to improve his deep ball and his ability to read defenses. Both qualities the young man has shown major development in over the past couple of years.
Buccaneers Defense Has Improved, But How Much
A big test for the Todd Bowles defense this weekend is going to be containing the speedy quarterback who can pull the ball down and be a threat to run at any moment. Teams that commit to stopping the rush make themselves susceptible to Watson’s improving accuracy with the deep ball. The 3rd year QB has also started to read defenses like a children’s Christmas book. Bowles will have to dial up some blitzes, get pressure on the pocket, and keep Watson from getting anywhere near comfortable on Saturday.
Exactly What Buccaneer Fans Want
A late season challenge like the one the Texans offer is just the cure for the absence of a playoff birth. Not to say that the post season wouldn’t be sweet. But rather than playing out a string of games with the offseason on their minds. This team is laser focused on continuing to improve, win their 5th game in a row, and finish the season on the strongest of notes.
What matters the most this week is the continued cultural shift for a team that has tasted very little success over the last decade. This home game against the Houston Texans provides a great opportunity to continue that storyline.
Photo credit: Houston Texans