It did not take long for the Buccaneers to get into the win column. The first two weeks of the season have been night and day. In week two, the team came out on fire and won a divisional game against the Carolina Panthers. Up next is the Denver Broncos.
Breaking Down Denver
The Broncos come into the game missing some of the best players on the team. Denver could be missing as many as seven players from the opening day roster. Last week, Denver lost starting quarterback Drew Lock to a shoulder injury and wide receiver Courtland Sutton to a torn ACL. The team will look to Jeff Driskel to lead the them at quarterback and rely on rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler at wide receiver. On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos have lost Von Miller for at least three months, and AJ Bouye for three weeks.
Even with all the injures, the Broncos were in a close game with the Steelers. The offense for the Broncos had a good day overall. Jeff Driskel had 256 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception. Melvin Gordon III had 19 carries for 70 yards out of the backfield, and two catches for 14 yards. Noah Fant had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Even with the missing players, the Broncos have a good team and could present problems on both sides of the ball.
How the Game Plays Out
After week one, the Buccaneers came out and played the brand of football that the coaching staff has been talking about since arriving in Tampa last year. The offense was balanced and the defense played fast and created turnovers. Tom Brady and Mike Evans seemed to find something positive and will look to continue it against the depleted secondary of the Broncos. The running game got on track with 22 attempts and 122 yards. Leonard Fournette finished the game with 12 carries and 103 yards. The turnovers were created by a defense that was flying around and playing like there hair was on fire.
With the injuries suffered by the Broncos since the start of the season, they will be playing with a chip on there shoulders as no one is giving them any chance of performing up to the level needed to win this game. Gordon III will pose a threat out of the backfield as well as a receiver. Devin White will have his hands full for the third week in a row. Jerry Jeudy is an excellent route runner and KJ Hamler has elite speed. Both will test the Bucs secondary. Tampa Bay’s defense will be the key to this game and they’ll have to continue to play well against the run and not allow Denver to use play action passes to beat them deep.
My thought is that the Broncos will not be able to overcome all the injuries coming into this week’s game. If the Bucs can stop the run, this should be a game were the offense can continue to get in sync and gain an early lead. The defense in turn will be able to pin their ears back and rush the passer. This will help the Bucs create turnovers and continue to roll. Bucs win easily.
Final Score Buccaneers 35, Broncos 14