For the second week in a row, the Buccaneers are facing a team coming off a bye week. The first week went pretty well though. The Green Bay Packers were one of the few teams in the NFL with an undefeated record. That extra bye week might have given the Packers more rust than rest as they fell hard to the Buccaneers defense last Sunday to earn their first loss.
Heading into what now is a 4:05pm ET game, this is a great matchup with the trimmings of Buccaneers Super Bowl history. Let’s see how the current Buccaneers matchup against their former world championship coach Jon Gruden and his Las Vegas Raiders.
Here’s How The Raiders Measure Up
Over the past two weeks, The Buccaneers have been banged up while having to face a very healthy opponent. This week, the Raiders will have to find a way to win with a few key players having their status in question.
- S Jonathan Abram (Reserve/ COVID-19)
- DT Maliek Collins (Questionable / Shoulder)
- DL Carl Nassib (Toe)
Wide receiver Bryan Edwards is the only Raider ruled out of Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. But that’s good news. The bad news is the entire offensive line was sent home today due to contact with a player suspected of contracting COVID-19 in Trent Brown.
It seems unlikely that the Raiders play at all if there’s a potential for multiple players testing positive. If they do, and the plan is to proceed with playing, then it’s with an entirely new offensive line than what they’re used to.
- 5th in Pass Yards per game / 14th in Rush Yards per game
- 7th in Pass Scoring per game / 17th in Rush Scoring per game
After week 6 concluded the Buccaneers regained the #1 Rush Defense title from last year. In addition, they are now the 6th best pass defense in yards allowed. The Raiders are going to have to improve on their middle of the pack rankings here to measure up.
- 25th in Pass Yards per game / 22d in Rush Yards per game
- 4th in Pass Scoring per game / 31st in Rush Scoring per game
This is also a scary outlook for the Raiders as the Buccaneers are scoring at will right now. Lead by 3rd year running back, Ronald Jones, this Raiders defense is going to have to repeat their aggressive showing from week 5 against the Chiefs to win this one.
What We Can Expect
Assuming all goes well with the offensive line COVID testing, we can expect a heavy dose of running back Josh Jacobs. Las Vegas is currently the 10th highest in rush plays per game percentage (44.38%).
Looking at the passing game, Derek Carr has been impressive this year. Averaging 288 yards and 2 touchdowns per game this year with only 1 Interception. The way the Buccaneers secondary has been playing we might see this number fluctuate a bit. Though we should be more inclined to believe Carr’s problems will be more prevalent upfront.
To date, Carr has lost a total of 5 fumbles. That’s almost a fumble lost per game. Which is somewhat confounding based on the Raiders offensive line is ranked 12th by Football Insiders and allowing a 5th best in the league 8 sacks.
Defensively, the Raiders have elevated their play fairly substantially. Against arguably the best offense in the league, they allowed the Chiefs lowest Rush total on the year. They also forced Mahomes to throw 43 times and ended his day with his lowest QBR of the season (73.3).
No individual stood out dramatically, but collectively this defense played about as well as a team can against a tough offensive opponent. It ultimately won them the game.
So if you’re feeling lucky about this matchup in Las Vegas, then I can only see fit to end with some playing odds. According to Vegasinsider.com, the Buccaneers opened as 2.5 road favorites. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.