Buccaneers Week Two Key Matchups

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After a sloppy performance in week one, the Buccaneers look to gain some traction in week two against the Atlanta Falcons. There are things that need to be cleaned up and will be the focus of practice this week. These will also be instrumental in the key matchups.

Buccaneers Defensive Front vs. Falcons Offensive Line

Offensive may be the key term here. The Falcons’ front five looked below average against the Eagles in week one. They allowed three sacks, nine quarterback hits, and multiple hurries. A far cry from what any team would want their quarterback to face. Conversely, the Buccaneers defensive front should get in the swing of things and find some momentum this game. Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquille Barrett, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka should see some uptick in productivity.

Jake Matthews looked like a shell of himself in week one. Furthermore, Jalen Mayfield, a third round 2021 selection, looks every bit a rookie who’s been thrown into the lineup too early. Additionally, Matt Hennessey, the starting center and a draft pick from 2020, had a rough start to the season. He’ll be facing Vita Vea in week two. Hennessey can’t feel too comfortable with that assignment. Chris Lindstrom, the right guard, performed well enough in week one but he is flanked to his right by Kaleb McGary. McGary, a first round draft pick, looked sluggish. He should improve over the season but will face Barrett in week two.

Ultimately this key matchup will depict much of the outcome of the game. If the Buccaneers defensive plays to expectations then this game can get out of hand. The Falcons are crossing their fingers the rust is knocked off and the line performs better. Either way they’re going to get tested.

Davis vs Ridley

Carlton Davis looked outstanding in week one. Calvin Ridley struggled, but so did the entire Falcons offense. Now in the number one receiver spot after the departure of Julio Jones, Ridley will be covered by every teams number one corner. Targeted a team high eight time (tied with Kyle Pitts), Davis can expect to get targeted often. Ridley put up 51 yards on five receptions week one. Davis will have to be steadfast and repeat his ten target and only four reception stat line to prevent Ridley from changing the momentum of the game.

The next question will be who draws the assignment on Pitts?

Marpet vs Jarrett

Arguably the best defender on the Atlanta Falcons, Gardy Jarrett requires some attention. Entering his seventh season Jarrett will be looking to collapse the pocket and apply pressure to Tom Brady. Pro Football Focus has graded Jarrett higher than 80 for each of the last four years. He applies pressure

Lining up on the opposite side will be Ali Marpet.  He allowed zero sacks in game one and finished with an overall pass blocking grade of 69.2. Marpet and the rest of the offensive line have already shown how cohesive they are in the Dallas game. They’ll look to continue that here.

Final Thought

This game is a good chance for the Buccaneers to evaluate some things before moving forward. Two keys to success in the rest of the season are going to need to improve this week. First, the run game must get in a rhythm. They need to prove dominate and knock off the rest of the rust. Second, the front office now needs to take really hard look at the secondary. They may need to make some more moves to stay contenders in that category.

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