Moving into week three the Buccaneers hope to get the offense rolling especially the passing attack. Though this week it may be the run game that provides the ability to bring home a victory in Raymond James Stadium. Subsequently, it may be the Packers’ run defense that the Buccaneers exploit.
Packers Runs Defense
In the first week, Minnesota put their division on notice beating the Packers 23-7. This win was in no small part thanks to Justin Jefferson and the run game. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both averaged 4.5 yards a carry and totaled 126 yards. The Packers’ run defense continued to struggle in the week two win against the bears. David Montgomery rolled with 15 carries to the tune of 122 yards. That breaks down to 8.1 yards a carry. Taking away his longest run (28 yards) it still works out to 6.7 yards a carry.
The Packers issue up front are across the entire line. Rashan Gary is the only player that grades out by Pro Football Focus (PFF) above a 57 (64.2) in run defense. They are struggling and this could be a great place for the offense to start their attack.
The attack, for the Buccaneers, starts with Leonard Fournette. After two games he’s averaging 4.3 yards a carry and one of the toughest defensive lines, in the Saints, is behind him (till they meet again). According to NFL Next Gen Stats Fournette gained 85 of his 127 yards in week one on the left side of the line outside the tackle. If they keep some of the same game plan in week three it will keep Fournette away from the strongest run defender in Gary.
It’s become clear that this Buccaneers team will try to remain as balanced as possible. Even when the passing game is struggling, but the best way to lend support to the passing game is if the run can take over and provide a punch early and often. Fournette could have himself a big game this week.
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