So far this season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been trying to find their identity on offense. Likewise, the Steelers have been trying to do the same. Right now with a struggling defense and rookie quarterback Mike Tomlin is starring at the possibility of his first losing season as the Steelers head coach. The Buccaneers have a chance to exploit it this week.
This week looks very ominous for the Steelers. Currently, they have three corners, a free safety, and a strong safety questionable for Sunday. Add that too the fact they have two safeties and a corner on injured reserve and the problems are mounting.
To make matters worse the Steelers have struggled against the air attack. They currently sit second worst in yards allowed (1438) and sixth worst in net yards per attempt (7.1). Subsequently, they are also tied for third worst in passing touchdowns (11) and second worst in fist downs by passing (71).
Much of this has come as the Steelers are showing they can’t get to the quarterback enough to impact a passing offense. Owning the fourth worst pressure percentage at 16.3% and third worst hurry percentage with 4.2% is having an effect on the secondary.
Now everything hasn’t been all bad. They sit first in interceptions (8) and second in pass deflections (30).
Play to Your Strengths
This opponent comes at a good time for the Buccaneers. Byron Leftwich has not been able to get the team to fully establish the run game. Thankfully the passing attack is getting up to speed. Tom Brady has the team fifth in completion percentage (68.1%) and third in total passing yards (1358).
Unfortunately the Buccaneers also remain a little banged up at receiver. The good thing though is this team does have some depth. Mike Evans is back but Julio Jones, Chris Godwin, and Russel Gage don’t seem to be at full strength at this time. Though some of them will play.
Thought the Buccaneers should handle this challenge easily this game has all the hall marks of an upset. Rookie quarterback on a struggling offense coupled with a defense that looks to be so depleted they’ll start practice squad players. Essentially, the Buccaneers need to not underestimate their opponent.
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