Hope and pray would be my answer for the Buccaneers.
I think some people have a hard time accepting this still, but the Lions are a very good football. Maybe not quite elite yet, but they cannot be overlooked as players in the NFC. They are a very tough and chippy team that can beat you in a variety of ways. And I will admit, I have rooted for them. They’re very fun to watch and easy to root for. But not today. The Bucs need to pull out all the stops to have a chance here.
It starts with #97. Many teams fear him, Aiden Hutchinson. That man has single-handedly destroyed the hopes and dreams of teams as he rushes through their o-lines. And unfortunately for the Buccaneers, he will be facing off against Luke Goedeke. Now, he has looked good against very tough competition, but Hutchinson is his own beast. So the line either needs to give Mayfield time to throw, or he needs to get the ball out lightning quick.
Luckily, it should be easier to get the ball out quicker since the Lions secondary is banged up. If there was ever a time to beat the Lions, it is now. They’re dealing with a lot of injuries to the secondary and some to the o-line. Brian Branch is out and Emmanuel Moseley has a torn ACL. Dave Canales needs to exploit that to get Mike Evans and Chris Godwin open. We need all of our tricks here. Whatever he was calling against the Saints, we need all of that. Remember, this is the Lions. They basically have every good trick play under the sun. Bowles and his defense will certainly have his hands full.
What this game will ultimately come down to is the trenches. Both teams have really solid o-lines and d-lines. The Bucs need the run game to work though and for the Lions run game to not. The offense also needs to have very long sustained drives to keep Jared Goff and David Montgomery off the field. I never want to see their jersey number ever. Limit the mistakes, force Goff to make some, run the ball efficiently, and the Bucs will have a shot. It’s really that simple.
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