It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, once again, struggled heading into their bye week. Tom Brady and the Bucs lost to their division opponents, the New Orleans Saints just as they lost in a devastating fashion versus the Chiefs last year. The Buccaneers have come a long way since then standing 6-2 and leaders in the NFC. Despite Tom Brady turning the ball over 3 times in Caesars Superdome, he finished the 27-36 loss with 375 passing yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunate for the Buccaneers, the 2 interceptions and fumble by Brady resulted in 16 points for the Winston-less Saints. Former Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston, was replaced by Trevor Siemian after tearing an ACL late in the second quarter. Siemian won the game with 159 yards in the air and threw for a touchdown to lead the Saints to a Week 8 victory over the defending super bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Head coach Bruce Arians suggested that the #1 thing he expected for his Buccaneers to concentrate on during the Bye Week was “Discipline!” Tampa has struggled with penalties all season and racked up 99 yards to help the New Orleans Saints during their Week 8 loss on Halloween.
The Buccaneers face an equally rested Washington Football team (2-6) this Sunday in a Week 10 throwdown on the road. It was not a good Week 9 for some of the NFC division leaders. Starting with a Cowboy’s loss hosting the Broncos, Green Bay falling to Kansas City with no Aaron Rodgers, the New Orleans Saints losing to the Atlanta Falcons at home, and finally the Rams losing at home against Derrick Henry-less Tennessee Titans. The Buccaneers could relax during the bye-week but now it’s time to get serious! The Bucs are in a home stretch for the playoffs and a back-to-back Superbowl appearance is still a reality. It’s starts in the District of Columbia.
The Washington Football Team’s defense is not what it once was. With a banged up secondary, The Buccaneers’ passing offense will be their kryptonite. Adding an angry and rested Tom Brady is recipe for a high-scoring game for Buccaneers. Washington’s defense is currently ranked 29th in total yards allowed, 32nd in passing yards per game, giving up 286 in the air, and 29th in points allowed. In the last three games, Washington has improved their pass-rushing defense. Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen is clogging up the trenches and pressuring the opposing quarterback. Allen is leading the team with 6 sacks with a total of 19 in the first 8 games. The key to their defensive scheme will be Chase Young getting to Brady by attempting to blow by a strong offensive line that has only allowed 12 sacks in the first 8 contests. Young has only mustered 2 sacks with 4 QB hits in 8 games but has a thirst for Tom Brady.
The explosive offense that we witnessed in the last seasons wild card game, has faded and it’s too obvious of where Washington’s Taylor Heinicke is throwing the ball. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin has 34 more targets then anyone on the team and is a deep ball presence that will keep Buccaneers cornerback, Jamel Dean on his toes. Some may suggest Taylor is currently the worst starting quarterback in the league on paper, with 11 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions with a completion rating of 84.3%.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles commented on Heinicke’s impressive performance during the Buccaneers’ wild card game. “He ran it. He ran it well, and he threw it well. He made some timely throws. We’re just glad we came out with the win.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the re-signing of wide receiver Breshad Perriman to the team’s practice squad on Wednesday. This adds more depth to the receiver room in the wakes of Scotty Millers return and Antonio Brown out with injury. Breshad played for the Buccaneers in the 2019 season but was released and signed with the New York Jets.
“He brings a lot”, stated Bruce Arians,” He’s a big guy that can run [and] take the top off just like he did when he was here a couple of years ago — It’s great insurance, and if we need him, he could actually play this week if we had to have him.”
Odell Beckham Jr. recently became a free agent after being released by the Cleveland Browns. There was some suspicion that the Bucs may have had some interest, but Bucs head coach Bruce Arians jokingly suggested that he already had AB and didn’t need to add OBJ to the mix, who just recently signed with the Los Angeles Rams later in the week.
It will be crucial for the Buccaneers to cement a good running game scheme on the road with Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, and 3rd down back Giovani Bernard. Tampa only attempted to run the ball 13 times versus the New Orleans Saints, who are known to have a dominant secondary. The Buccaneers will most likely be without Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski as they continue to heal from injuries they sustained earlier in the season. A new name that has appeared in the Buccaneers injury report during the week is wide receiver, Chris Godwin. Godwin led the team in targets in Week 8, recording 8 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown but is said to be dealing with a foot injury that kept him from participating in practice all week. When asked if he would be available this Sunday, Bruce Arians said, “We’ll have to wait and see.”
All eyes are on Tom Brady this Sunday as we watch the Buccaneers make a run for the playoffs. Brady is still ranked #1 in QB stats with 25 TD’s and 2,650 Yards passing, and it does not look like him, and the Buccaneers will be slowing down any time soon.
“Out for this ballgame and not traveling would be Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and Rashard Robinson. Some other guys will be game-time decisions, but everybody will be traveling and ready to roll”, announced Tampa’s head coach Bruce Arians.
Tune in to the 1 PM ET Week 10 match-up in Washington.