The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Travel To Duval County To Take On The Jacksonville Jaguars In Week 2 Of The Preseason.
After a sloppy performance by the starting crew in the preseason opener, the Bucs look to rebound against another up and coming team in Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1). The teams will be familiar with each other as they have been holding joint practices this week leading up to today’s action. Although this is still ‘just the preseason’, make no mistake about it, these two teams will be competing to show off which of these two promising young squads is ready to take the next step.
After turning the ball over on the opening kickoff last week, the Bucs never really erased their misfortunes, turning the ball over a total of five times. There needs to be an immediate improvement in the turnover department this week as the Bucs look to take a step forward in 2016. Winning the turnover battle is essential in being a successful team.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bucs need to look to establish the run. Last week against the Eagles, the Bucs only managed 31 yards in the ground on 21 carries. Not too many W’s are going to come into play with that formula. After looking sharp in camp, Doug Martin struggled against the Eagles run defense picking up just 13 yards on five carries. Although there is a lot of hype surrounding Jameis Winston, Martin needs to be the tone setter for the offense. The success of the offense could very well lie on the shoulders of the fifth year running back, and if last year was any indication, he should be up to the task.
*Doug Martin has officially been ruled out of the game against Jacksonville Due to a rib injury.
Hopefully the Bucs will find a way to improve upon a nagging issue from last year, penalties, penalties, penalties. Once again, the Buccaneers entered double digits in the penalty department, acquiring ten penalties that cost them 92 yards against the Eagles. Limiting penalties has to be a huge part of the Bucs game plan, against the Jaguars and throughout the course of the season. No matter how well the team is playing on the field, extending opposition’s drives and shortening your own drives because of avoidable penalties is not in the formula to success.
Getting off to a strong start is key in this game. The Jaguars did a great job last week in starting out fast, scoring ten points in the first two drives of the game ran by the starting offense. Last week the Bucs defense allowed two touchdowns on the Eagles first three drives. Yes, both touchdowns were given up in short field situations, but the young defense needs to find a way to keep Blake Bortles and company out of the endzone so they can have the confidence needed to succeed.
The run defense will also experience a test in this matchup as the Jags throw a formidable duo their way in T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory. The starting defense is sure to see a healthy dose of these two backs as the Jaguars look to establish the identity of their ground game. The Bucs improved their defensive line to be able to rush the quarterback, but the game against the Jags will be a good test on their ability to stop the run as well.
Jameis Winston needs to use week 2 to build upon a successful first showing in the preseason. As teams begin to respect Jameis’ arm more and more, the running game will begin to open up, and could become even more successful then it was last year. He also spread the ball around quite well which will also benefit the offense moving forward. When the defense is unable to zero in on one receiver to shut down suddenly the field becomes much larger.
The Bucs will look to notch their first victory in 2016 tonight against the Jacksonville Jaguars at 7:30 P.M. Be sure to like The Scrum Sports on Twitter for live game updates tonight and throughout the course of the season.