Loading The Cannons: Week 2 Preview

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Updated: September 18, 2016

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Travel To University Of Phoenix Stadium For A Week 2 Match-up With The Arizona Cardinals.

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After an opening day win last week against the Atlanta Falcons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) take on the Arizona Cardinals (0-1) in Arizona. This is the 19th time these two teams will do battle, splitting the all-time series 9-9, although the Buccaneers have taken two of the last three.

Buccaneers Offense vs. Cardinals Defense

Last week against the Falcons, Jamesis Winston proved that all signs point towards him making a step forward in his sophomore campaign. After throwing an early pick, he shook it off and led his team to victory, collecting an NFC Offensive Player of the Week award along the way. Winston needs to use last weeks game as a confidence boost in the desert this week, as the Cardinals secondary is far better than that of the Falcons.

The defensive backfield combo of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu await the Bucs this week, and Winston will need to bring his ‘A game’ in order to find success against one of the NFL’s most feared defensive duos. After loosing to the Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski-less New England Patriots last weekend, the Cardinals are foaming at the mouth to get revenge on whoever stands in their way.

Doug Martin needs to improve upon his 3.4 yards per carry last week against the Arizona defense this week. The Cardinals defense forced two fumbles last week, and Martin needs to not only find a way to open up the passing game for the Bucs by being successful on the ground, but needs to hold on to the ball against the Cardinals ball-thirsty defense.

The Buccaneers offensive line held up nicely last weekend, and was a major part of Jamesis’ success, as he wasn’t sacked a single time. One of the major flaws for the Atlanta Falcons is their inability to get after the quarterback, but the Cardinals do not have the same issue. Between a smothering secondary and a decent pass rush, the Cardinals sacked Jimmy Garoppolo  twice last week, and the Bucs offensive line needs to be strong this week again to prevent Jamesis from lying on his back.

Buccaneers Defense Vs. Cardinals Offense

One of the main offensive threats for the Cardinals is second year running back David Johnson. Shutting him down proves to be a difficult task, but Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David and Daryl Smith form one of the best line backing trios in the NFL today, and if anyone can do it, it can be them. They will be called upon heavily in this match up.

The Arizona Cardinals also have a trio of extremely talented wide receivers in Michael Floyd, John Brown, and Hall of Fame shoe in Larry Fitzgerald. This may the first week that Vernon Hargreaves receives extensive work, as the Cardinals like to run a spread offense to have all their weapons out on the field.  Carson Palmer will more than likely try to exploit the rookie, so the success of the passing game may very well just run through him.

The defensive line needs to get to Carson Palmer. Palmer, although quite skilled, can be forced in to mistakes, especially if he is running for his life for most of the game. Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers each had a sack in theory 2016 debut last week, and the defensive line getting pressure on Palmer also helps out the secondary.

The secondary does need to prove their worth this week with proving the defensive front with enough coverage to allow the lineman to disrupt Palmer. Against a solid Falcons offense last week, they did allow Matt Ryan to throw for 334 yards and a pair of scores. Again the Redbirds are a much better team than the Falcons, and the secondary needs to step up and prevent Carson from breaking the 300 yard mark in this contest to emerge the victors.

Make sure to watch the Bucs take on the Cardinals from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Arizona today at 4:05 pm on FOX. Unable to watch? Get live tweets from today’s action @thescrumsports on Twitter!

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Anthony Pugliese
Lead NFL Writer

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