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Loading the Cannons: Week 7 Bucs at Bills

Jameis named the starter this week as the Bucs travel north to take on Buffalo.

After an ugly Week 6 the Bucs look to rebound and put an end to their current two game losing streak.  Buffalo is coming off their bye week and have had plenty of time to prepare for this week’s match-up with Tampa.

Keys to the Game:

It all starts with the health of Jameis Winston, who is suffering from a sprained AC Joint.  As of early Friday afternoon, it was announced that Winston will start under center for the Buccaneers.  If Winston suffers a setback on Sunday for the Bucs, the team will once again turn to backup Quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick is no stranger to Buffalo.  He played for the Bills for four years from 2009-2012.  Fitzpatrick played pretty well in spot duty last week against the Cardinals, so Tampa has to feel good about their current backup quarterback situation.

It might have been a good idea for the Bucs to just go ahead and let Winston skip starting this week.  The Buccaneers upcoming schedule is not easy.  Tampa will face all three divisional opponents in the next three out of five weeks. Two of those divisional games are on the road.  With the tough schedule ahead, it will be imperative that Winston is at 100%.

Adrian Peterson had his way with the Bucs defense last week.  The task this week does not get any easier, as they will have to deal with LeSean McCoy and Quarterback Tyrod Taylor.  Over the course of five games this season, McCoy and Taylor have combined for exactly 400 yards rushing.  With Peterson putting up 134 yards and a couple of scores last week, it’s safe to say that the Buccaneers rush defense better be on their “A” game.  No one wants to see a repeat of last week.

Here’s a question, has anybody seen or heard from O.J. Howard?  Tampa spent the 19th overall pick on Howard, who was a guy that during his time at Alabama was among the best Tight Ends in the game.  As of today, Howard only has a total of five catches on the season.  That’s unacceptable for such a high draft pick who has an insane amount of talent.  The Bucs must find a way to get him the ball more.

Predictions:

The Bucs are going to have their hands full this week with both McCoy and Quarterback Tyrod Taylor.  Taylor isn’t a great passer, but he is mobile and can create plays with his speed and elusiveness.  Luckily for the Bucs, the Bills receiving corps isn’t all that proven and they lost their best receiver, Charles Clay, to an injury in their last game. In order for the Bucs to have success, they will have to focus on slowing down the rushing attack.

Confidence in the Bucs has to be waning a little bit after these past couple weeks.  Tampa has now lost their last three of four games.  The Buccaneers showed a lot of fight last week against Arizona after being down big early, which is encouraging.  That being said, this team is in a funk and with the added uncertainty of Winston’s health, it’s shaping up to be a  recipe for disaster.  The Bills pull the upset and beat the Bucs this week.

23-20

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