PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – With just about a week and a half...
Loading The Cannons: Week 7 Preview
After A Much Needed Bye Week, The Bucs Return To Action Against The San Francisco 49ers
After an extra week to prepare, the Bucs take take on the San Francisco 49ers for the first time since 2013. This will be 22nd time these two franchises get together and the 49ers have owned the Bucs in the past, taking 17 out of 21 that includes four of the last five. The Bucs are looking to build off a win against the Carolina Panthers, while the 49ers aim to bounce back after an embarrassing 45-16 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
Buccaneers Offense Vs 49ers Defense
The strength of the 49ers team is their pass defense. Ranking 7th in the league in passing yards given up per game, Jamesis Winston and the Buccaneers 17th rank passing attack will have their hands full this Sunday. With news of Vincent Jackson hitting the IR during the bye week, Mike Evans will have to step up. Even though Jackson wasn’t producing at his normal rate, he did attract attention that helped Mike Evans.
Following the bye week, Freddie Martino was signed to the active roster, and his number may be called to help fill the void left by the departure of Jackson. Martino had eight catches for 95 yards in the preseason, and the Bucs thought highly enough of him to waive Donteea Dye. Another name at receiver to keep in mind is Cecil Shorts, who is has been battling injury since signing with the Bucs, and is finally healthy. These two may look to have an impact as they will be playing for their spot on the roster, one of which will probably be waived when Louis Murphy returns.
The Buccaneers game plan needs to be based on the ground game. The Bucs ground attack ranks 26th in the league, and even though Doug Martin is still sidelined and Chris Simms is on the IR, Jaquizz Rodgers proved that he is able to be featured in the offense carrying the ball 30 times against the Panthers. The 49ers run defense ranks dead last in the league, and if the Bucs can get Rodgers going early and often, it should prove to be a successful recipe.
Buccaneers Defense Vs 49ers Offense
On the offensive side of the ball, the strength of the 49ers offense is their ground attack. Mostly due to having mobile quarterbacks, the 49ers rushing attack averages 123.3 yards per game, good for 5th in the league. With Robert Ayers still out nursing an ankle injury, rookie Noah Spence will need to step up in a big way to keep 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick contained to the pocket.
Carlos Hyde has quietly been having a productive year as well, rushing for 429 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. If the Buccaneers are looking to come out on top in this contest keeping Hyde out of the end zone will go a long way towards achieving that. The Bucs defense is giving up 103.8 rushing yards per game, and will need to find a way to stop the tandem of Kaepernick and Hyde from taking advantage of that.
The 49ers passing attack is not all that prolific. Changing their starting quarterback from Blaine Gabbert to Colin Kaepernick last week didn’t seem to help matters, and Kaepernick completing less than 50% of his passes last week scares no one. The 49ers passing offense ranks dead last in the league, and after a admirable game against the Carolina Panthers last week, the Bucs defense should look to build upon the confidence gained their last time out against the leagues worst passing attack.
Jeremy Kerley seems to be the only receiver on the 49ers who has been producing, and shutting him down should go a long way towards shutting down the entire 49ers passing attack. Kerley has 12 more receptions and 134 more receiving yards then the next closest receivers on the team, but most of his success was with Blaine Gabbert. Kerley is also tied for the team lead with two touchdown receptions, and Brent Grimes who has been playing well will more than likely be assigned the task of shutting him down.
Be sure to watch the Buccaneers take on the San Francisco 49ers at 4:05 PM from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Can’t watch? The Scrum Sports has you covered! Follow us on twitter @thescrumsports to follow along with the action via live tweets.