The Bucs need to find some consistency on both sides of the ball if they want to leave the desert with a win.
It was a rough Week 5 for both the Buccaneers and the Cardinals. Even though both teams suffered defeats, the games hardly played out the same. The Bucs narrowly lost to the New England Patriots, while the Cardinals were shellacked by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Keys to the Game:
On Tuesday, the NFL announced that Adrian Peterson had been traded from the division rival New Orleans Saints to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals made this move after the run game has been mostly awful after they lost star running back David Johnson due to injury. The Cardinals are hoping that Peterson can recapture some of the magic he had in his years with the Vikings. It’ll be tough sledding though as Arizona’s offensive line is one of the weaker units in the league. Don’t look for Peterson to have much of an impact this week.
The Buccaneers must get DeSean Jackson going. He showed some signs of life last week as he hauled in five receptions for 106 yards. Most of those yards came on two catches, however. Bucs fans have been waiting for Jackson to have one of his signature breakout games. This could be the week.
Jackson could see an increase in production this week because Mike Evans will most likely draw the attention of Patrick Peterson. Peterson has been outstanding, slowing down the likes of Marvin Jones Jr., T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, Pierre Garcon and Alshon Jeffery to a combined 13 catches, 135 yards and two touchdowns.
Also, the Bucs signed place kicker Patrick Murray. Murray was with the Bucs back in 2014. He replaces Nick Folk, who the team placed on injured reserve with a minor injury designation. Murray, who is only 26, hit 20 of 24 field goal attempts, with the longest being from 55 yards. He also made all 31 extra points in 16 games back in 2014.
As mentioned earlier, the Cardinals offensive line is not a great one. The Bucs should be able to apply pressure on Carson Palmer and get him off his spot. Palmer is by no means mobile, so don’t be surprised to see the Bucs bring him down a few times in this game. The Bucs just can’t let the likes of receivers Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown beat them.
On paper this looks like a game the Bucs clearly have the advantage in, but don’t underestimate a veteran Cardinals team who is desperate to keep pace in their division. This one will be closer than most expect. In the end the Bucs have enough to pull out the victory.