The Bucs play one of their two 4pm games tommorow against the Bills. Both teams are coming off of week 1 loses, albeit quite different ones. The Bucs were dominated for 3 quarters against the Cowboys @ home last weekend while the Bills played a hell of a game until one turnover at the end of the game gave Tom Brady the one and only chance he needed for a victory.
A quick injury update – EJ Biggers was placed on the IR and replaced by Steve Cargile. Cargile was picked up in the preseason after the Tanard Jackson suspension came down but was ultimately released when the 53 man roster was finished. Jeff Faine is out and so is Antonio Bryant. John Gilmore has been practicing for the last two days, but in a limited fashion. I’d imagine we won’t see much of him on Sunday. Kyle Moore has also been limited in practice and probably won’t see the field on Sunday either.
Key Matchup – Gaines Adams vs Demetrius Bell
Gaines has a chance to make a couple splash plays against Karl Malone’s son, Demetrius Bell. Bell was tabbed the starter late in the preseason and shows a lot of promise as far as ceiling is concerned, but looked real suspect vs the Pats last week. Gaines looked awful on Sunday but has a chance to redeem himself a little tommorow. The Bills no huddle offense is tough on the defense, but Gaines has one job, and one job only, and that is to get to Trent Edwards.
If both teams replicate their play from last week, the Bucs will be staring at an 0-2 start to the season with the NY Giants looming. Trent Edwards led the Bills no huddle attack quite efficiently last week against the Pats and should be able to find success once again this week. The one positive thing to note is that unlike Tony Romo, Trent is not a great deep ball thrower, something that killed the Bucs all preseason as well as last week vs the ‘Boys. Fred Jackson was making plays in a variety of ways last week, catching the ball as well as running it, and we showed no real skill at stopping the run last week. The Bills looked good against the run week, but the Pats use the run more as a decoy than the Bucs do, and I’d expect Caddy and DWard to continue their success from last week. Something along the lines of 80 and a touch for Caddy and 45 for Ward with some receptions as well. The heart of the Bills defense, Paul Posluzny is out for the game, so Kellen Winslow might be able to find some room over the middle against the Bills Tampa 2 defense.
Prediction – Bills 21 Bucs 17
Lee Evans or TO will make a great player after a catch and burn the Bucs for a TD at some point during the game. Both are great at getting yards after the catch, and we’re not great at stopping it. Hopefully Byron Leftwich can improve on his accuracy, because if the Bucs line plays as well as it did last week, their will be some open holes in the Cover 2. Ultimately though, he won’t and the Bucs will lose once again.
As a caveat, writing predictions of us losing, makes me want to jump off a building.