Tall task, but not impossible.
Last week was a tale of two Buccaneer offensive squads. In the first half, the Bucs did nothing and that was accurately reflected in a goose-egg in the box score. However in the second half we saw what can happen when all the Bucs weapons actually do click.
LaGarrette Blount was able to run the ball which opened up the passing game for Josh Freeman which meant guys like Kellen Winslow and Preston Parker were getting open and extending drives. Mike Williams was silent, but only on the stat sheet. He showed an uncanny ability to run block which aided a few LaGarrette Blount outside runs and a touchdown. He has disappointed you if he’s on your fantasy roster, but he’s showing he’s a team player first and that’s huge.
Plus he’s the Bucs No. 1 wideout, he’ll breakout soon enough.
The reason he hasn’t broke out yet is teams are preparing for him and playing him with double coverage. He’ll breakout because defenses will have to start playing Preston Parker, Arrelious Benn and Kellen Winslow more closely and this will eventually dissolve Williams’ double coverage. This, in combination with Blount finding lanes, will make the Bucs offense develop in a more rounded fashion not unlike that of the Falcons who use an overwhelming number of weapons to beat you.
The Falcons defense isn’t an easy foe. They added former Vikings Ray Edwards to their left defensive front paring him with John Abraham on that line. Edwards isn’t a nice guy to have after you; he’s an MMA fighter in his off time and comes from the Jared Allen school of punishing quarterbacks. He isn’t a sack master but I wouldn’t recommend letting him loose either. Donald Penn has another fun matchup this week going against Abraham, but they way he settled in against Allen last week is comforting when thinking about Josh Freeman’s protection this week.
Josh Freeman proved again why the Bucs have invested so much in him by leading his eighth comeback win of his three year career. His swagger infects the Bucs and this helps get the job done. He is to the Bucs as Derrick Rose is to the Chicago Bulls. Whenever they’re out there, the game isn’t over until time runs out. Freeman battled the Bucs back from a 17-point deficit to outscore the Vikings 24-3 in the second half. If that doesn’t pump up the Bucs for their first home divisional game of the 2011 season, I don’t know what will.
If everything clicks like it did in the second half of the Vikings game last week, Tampa is sitting pretty.