Sunday’s Matchup Against Carolina
This Sunday’s tilt vs the Carolina Panthers is easily the most important game of the season. That sounds a tad cliche’, as any team that is winning faces a bigger game each and every week. This weekends game has many ramifications besides just one W or L.
1. The winner of the game is the division leader heading into Week 5.
2. If we win – we are 2-0 in the NFC South after winning a grand total of 0 all last year.
3. If we win – we have beaten the toughest team in our division, on the road, leaving us only one home matchup left vs Carolina, and a road game vs the Saints. The Falcons just suck, and if we lose to them, I might kill myself.
I think it is funny the so called experts and pundits still have yet to acknowledge the Bucs. The only analyst of note (one who I respect maybe above all others) Ron Jaworski mentioned us on Monday Night Football stating that our defense is back. The rest of the analysts though have been talking about the crappy play of the Saints and the Rams after our last two games as opposed to the stellar play on both sides of the ball.
3 Matchups to Watch on Sunday
Steve Smith vs Phillip Buchanon
Steve Smith has that preverbial chip on the shoulder lately, and that doesn’t bode well for the Bucs. Buchanon though has been stellar shutting down top notch receivers the past two weeks (Marques Colston, Torry Holt) and is proving to be an invaluable member of this defense. If Steve Smith goes for 150 on us in Carolina, we will not win.
Julius Peppers vs Jeremy Trueblood
Peppers is arguably the best LDE in the game today, and will end up with a hefty extension after this season. Trueblood is an up and coming RT in the NFL but this is a tough test. Trueblood has a problems with true speed rushers like Peppers, as guys like him normally play on the right side. Trueblood excels in run blocking and holding up more run oriented ends like Charles Grant of the Saints. Just as I said before with Steve Smith, if Peppers has a field day against our line (which has looked stellar to this point) we have no chance of winning. We have been in games’ this year because of our lines’ ability to protect Jeff Garcia and allow him the time neccesary to run the Gruden offense.
Kris Jenkins vs Aaron Sears
While I have been busy hyping my man Davin Joseph all season, Aaron Sears is steadily showing he has a chance to be just as dominant. He was impressive last week on some counters and traps, and I expect the Bucs to run some more of those this weekend, and try and tire out the DLine of the Panthers. He will have a tough matchup in the trenches this weekend against one of the leagues best 4-3 Defensive Tackles. Jenkins has the size to just bully guards, and the agility and quickness to still pressure the QB. Sears will have to be able to make an impact against Jenkins in both the running and passing games.