Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Buccaneers desperately need a win this Sunday afternoon versus the New Orleans Saints. Coming off an embarrassment loss versus the New York Jets, the Buccaneers need to win the hearts back of their fans. Never in my life have I seen such a drama filled week surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hopefully the leaders on the team ( Freeman included) can band together and pull out a victory this Sunday.
Here are my 4 keys to victory versus our division rival the Saints.
1. Quick start
Obviously, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not read my 4 keys to victory last week. They couldn’t have had a worst start versus the New York Jets.
Putting last games nightmare behind us, the Buccaneers need to find a way to sustain a scoring drive early. Whether it is a touchdown drive or just a field goal, points are going to be important Sunday versus a potent Saint offense led by Drew Brees.
I personally would love to see the Buccaneers open the game with some type of “no huddle” or fast tempo offense. Josh Freeman is at his best during the two-minute drill, so why not incorporate it early and often?
Sep 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; A penalty flag on the field during a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Philadelphia won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
2. Penalties, Penalties, Penalties
Last weeks debacle consisted of 13 penalties totaling over 100 yards for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If the Buccaneers have any shot at beating the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, they have to avoid the stupid mistakes. Hopefully, playing home at Raymond James Stadium will help clean up the communication issues from last week.
The Buccaneers are going to need all the help they can get stopping Drew Brees and the potent Saints offense. If they plan on winning Sunday, the Buccaneers can’t afford committing penalties keeping drives alive for the Saints.
3. 3rd down Efficiency
On offense, the Buccaneers need to find a way to be successful on first and second downs. The Buccaneers were stuck in way too many third and long situations last week versus the Jets. Mike Sullivan’s options are limited due to the fact not many play calls are designed and executed for third down and 8+ yards to gain.
Doug Martin is a 3-down back, so there is no reason he can’t be used similar to how Darren Sproles is used in New Orleans.
On defense, the Buccaneers need to get off the field. Penalties killed us last week, the biggest play that comes to mind was when Leonard Johnson was called for holding on a drive late in the fourth quarter. That play ended up being a huge dagger in the Buccaneers defeat.
4. Apply Pressure with 4
If the Buccaneers can’t generate pressure with their four man front, it will be a long day Sunday. No pressure with the four leads the Buccaneers to rely heavily on blitzes. Relying heavily on blitzes leads to one on one coverage on the outside with no help over top from the safeties. Drew Brees will have a field day versus the Buccaneers if this happens.
The Buccaneers recorded 5 sacks last week, but only 1 was from a defensive lineman. The Buccaneers did a decent job last week, but will need a lot more this week to be successful. Adrian Clayborn and Daquan Bowers need to step up big this week for the Buccaneers to win this crucial divisional match up versus the New Orleans Saints.