“How best to slow down the Denver Broncos defense” will be a question asked in philosophy classes 50 years in the future. For going on two years now it’s remained a question for many coaches around the NFL. Some, like Mike Tomlin and the Steelers last year, figured out the trick, but most wind up like the Carolina Panthers. The Bucs will get their chance to answer the question on Sunday, and a few things will need to happen for them to be successful.
First, they need to block pass rusher Shane Ray, who had three sacks last week in place of DeMarcus Ware, who will be out again this week. The Bucs will be devoting two blockers nearly every play to Von Miller, so they can’t let Ray wreak havoc on the opposite side.
Second, they need supporting characters Adam Humphries, Cameron Brate and Charles Sims to step up again in the passing game and be ready to attack the middle of the field with wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson blanketed on the outside. The Bucs will more than likely struggle running the ball with Doug Martin out again, so short passes will be key.
Third and finally the Bucs must be successful on 2nd down, as third-and-longs against the fearsome pass rush of Denver will be extremely hard on Jameis Winston.