2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: First quarter predictions
Health is the key word to think about when the Giants invade Tampa to face the Buccaneers.
New York looks to have one of the best defenses in the league, and they’ve also added wide receiver Brandon Marshall to their offense.
The Bucs have an electric offense on paper, and will have three weeks and a test against the Vikings defense to try and get things clicking.
Best news in this one will likely be the return of Doug Martin to active play as they attack perhaps the best defense they’ll face all season.
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This contest will truly be one won in the trenches.
New York’s front-four of Damon Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jay Bromley and Olivier Vernon is going to be tough for the Buccaneers offensive line to handle.
There are some questions surrounding the line in front of Winston after struggling with health mostly last season.
Ali Marpet’s move to center is going to be challenged with stunts and blitz packages coming from every different angle as well.
If Winston is forced into bad throws or predictable situations, cornerbacks Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are going to look to feast off the mistakes.
Of course, Janoris Jenkins adds to the crowded secondary and safety Landon Collins is a true playmaker.
However, the Giants also have Eli Manning. And we all know Manning likes to throw interceptions.
Throwing 16 of them last season means the Buccaneers defense should find their own possibilities to make game changing plays.
Paul Perkins has potential as an NFL running back, but he isn’t a workhorse yet.
Tampa’s defense should be allowed to avoid over-supporting the run, which will keep the secondary where they need to be against Odell Beckham, Marshall and Sterling Shepard.
This is going to be a tough one, and I give the Buccaneers the home town edge. Football purists are going to have fun with this one either way.
Three wins and one loss would be a great way to enter a very tough second quarter of the season for the Buccaneers.
Whether or not this will all come to fruition though, is still to be seen. Health and execution will be the keys, and even a 2-2 start will give the Bucs good position as they look to bring everything together starting Week 5 against the Super Bowl Champs.
How do you see the first-four games of the year going? Could the team go undefeated in the first quarter? Could the go winless? (Knock on Wood)
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