Buccaneers at Vikings: Five game-changing players
By Bailey Adams
The Minnesota defense isn’t getting to the quarterback as much as it would like. The unit has three sacks in the first two games. The thing is, though, all three have come from Everson Griffen. He picked up six tackles and a sack in the season opener before a four-tackle, two-sack performance in week two. If the Buccaneer offensive line can’t keep him out of the backfield, there could be some trouble for the offense.
Tampa Bay did a fairly solid job of protecting Jameis Winston against Chicago, allowing just two sacks. One of those came due to guys getting beat, but the other might have been a little more on Winston. Either way, keeping the third-year quarterback on his feet is the line’s top priority, which means a lot of focus needs to be put on Griffen. That doesn’t mean everything needs to be centered around him, as someone like Danielle Hunter is certainly capable of disrupting the pocket if left neglected. But Griffen is having the most success in getting to the quarterback so far this season. He is definitely someone who can swing things in Minnesota’s favor this Sunday.
The Bucs can take some comfort in knowing that if they can hold off Griffen, there isn’t too much else to worry about. He has all of the team’s sacks this season for a reason. He’s a dangerous man off the edge, someone Tampa Bay is having to game plan for this week. If he gets in the backfield like he has been, then the Bucs will have some worrying to do come Sunday.