Buccaneers vs Giants: Five game-changing players for Week 4

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Eli Manning
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Eli Manning /
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Robert Ayers

It’s no secret that the Buccaneer pass rush has been lacking through the first two games of this season. Injuries might be part of it, but other than that, what’s the deal? The defense has plenty of talent up front, but no one seems to be getting to the quarterback. Tampa Bay got away with it in its opener, but in last week’s loss, the lack of pressure allowed Case Keenum to tear apart the secondary with ease. The Bucs need to get after Eli Manning on Sunday. Who better to get after him than former Giant Robert Ayers?

Ayers was a major addition to the defense last season, picking up 6.5 sacks. He has yet to get going this season, but could be a key catalyst for the unit if he can put some pressure on Manning this Sunday. New York’s offensive line has shown a great deal of vulnerability so far this season, allowing eight sacks in three games. Of course, it doesn’t matter who it is that is getting in the backfield. But Ayers seems to be as good of an option as anyone, considering the veteran has a history with New York.

Ayers was a help last year, but considering his 14.5 sacks in two years prior to joining the Bucs, it still feels like we haven’t seen his best yet. If he can break through on Sunday and disrupt the pocket, maybe it will spark a defensive line that badly needs to get going. If he and the rest of the front seven can get to Manning, Tampa Bay can start the process of proving that what happened in Minnesota is not going to happen again.