Buccaneers vs Giants: Five game-changing players for Week 4
By Bailey Adams
One of the big problems for the Bucs in last week’s loss was their inability to establish the run. I don’t love repeating players on this list too frequently, but Jacquizz Rodgers is one of the keys for Tampa Bay this Sunday. Without any threat of the run, the Bucs are completely one-dimensional. The offense is at its best when it can run the play-action. In fact, the offense is essentially built on the threat of play-action. Sunday is likely Rodgers’ last game as the starting running back, but a big game could ensure that he still gets a decent number of carries in the future.
In the season-opening win over the Bears, Rodgers ran for 67 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. In last week’s loss to the Vikings, he got just five carries for 15 yards. Tampa Bay could not get a run game going, which led to an off day for Jameis Winston. The offensive line played a part in that, as did the game’s score. But this week, look for the Bucs to establish something on the ground early. They need Rodgers to fight forward and get rolling in order to set up a potentially deadly play-action pass.
The fact that Winston has a group of receivers that features Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard means nothing if the run game is nonexistent. Tampa Bay needs a solid showing from Rodgers on Sunday not only for some offensive balance, but also for ball control. The inability to sustain long drives hurt the Bucs last week, as it left their defense on the field for far too long. Leading up to Sunday’s game, it’s safe to say that Dirk Koetter will be preaching the importance of a strong backfield performance.
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Who do you think changes the outcome of Sunday’s game, Bucs fans? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.