Given this information, what do the Buccaneers need to do in order to leave Miami with a win?
BUCS ON OFFENSE
It’s simple really. Push your weight around. Play unfair.
The Dolphins have no defenders who can stand up to Brate and Howard. Use it. Use it all day. I want to see both tight ends each threaten to bring down ten catches a piece.
Then, when Miami’s secondary starts to cheat over to the tight ends, Fitzpatrick hits Evans or Jackson with a route in open space and allows them to take advantage of decongested space.
This especially applies to Jackson. With the speedster crossing into an area suddenly vacated by an over pursuing linebacker and Dolphins safety following to provide assistance, Jackson can take a quick five-yard slant up the seam into the gap left vacant by the safety and turn it into big yards or a score. Or both.
The play almost diagrams itself.
In the red zone, place each tight end on either side of the offensive line and hold the safeties and linebackers inside to guard the seams. Then, bring Evans inside just to throw a fade to the outside back corner, and let the versatile receiver go get the ball.
BUCS ON DEFENSE
It’s all about calculated risk here.
Outside rushers can’t get too deep on shotgun snaps. Cutler is comfortable moving up in the pocket when defensive ends and linebackers rush around him. Make him stand in the pocket. This is when he throws off his back foot and opens himself up for interceptions.
In the secondary, it sounds simple, but remember Landry is your deep threat. Sure, Parker can push himself down the field when necessary, but this isn’t an every down threat. Landry is. Corners need to know where their help is, and their help needs to be there.
If the Buccaneers are going to ask their corners to play aggressive in front of the safeties, then the safeties can’t let themselves get caught biting hard on plays in front of them.
Once Landry and Cutler see a cornerback cut early underneath his routes, it’s double move time. If the safety is biting with the corner, then it’s going to be a touchdown every time. Discipline is the key.
The Bucs brought more man coverage, tighter to the line, and relied on a single safety to cover the deep areas of the field more in Week 10 than I remember seeing all year. Keep doing that.
Parker isn’t soft, but he isn’t the most physical receiver either. Robert McClain should be able to hang with him when needed, and the cushion he’ll have to provide against Landry is acceptable.
When Grimes faces Landry, this is when I’m looking for the tendency for the receiver to work back to the ball to take hold.
This is also Grimes’ best chance to get a pick against his former team and give his gift a pick-six present in their return to Miami.
STRATEGY: Man up on defense, and use your rush to keep Cutler between the tackles. Take advantage of this when he throws a duck. Use the knowledge of Landry’s ability to work back to the line of scrimmage, but keep insurance just in case. Attack with tight ends, and force the defense to stay honest allowing more running lanes for Martin and better space to catch the ball for Evans and Jackson.
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This is a little bit of what I saw. What have you seen from either team you think could have an impact on today’s action? Let me know in one of the many ways listed below!