There’s just something different about LSU linebackers, isn’t there? The Bucs see it each and every week with Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith. On the other side of the field this week, the Falcons have LSU product Deion Jones. “Debo” burst onto the scene last year with 108 tackles (75 solo), a forced fumble and three interceptions in fifteen games. Through thirteen games this season, he has 109 tackles (71 solo), one sack, two interceptions and seven stuffs. He will be all over the field come Monday night.
The Bucs are already struggling to run the ball. This week, with Jones up the middle, it gets even more difficult. He has a nose for the ball and Tampa Bay isn’t quite rolling in the run game. If Doug Martin gets the bulk of the carries on Monday, it might not be pretty. Martin returned from a concussion last week against the Lions, but was ineffective. After a fumble in Detroit territory, he took a seat in favor of Peyton Barber. Barber continued to shine, which could mean he’ll be the guy going forward. If Dirk Koetter remains stubborn and sticks with Martin, there will be a whole world of pressure on Jameis Winston and the passing game.
In a game that will feature four former LSU linebackers (rookie Duke Riley is the fourth), Jones would love to show up his former teammates and have a major day. All four guys are likely to give a little extra this Monday, each trying to one-up the other. Jones is having a huge year, and that could continue against a vulnerable Tampa Bay offense.