The whole unit
The defensive line has been an issue for the Buccaneers all season long. Whether it’s been an injury or just poor performance the front four of the starting unit has not lived up to expectations. Chris Baker was brought in to help with run support and take some pressure off of McCoy as well as open opportunities for the linebackers. This has not happened as he has been somewhat of a flop in Mike Smith‘s system. Whether that’s on the player or the coach has yet to be determined.
Gerald McCoy if he plays will be playing at less than 100%. After a biceps injury last week he has been monitored all week and has yet to practice. If it is a torn bicep, it will be the third time in his career that he has suffered the same injury. A Mccoy on the field at 80% is still better than most of the defensive tackles in the league, but at what point to yo shut him down to avoid further risk of injury and evaluate the younger players?
William Gholston, Will Clarke, Clinton McDonald, and Ryan Russell will at some point be on the field for the Bucs come Monday night. Someone in this group needs to be able to step up and get some pressure on Matt Ryan. If we can not generate a pass rush, he will pick apart the secondary as seems to happen every week. On the season the Bucs have only recorded 17 total sacks on the season. this number is dead last in the NFL.
"Locked on Bucs and the Locked on Falcons podcast combined for this week’s game preview!"
While the Buccaneers have an uphill battle against one of the best teams in the NFL Monday night they have to be ready to play or risk being blown out in a primetime game. With the number of injuries they have suffered on the season it is going to be interesting as to the rotatiins that are used during the game. Will Peyton barber be featured? Can the defense led by Kwon Alexander stop the Falcons running game? these are only a few of the questions we will have to wait until Monday night to find out.