Week 3 Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8:15 (ESPN)
In one of the most anticipated games on the Buccaneers schedule, the lone prime-time game for is going to be crucial. The only chance the Bucs are on national television, they face off against the offensive juggernaut of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh has been a dynasty since Ben Roethlisberger joined the team in 2004. They have won two Super Bowls in that time frame and are an annual playoff contender. The offensive tandem of Madden cover man wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back LeVeon Bell will be key for the Steelers.
The Pittsburgh offense will be a problem for Tampa, especially through the air. With Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster combining for 2450 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns last season, the Bucs secondary will have their hands full. Bell is basically another receiver and he added 85 catches, 655 yards and two receiving touchdowns last season.
The Steelers defense has been their biggest weakness and it was ranked fifth in yards allowed. They lost the heart of the defense, Ryan Shazier, to a spinal injury and William Gay, Arthur Moats and Mike Mitchell were not brought back.
The Buccaneers best shot at winning this game is if Big Ben plays like he usually has been when he’s outside of Heinz field recently, averaged 50 fewer passing yards per game and five fewer touchdowns than at home last season. Plus, Roethlisberger is turnover prone. If Tampa Bay can force him to make mistakes, they could find themselves in a closely contest.
Based on last season’s standings, the Buccaneers are facing the toughest three game stretch in the NFL. Hopefully, the Bucs can make it out of this stretch with one win headed to Chicago with a healthy and well-rested Winston.