Wide receiver battle takes another turn
The first four spots at receiver are solidified. However, the final two spots at the position are up for grabs. Fifth-round pick Justin Watson locked up his role as the fifth wide receiver with 10 receptions for 119 yards through three preseason games. Undrafted free agent Sergio Bailey was also making a run but suffered an ankle injury in warmups.
Bailey’s injury provided a second life for Freddie Martino, Bernard Reedy and Bobo Wilson. Martino had a bad drop but recovered with a touchdown catch in the following drive. Neither of the other two players caught a pass. Depending on the severity of Bailey’s injury, Martino could be the final wideout to make the team.
Buccaneers front seven controls the trenches
Over the past few seasons, the biggest criticism about the Lions’ offense was their lack of a rushing attack. Detroit wasn’t going to see that trend end against the Buccaneers starters. The Tampa linebackers were laying the boom in the first half on running backs trying to sneak through holes.
The pass rush may not have been there, but the attention to detail in the running game was apparent. Even short passes to the flat were met with thunderous hits from LaVonte David and Kwon Alexander.
To have this much of an impact without nose tackles Vita Vea, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein is impressive. The Buccaneers had William Gholston inside at tackle, a rotational defensive end.
Of course, the Lions rushing totals are bloated due to LeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah playing well into the fourth quarter. The numbers were lackluster prior to halftime.