Gerald McCoy versus Trai Turner
Buccaneer All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy returns from injury just in time to face off with one of the NFL’s premier right guards in Trai Turner. This has been a long-standing war of two elite players over the last three seasons, and both know each other’s games well at this point. If Jackson versus Jackson is the light-weight division then McCoy versus Turner is clearly the heavy-weight.
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Assuming that he’s not on a limited snap-count, McCoy should be particularly hungry in this game. Having been injured the last two weeks, McCoy is still looking for a signature dominant performance this season.
For the Buccaneers, it is absolutely critical that he gets going soon – with their ravaged secondary yielding yards at will, the defenses’ only hope for success is getting pressure up the middle while defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry crush the pocket. This is especially important against a mobile quarterback like Cam Newton.
Carolina has given up the sixth lowest sack rate in the NFL so far this season, so Gerald McCoy and the rest of the defensive line will have their work cut out for them.