Mind the turnovers
Although the Buccaneers have forced six takeaways and given the ball away just once in the last two weeks, they sit with a -18 turnover differential — the second-worst mark in the league.
Tampa Bay’s defense was dealt a tough hand last week. All three starting cornerbacks were sidelined, and it forced backups into increased roles. However, the Bucs saved themselves via takeaways. Cam Newton threw four interceptions, and it allowed Tampa Bay to squeak by Carolina in the fourth quarter.
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That trend will have to continue if they want to make a miraculous run in December.
The offense and in particular, Jameis Winston have done their job as well. Over the past two games, the Bucs have turned the ball over just once.
Without the back-breaking interceptions, the Bucs defense has been put in a position to succeed. Their backs are no longer against the wall on every possession.
An under control Winston has created longer drives and allowed underneath receivers like Adam Humphries to excel.
If the Buccaneers can put their turnover woes behind them for good, they will have a better chance at knocking off superior clubs like the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys.
With Winston taking fewer chances down the field, he has avoided costly picks.