3 young Buccaneers that can step up in the NFC Championship game
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers need depth on defense to step up
Sean Murphy-Bunting/Jamel Dean
Everyone on the planet knows Aaron Rodgers’ first target is Davante Adams. Adams has the chance to put this whole game on his shoulders if the Buccaneers don’t plan for him well, but Carlton Davis has been great in man coverage and should be able to slow him down.
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Outside of Adams, the rest of Green Bay’s receivers are less scary, but the Bucs still have to be ready for the number two and three options. The Buccaneers can use most of their defensive resources to slow Adams down, but that could leave young corners on an island against Rodgers, which is always difficult to stop.
If the Bucs use safety help to protect against an Adams deep shot, which they should on almost every play, the Packers still have two consistent wide receivers to threaten various route combinations.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard have the talent to blow the lid off the Buccaneer secondary, so SMB and Dean will have to play the best games of their career if they want to keep these receivers from going off. Tampa Bay needs to keep in mind that Rodgers only needs a small window of space to make a defense pay.
The Buccaneer secondary has been trending in the right direction in recent weeks, but this game will come down to the very young unit to meet the challenge against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play.
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