The Buccaneers are sitting pretty atop the NFC South, but their Week 5 matchup against the Dolphins is still a must-win affair.
The Buccaneers and the Dolphins have experienced similar trials and tribulations at the start of their seasons, but the results have differed greatly. The Dolphins have been without their starting quarterback for several weeks now, and the Bucs have experienced injuries to a shocking portion of their defensive starters through four games.
Regardless of the issues, the Bucs are 3-1, while Miami is 1-3. Coaching and a better supporting cast in Tampa sure do make a world of difference over such a sample size.
The Buccaneers are the obvious favorites heading into this matchup, but that doesn’t mean the Dolphins are pushovers. Tampa hasn’t been able to stop an opposing quarterback all season, and the pass with Jacoby Brissett is all the Dolphins have going for them on offense.
Winning games in the NFL is never a foregone conclusion, but following these steps should help the Bucs out plenty tomorrow.
Establish the spread
New terminology coming for you here. Establishing the pass upsets all of the football guys. Establishing the run upsets everyone who understands the numbers. Establishing the spread is something that most fans would agree with in its implementation.
This strategy can allow for a variety of offensive looks, but the main goal is to attack the outside shoulders of the tackles. Screen passes, lateral throws, and stretch runs in a West Coast-esque identity are becoming the norm throughout the NFL, and Tampa needs to follow suit.
If Byron Jones wants to run on first down, hand it off in a jet sweep to Chris Godwin. Get Fournette on the outside. Most people think of him as only good between the tackles, but he has looked very confident on the outside this season.
Quick passes and runs will keep Tampa in control of the clock without allowing the star-studded Miami secondary a chance at any major splash plays.
Ride the hot hands
Tom Brady is still playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Leonard Fournette is also coming off of his best game of the seasons, so the offense better let Tom Brady cook, and Fournette better be the primary back.
The Bucs are developing some serious momentum on offense despite some bad drops against the Patriots. There is no sense in making any serious changes now. Let Tom Brady do what he does best.
Dominate in the short field
The Dolphins are playing with a backup quarterback tomorrow, but even Tua Tagovailoa isn’t known for his deep ball. This offense will look remarkably similar to last week’s. No run game and short passes will be the norm for Brissett and company.
Moving from more zone to some man looks should keep the Dolphins from setting up too much consistency in the short game, especially if the corners press at the line of scrimmage.
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