Buccaneers: Perfect comparison for the matchup against Colts
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers need to be ready for a healthy dose of a potent run game on Sunday.
The Colts are going to run the football plenty against the Buccaneers this Sunday. Anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be. Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines are likely the best running back duo in the NFL right now, and the Colts have a dominant run scheme that could even make trouble for the Buccaneer front seven.
Fortunately, there is a decent precedent for how this game should go, so let’s look back at 2019 to see how the Bucs dealt with Derrick Henry.
This wasn’t a fun game for the Buccaneers, especially in an effort that should’ve been a win if the officiating was better, but the run wasn’t the problem that most people would expect.
For those who remember, 2019 was the year that Henry finally broke out. 1,540 yards on the ground was an extremely impressive endeavor, which is almost the exact same pace that Jonathan Taylor is currently on if this were a 16 game season.
Henry had his share of dominant games that season, but the matchup with the Bucs wasn’t one of them. Henry finished the game with 75 yards on 16 carries. The Buccaneer front seven will do that to you.
Jonathan Taylor can probably expect the exact same thing. To pretend that Taylor is anything beyond what Henry was that year is disingenuous. He is a great back, but Jim Brown is not suiting up for the Colts on Sunday. The Buccaneers have seen great running backs before. Todd Bowles knows how to get the defense ready for a good back.
The real area that the Buccaneers struggled was against the pass. The defense did well to stop the run, but Ryan Tannehill was able to throw for three touchdowns when it mattered, and Carson Wentz is almost playing in the exact same situation as Tannehill did back in 2019.
The parallels are striking between where this Colts team is and where that Titans team was, which is why the Buccaneers should be confident in their ability to keep Taylor’s impact to a minimum if they plan in the right way and focus on the pass.
As long as the Bucs can keep Wentz’s impact to a minimum when throwing the ball, the defense should be able to keep the Colts out of the end zone.
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