Before today, Bruce Arians had said that the activation of running back Leonard Fournette off the injured reserve list would be a game time decision. However, with the emergence of the news that Fournette will now definitely be out on Sunday, the Buccaneers game plan is almost certainly sealed.
Not that it’s a shock to anyone, but the Bucs appear to be putting the game completely in the hands of quarterback Tom Brady. Fans should prepare to see a high volume of passing, regardless of the weather, which will inevitably come with a few annoyingly-quick three and outs, some outstanding touchdown drives, and hopefully a Bucs win at the end of it all.
There isn’t much of a chance that Tampa will come out with a run-heavy approach with both of the leading backs out, nor should they in such a position. The weather may look like it favors the run, but even that isn’t enough to take the ball out of Brady’s hands in favor of depth running backs.
Considering the quality of their receivers and having the greatest QB of all time, this is a pretty solid strategy for the Bucs that has worked outstandingly all year. The team really won’t need to change much considering how much they have already relied on their passing offense to produce all year with the plethora of injuries to the defense.
Still, when you can’t run the ball with consistency, it is always a little risky. The Bucs will have to hope they can garner some production from Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell on Sunday. Even with a minimal performance from either, or both of them, that should be all the Buccaneers need to get by against the Eagles.
The reality is that the Bucs brought Brady to the Bay for games like this, and he knows it. Fortunately, there have been very few times in Brady’s career where he hasn’t risen to the occasion, and that should leave Bucs fans feeling confident about their chances come Sunday, despite the injuries and the weather.
Moving forward, the Bucs will only get better if they can push deep into the playoffs. With a win this week, they should certainly hope to see Fournette and others return from injuries before more key games.
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