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How the Bucs can rebound in Week 2

Week One was anything but cheerful for Bucs fans as they fell to the Saints 34-23 in heartbreaking fashion. No need to smash the panic button after just one game though. It wasn't like the Bucs just completely crapped the bed, they lead the Saints in just about every category. If you take away the mental error on special teams and the Brady pick 6, you have a completely different outcome.


If the Bucs plan to win in Week 2, they're going to have to do more than just eliminate the mistakes, they're going to need to establish a running game. It was indeed nice to see Byron Leftwich call a much more balanced game than last season, but running only 40% of the time isn't going to get the job done. There is no way you have Leonard Fournette and only feed him the ball 5 times. LeSean McCoy had zero carries while Ronald Jones II was fed the rock 17 times. There has to be more of a balanced attack when it comes to our backfield. To beat Carolina, the Bucs are going to need to have at least 30-35 carries. There is plenty of opportunities to exploit Carolina's run defense, as Josh Jacobs trampled the Panthers' defense for 3 touchdowns while accounting for 93 of the Raiders 133 rushing yards.


Another thing that'll need to be worked on if the Bucs hope to win on Sunday, is they're going to need a doorstop for the revolving door known as Donovan Smith. There is no possible way the Bucs are going to have any success as long as Smith continues to social distance with his assignment, it's damn near impossible. If this continues, expect to see him replaced or Gronkowski staying put and lending a hand as he is known as one of the best blocking tight ends in the game with his physicality. Again, the Bucs are going to need Smith to prove why he was given an extension because they excuse of "he had a good year last year" isn't convincing. If he continues to play at an All-Poo level, expect to see Tristan Wirfs or Joe Haeg replace him at the left tackle spot.


Another key to success on Sunday is going to be the defense getting pressure on Bridgewater after the had trouble with him last season while he was starting for an injured Drew Brees. Having only 3 QB pressures with one sack to show for it is not going to cut it. Granted, yes Def. Coord. Todd Bowles did play a bit conservative when it comes to the blitzes against the Saints in Week One, but he's going to have to flip the switch and force Bridgewater out his element. Expect to see Shaq Barrett feast Sunday after his 3-sack performance when both teams met in Charlotte in Week 2 last season. Along with those blitzes, the young secondary is going to have to continue to improve as they'll have their hands full as well with Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and Curtis Samuel to go with McCaffrey. Thankfully Greg Olsen is no longer on the roster as he has been a nightmare for the defense in previous seasons. The defense is definitely hungry and looking to continue where they left off last season with having to face 3 Top-10 backs in the NFL within the first 3 weeks of the NFL season. If history can continue than hopefully, the Bucs are able to shut down the ground game starting with CMC.


Can the Bucs rebound and prove that last Sunday was just the typical shaking the kinks out loss? Or will we continue to ask more questions and wonder where do we go from here? Not to say the Panthers are a pushover team, but this game truly swings in the Bucs' favor with a 72.5% win probability. My prediction is the Bucs walk away with a 35-14 victory as Brady/Arians get their first win together to bring the Bucs to 1-1.


(Photo credit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

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