The Bucs will not beat the Eagles if they play like they did
The Bucs will not beat the Eagles if they play like they didin Forenregeln 18.12.2018 08:52
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against the Saints Believe me when I say this - I hate to be a wet blanket.But when it comes to the NFL Buccaneers Chandler Catanzaro Jersey , reality trumps optimism. The Bucs lit the league on fire Sunday. They were the largest underdog by an entire point. Hardly anyone (except Bucs Nation) expected them to win, but all of that was incinerated by five o’clock eastern time. What Tampa Bay did was incredible and it’s easy to get lost in the subsequent high that immediately follows a Week 1 victory against a division rival after a tumultuous offseason.That’s why it’s important to keep in mind who the Bucs play this weekend: the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.Don’t get it twisted, nothing is being taken away from Tampa Bay’s performance. It was the best offensive outing in franchise history. But if Tampa Bay plays like they did against New Orleans, they won’t beat the Eagles. I can already hear the pitchforks sharpening and I can smell the smoke from the torches. Before I am tarred, feathered, and dumped into the Bay, let me explain. When it comes to playing teams like the Eagles, there are two major components that must be recognized in order to beat them: executing the little things and executing said items at the most crucial juncture.Tampa Bay was unable to consistently complete either task on Sunday and it almost led to a comeback by the Saints. The Eagles showed during their ugly win on Thursday that they just know how to win - which is oftentimes the deadliest weapon in the NFL. “I think they’ve won seven games in a row,” Dirk Koetter said after practice. They’re a confident team, they’re a fast team, they’ve got a great front four, they’ve got an awesome O-line. There’s a lot of things to be worried about, so I can’t give you exact order.”Philadelphia won’t lose the game, they’ll make their opponent beat them.The Bucs defense was downright atrocious for the majority of the game Sunday. What’s more important is how bad Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander were at times. The Bucs need a lot more from Lavonte David on SundayDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThey really struggled against the Saints in space, which is something the Eagles’ offense excels at. Philadelphia is the Walter White of getting their best, explosive players in space - nothing they do can be matched and it’s always primo stuff. David and Alexander allowed every ball thrown their way to be caught. They were targeted a combined 15 times and allowed 15 catches for 167 yards and a touchdown. That’s good for (11.13) yards per catch and eight first downs. Both players were graded at 61 or below in coverage and tackling, according to Pro Football Focus.The Eagles went after Atlanta’s linebackers. De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones saw mixed doses of Zach Ertz, Darren Sproles, and Nelson Agholor. All three Eagles were targeted a combined 11 times against Jones and Campbell - they caught six of those targets for about 30 yards. While that stat line isn’t going to terrify anyone, there is no reason to think that area won’t be the first spot of the field tested on Sunday against the Bucs and if they don’t improve their coverage on the second level, the Eagles will eat their lunch all day long. And don’t forget the fact that the Eagles have the best offensive line in the NFL, so it’s easy to see how important it will be for the Bucs to not only create pressure, but keep those hogs off of the linebackers so they can make plays.The defensive line, while it looked decent at times, couldn’t pressure Drew Brees consistently enough to force errant throws. The result was a league-leading 82.2% completion rate.Obviously Cheap Mike Evans Jersey , Nick Foles is no Brees, but he knows when to make the right throw and has dominated Tampa Bay in past meetings. If given time, he will light up this secondary. The Bucs recorded 13 pressures against Brees, which is a decent amount, but it’s nothing compared to the league-leading 20 pressures that the Patriots and Ravens produced over the weekend. Mike Smith loves to run off-man coverage, leaving cornerbacks off the line of scrimmage for up to 10 yards at times. Bleeding Green Nations’ Tyler Jackson broke down the Eagles’ offense against Atlanta and described how the Eagles had no issue playing patient against Atlanta’s Cover 3 Shell, which is what they’ll do against the Bucs as well. Combine the defensive scheme with the fact that the Bucs have lost Vernon Hargreaves III for the season and Brent Grimes is likely to miss his second straight game. The trio of Ryan Smith, Carlton Davis, and M.J. Stewart will get torched if Tampa Bay can’t rush Foles.And when it mattered most, when the defense needed a stop to seal the deal - they couldn’t get it done. After a stellar third quarter, the defense allowed 14 points, 10 first downs, and 138 yards on 15 plays in the fourth quarter. If it weren’t for Fitzpatrick’s 3rd-and-11 scramble, then there is no reason to think that the Saints wouldn’t have rallied back. The Eagles will be a much tougher opponentBill Streicher-USA TODAY SportsThe Bucs allowed the Saints to score on 80% of their redzone trips while the Eagles scored on 67% of theirs. Tampa Bay only converted 50% of their trips inside the 20 while Atlanta was even worse at 20%. If the Bucs want a shot at the Eagles, those numbers have to improve across the board.For the offense, it’s not impossible, but you shouldn’t expect this type of performance every week. It’s just not sustainable unless this team plans on going down as the greatest offense in NFL history and the chances of that are slim to none. Where this team needs to improve on offense is their redzone scoring and their second half running game. As I mentioned earlier, the Bucs scored a touchdown on two of four trips inside the 20 against the Saints. The Eagles field a much better defense - especially in the redzone - and will make life that much harder for the Bucs.Philadelphia also looks to have corrected their redzone woes when running the ball inside the 20 from last season. Just check out Bleeding Green Nation’s Michael Kist’s superb breakdown of the Eagles’ offensive scheme against Atlanta and you’ll see why it’s so important that the Bucs convert inside the redzone. After rushing for 68 yards on 15 carries as a team in the first half, the Bucs managed a paltry 44 yards on 19 carries in the second half. It doesn’t matter if the team you’re playing against is expecting the run or not - you must execute in these scenarios. Think about this as well, 11 of those 44 yards came on Fitzpatrick’s third down conversion to ice the game. That has to change against Philadelphia.The Eagles’ defensive line will be a huge test for a Bucs’ offensive line that excelled in pass pro, but was very limited in the run game. The heat will test the depth in all trenches for both teams as the game wears on, so it will be crucial for Tampa Bay to execute efficiently on the ground.The Bucs can’t expect to win if they don’t put the game away when it matters, but the running game isn’t the only component that can aid in that area. Unfortunately for the Bucs, it’s a reoccurring issue that has haunted them the past half-decade.You guessed it, the kicking game. Chandler Catanzaro had the chance to keep heart attacks at a minimum in the Bay area Cheap Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey , but failed miserably to do so as he missed a 44-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter that would’ve given the Bucs a three-score lead and essentially end the game. Catanzaro must be better in the clutchDouglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsThe Saints took over and immediately drove down the field and scored a touchdown, then the subsequent two-point conversion to make it a one-score game. The saving grace for Tampa Bay was third down and no turnovers. The Bucs were 8/13 on the money down, which includes Fitzpatrick’s game-winning scramble. But excelling in those two areas alone won’t beat the Eagles on Sunday. It’s going to take an even better effort than what was witnessed against the Saints, as hard as that may be to believe. If the Bucs can improve in these areas, then there is a great shot at a 2-0 start on the season. Regardless of what happens, Sunday will be a great evaluator of how far this team has really come and where they will go. The Buccaneers found themselves back in the win column on Sunday, beating the Browns in overtime, 26-23, at Raymond James Stadium. There were some unlikely heroes throughout the afternoon and although the rookies wouldn’t be considered among the game’s heroes, some of them did make a bigger impact this week. It’s time to look at how Tampa Bay’s 2018 class performed in week seven. RB Ronald Jones IIIn last week’s rookie recap, I talked about how frustrating Ronald Jones had been through the first six weeks (three of which he spent on the inactive list). After his performance on Sunday, things are looking up. There was a lot to like about Jones’ day. Even if he was still somewhat inconsistent, there were more bursts of hope this week. He ran six times for 13 yards, which isn’t anything special. But he did have a long of nine and later scored his first NFL touchdown. In the passing game, he caught his only target for a 15-yard pickup. The second-rounder appears to be showing that he might be ready for some more touches. Truthfully, he might need them to get into more of a rhythm with this offense. In Sunday’s game, he took 29 offensive snaps, which was 31 percent of the offense’s total.There were improvements in Jones’ game for the most part, but there were some mistakes— one of which could have been costly. With the Bucs on their side of the field in overtime, Jameis Winston threw an interception. Head coach Dirk Koetter later said that the interception was made possible by someone running the wrong route. By the looks of it, that someone might have been Jones. He cut left instead of right, which brought the linebacker into the throwing lane. If it was a timing route for the receiver, there’s really nothing Winston could have done about it. The Tampa Bay defense stepped up on the next possession, making the turnover insignificant. Even still, those are the types of things that will keep Jones from getting more snaps. With Peyton Barber potentially banged up Kwon Alexander Jersey , the Bucs will need their rookie running back to be ready for an increased workload— both physically and mentally. When asked about Jones on Monday, Koetter said it’s clear that progress is being made: CB Carlton DavisCarlton Davis returned from injury in week seven after missing last week’s game in Atlanta. In the first game under interim defensive coordinator Mark Duffner, Davis played well. He got 65 snaps (96 percent) on defense and stayed consistently effective in both zone and man coverage. He was tasked with keeping up with Jarvis Landry for part of the afternoon and held the stud receiver in check for the most part. Overall, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for just 215 yards against a pass defense that had been horrible under Mike Smith. Duffner may not be the reason for the secondary playing the way it did, but for whatever reason, the back half of the defense put up its best performance of the year. Davis was a major part of that. The Auburn product did an excellent job of reading Mayfield, especially on a key play in overtime. On third down, Davis dropped into coverage, read the route of tight end David Njoku and jumped at it for a pass breakup that forced a punt:Davis could emerge as a top performer on Tampa Bay’s defense very soon if he gets put in the right situations. DT Vita VeaVita Vea does a lot of really nice things that don’t show up in the box score. Tampa Bay’s first-rounder was effective again on Sunday, playing a higher volume of snaps with Gerald McCoy out. He was in for 38 snaps (56 percent), racking up one tackle. But again, it was the eye test that determined the success of Vea’s day against Cleveland. He continued to get excellent push up the middle and just missed his first NFL sack in the second half. On his lone tackle, he got solid push before the ball-carrier escaped in space. Vea didn’t give up on the play, chasing down the runner and bringing him down about 15 yards down the field: Again, not much of what he did well will show up on a stat sheet, but Tampa Bay has to like what it getting from Vea right now. With McCoy likely to miss more time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see No. 50 play even more snaps in the coming week or two. For someone who missed all of training camp, preseason and the first few weeks of the season, the No. 12 overall pick is progressing awfully well. (Going forward, the argument as to whether he was worth being selected in that slot will not be a part of the weekly rookie recap. The fact is, he is a Buccaneer and is coming along well in the middle of the defensive line.)The best of the restM.J. Stewart played 53 snaps (78 percent) on defense and totaled five tackles (four solo)... Jordan Whitehead had three tackles (all solo), playing 23 snaps (34 percent). He appeared to still be a little banged up, which could be the reason he wasn’t all that involved... Linebacker Jack Cichy entered the game on defense after Kwon Alexander went down with an ACL injury. He recorded a tackle before unfortunately leaving the game with an injury of his own. It was reported Monday that he will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL... Justin Watson played two snaps (two percent) on offense and 24 snaps (73 percent) on special teams... Alex Cappa and Shaun Wilson were once again inactive.
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