Week 10 sees the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally return to Raymond James Stadium. For the first time since Week 2, the Bucs will play a home game. The visitors for this homecoming spectacle are the Arizona Cardinals; a former team of head coach Bruce Arians.
Fans are already in a panic based on poor results and the upcoming game against a rookie QB. Nothing is more Kryptonite to the Buccaneers than a backup or rookie passer. Oftentimes, the hapless Bucs make these players look like stars amidst a weak surrender. These guys can be throwing picks and incompletions galore until they roll up in Tampa when they suddenly become a Hall of Fame candidate. Anyone who is a rookie or backup looks good against the Bucs.
But on Sunday the Buccaneers aren’t facing “just anyone”. Kyler Murray is putting up impressive numbers and leading the Cardinals offense with poise and guts. At 5’10” Murray isn’t a prototypical looking QB, but he’s getting it done. In his first 9 starts, he has thrown for 2229 yards with a 64.2 completion %. With his arm, making plays and tossing 9 TDs against just 4 picks. Not just a pocket passer, but more than capable of making plays with his feet, scampering for 313 yards over his first 9 games.
Those numbers put Kyler Murray in some pretty special company along with Cam Newton, DeShaun Watson, and Daunte Culpepper.
After establishing that the Cardinals signal-caller is no slouch, the Buccaneers must do everything they can to stop Murray from continuing to heap on the misery caused by rookies and backups. Allowances for his play through the air and with his feet must be made. For the Buccaneers, this is a crucial game to start putting respectability on this season.
However, taking the previous information into account, Tampa Bay fans are still optimistic about the team leaving the field with a win. This is buoyed by the fact that the Cardinals have a pretty similar record to the Bucs at 3-5-1, having played an extra game. Another similarity between the teams is just how bad their defensive play has been.
Make no mistake, the game on Sunday will be between two teams that have powerful offenses and very little defense. This will be another shootout game and the team that makes the least mistakes will win.
The Buccaneers will be hoping that Ronald Jones proves why he was made the starter at RB and can establish a reliable ground game to help Winston. Fans and coaches alike will be praying that Winston plays in the same manner he did against Seattle and can produce a mistake-free game.
Whatever happens, I can just hear the Air Raid Siren over Tampa come week 10.