It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled on both sides of the ball against their division opponents, the New Orleans Saints, leading into the bye-week. Despite Tom Brady turning the ball over 3 times on Halloween day at Caesars Superdome, he finished the 27-36 loss with 375 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, the 2 interceptions and fumble by Brady resulted in 16 points for the Saints, who were without Jameis Winston due to a knee injury late in the 2nd quarter. Winston was replaced by third-string quarterback Trevor Siemian, who finished with 159 passing yards completing 16 of 29 attempts and throwing for 1 touchdown leading the Saints to a Week 8 victory over the defending super bowl winning champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Head coach Bruce Arians suggested that the #1 thing he expected for his Buccaneers to concentrate on during the Bye Week was “Discipline!” Tampa has struggled with penalties all season and racked up 99 yards to help the New Orleans Saints during their Week 8 loss on Halloween.
The Buccaneers face an equally rested Washington Football team (2-6) this Sunday in a Week 10 throwdown on the road as both teams were on a bye for Week 9. It was not a positive Week 9; for some of the NFC division leaders, including a surprising Cowboy’s loss in Dallas versus the Broncos, Green Bay not getting the job done with backup quarterback Jordan Love in Kansas City, the New Orleans Saints losing to the Atlanta Falcons at home, and with the Rams losing at home against the Derrick Henry-less Tennessee Titans. With that being said, the Buccaneers remain division leaders and are confident in getting the job done versus Ron Rivera and the Washington Football team.
The Washington Football Team’s defense is not what it once was. They are currently ranked 29th in total yards allowed, 32nd in passing yards per game with an average of 286 yards, and 29th in points allowed. The Buccaneers’ passing offense will be their kryptonite, and with an angry rested Tom Brady, this could be a very high-scoring game for Tampa Bay.
Taylor Heinicke has also struggled to get his offense going this season, and some may suggest that he is currently the worst starting quarterback in the league. Since then, Heinicke has thrown 11 touchdown passes with 9 interceptions and a completion rating of 84% so far in the 2021-22 campaign. Heinicke startled the Buccaneers defense in the wild card game in Washington last season, but the Buccaneers were able to squeak by to continue their path to Super Bowl LV.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles commented on Heinicke’s impressive performance during the Buccaneers’ first playoff game on the road. “He ran it. He ran it well, and he threw it well. He made some timely throws. We’re just glad we came out with the win.”
In the last three games, Washington has improved their pass-rushing defense. Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen is clogging up the trenches and pressuring the opposing quarterback. Allen is leading the team with 6 sacks with a total of 19 in the first 8 games. The key to their defensive scheme will be Chase Young getting to Brady by attempting to blow by a strong offensive line that has only allowed 12 sacks in the first 8 contests. Young has only mustered 2 sacks with 4 QB hits in 8 games but has a thirst for Tom Brady.
It will be crucial for the Buccaneers to cement a good running game scheme on the road with Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, and 3rd down back Giovani Bernard. Tampa only attempted to run the ball 13 times versus the New Orleans Saints, who are known to have a dominant secondary. The Buccaneers will most likely be without Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski as they continue to heal from injuries they sustained earlier in the season. A new name that has appeared in the Buccaneers injury report during the week is wide receiver, Chris Godwin. Godwin led the team in targets in Week 8, recording 8 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown but is said to be dealing with a foot injury that kept him from participating in practice all week. When asked if he would be available this Sunday, Bruce Arians said, “We’ll have to wait and see.” Recent reports suggest that the Bucs do expect him to play.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the re-signing of wide receiver Breshad Perriman to the team’s practice squad to add depth to the receiver room as they wait for the return of Scotty Miller. Perriman is now in his 7th NFL season and spent the first 8 weeks with the Chicago Bears. Breshad played for the Buccaneers in the 2019 season but was released and signed with the New York Jets.
“He brings a lot”, stated Bruce Arians,” He’s a big guy that can run [and] take the top off just like he did when he was here a couple of years ago — It’s great insurance, and if we need him, he could actually play this week if we had to have him.”
Odell Beckham Jr. recently became a free agent after being released by the Cleveland Browns. There was some suspicion that the Bucs may have had some interest, but Bucs head coach Bruce Arians jokingly suggested that he already had AB and didn’t need to add OBJ to the mix, who just recently signed with the Los Angeles Rams later in the week.
All eyes will be on Tom Brady in Week 10 to see how the Buccaneers will bounce back after a tough divisional loss in Week 8. Brady is still ranked #1 in QB stats with 25 TD’s and 2,650 Yards passing, and it does not look like him, and the Buccaneers will be slowing down any time soon.
“Out for this ballgame and not traveling would be Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and Rashard Robinson. Some other guys will be game-time decisions, but everybody will be traveling and ready to roll”, announced Tampa’s head coach Bruce Arians.
Tune in to the 1 PM ET Week 10 match-up in Washington.