The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must be licking their chops
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must be licking their chopsin Diskussionen Allgemein über die Kryptowelt 06.12.2018 08:12
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for the chance to go against the Atlanta defense.Then again [url=http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-evans-jersey]Youth Justin Evans Jersey[/url] , the Falcons' offense is surely just as pumped to get on the field against the Bucs.A fan of stingy defenses?You've come to the wrong place.The scoreboard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium figures to get a workout Sunday in the matchup between NFC South rivals. Tampa Bay (2-2) has surrendered more points per game than any team in the league (34.75), while the Falcons (1-4) are right on their heels with an average of 32.6.The Bucs' defensive woes have put the heat on coordinator Mike Smith, a former head coach of the Falcons. Smith's boss, Dirk Koetter, has resisted calls to make a change."Every week, every game, it's way bigger than any one guy," the Tampa Bay coach said. "It's never all one person's fault and it's never all one person's credit."Smith said he's confident the Bucs can turn things around."We did some things in the first three games that you can look forward and say, 'Gosh darn, those guys, they've got a chance to do some things well,'" Smith said. "We've been an inconsistent group and really that's frustrating as a coach because you don't like to put the inconsistencies out on the field."The Falcons are on the defensive about their defense, as well. For the first time since 1987, Atlanta has given up at least 37 points in three straight games.It would be easy to point to a rash of injuries to key players. Safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal are both out for the season, linebacker Deion Jones will miss at least eight games, and tackle Grady Jarrett sat out last week's contest with a sprained ankle."We will never make excuses," defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel said. "We are professionals. We're asking the guys to dominate their gap and their job. I think any man that puts on a helmet should be able to do that, what we're asking them to do. With the ability that you have, if you give us the maximum, we know that's just enough."Tampa Bay will be looking to strike quickly. Each of the last three weeks, the Falcons have surrendered long touchdown drives on their opponents' first possession."They've been marching it down on us pretty easy," defensive end Takk McKinley moaned.Some other things to watch for when the Falcons host the Buccaneers:WINSTON RETURNSQuarterback Jameis Winston will get his first start of the season for the Bucs.He served a three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy and came off the bench in Tampa Bay's last game. After a bye week, the No. 1 job again belongs to Winston.Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in three straight games while Winston was sidelined, but the "FitzMagic" show came to a crashing halt in a 48-10 loss to Chicago.Nevertheless, Koetter praised his team for staying competitive while its starting QB was out."We're not exactly where we want to be," the coach said, "but we're also right where we need to be as far as competing for the next 12 weeks."BALANCING ACTThe Falcons are at their best when there's not much discrepancy between the number of running and passing plays.In their lone victory [url=http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chris-godwin-jersey]http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chris-godwin-jersey[/url] , a 31-24 triumph over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2, the Falcons ran 32 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns while completing 23 of 28 passes for 272 yards and two more scores. But in last Sunday's blowout loss to the Steelers , Atlanta ran just 19 times for 62 yards and went to the air 45 times."That's part of our identity on offense," coach Dan Quinn said. "We've got to make sure the run game and the play-action pass go hand in hand. That is always at the top of our thinking. When we do that, we're at our best."NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMSAtlanta has given up blocked punts in two of the last three games, leading to a pair of short touchdown drives.Both miscues were simply a matter of blockers getting beaten: Eric Saubert on one play, rookie Foyesade Oluokun on the other."It is 100 percent unacceptable for that to happen," Quinn said. "We'd like to get that squared away so it never rears its head again."BUCS DOWN WITH JPPJason Pierre-Paul, who was acquired in a trade with the Giants , has been a force on Tampa Bay's defensive line. Over his past three games, he has four sacks and caused a fumble.Now, he's going against an Atlanta line that gave up six sacks to the Steelers last weekend."Jason is such a competitive guy," Smith said. "We want to have a rotation and it's hard to get him off the field because he wants to play every snap."TOUGH STARTThe Falcons are off to their worst start since 2013 ."We didn't expect to be here," Quinn said. "But we don't expect to stay here, either."The last time Atlanta began a season 1-5 was 2007, a dismal campaign marred by the downfall of franchise quarterback Michael Vick, who went to prison for dogfighting, and coach Bobby Petrino abandoning the team after only 13 games.AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall contributed to this report. The Carolina Panthers have stability at the quarterback position. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are desperately in search of the same.The teams appear headed in different directions entering an NFC South showdown Sunday in Charlotte — and quarterback play is a big reason why.Ryan Fitzpatrick replaces Jameis Winston, who was benched after committing 11 turnovers in his last 3 陆 games for the Buccaneers (3-4). With the former Harvard standout back at the helm, the Bucs are trying to rekindle some of the "Fitzmagic" that helped them to a 2-0 start that included a win over the New Orleans Saints.They've since lost four of their last five."I think Jameis is one of the best quarterbacks in the world and I think he will be back," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "A lot of teams don't switch because they have an untested backup or they're afraid to put their backup in there — and we don't have either of those. Right now, we just have to stop turning the ball over and so we're going to go with Fitz."Panthers coach Ron Rivera has never benched his franchise quarterback Cam Newton because of his performance.And he's not about to this year.The Panthers (5-2) enter the game looking for their 10th straight home win behind Newton, who is playing his best football since earning league MVP honors in 2015 and leading Carolina to the Super Bowl. Newton has 17 combined touchdowns. He's thrown only four interceptions all season — the same amount Winston threw in last week's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.Rivera said he realizes how lucky he is to have Newton at the helm."It shows you how important it is to have a franchise quarterback and have the position stabilized," Rivera said.PROLIFIC OFFENSEDespite the quarterback change, the Bucs are still first in the NFL in passing and total offense. They've thrown for 2,634 yards — the second-highest total through the first seven games of a season in NFL history behind the 2000 St. Louis Rams (2,637). They have 19 touchdown passes [url=http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-o.-j.-howard-jersey]O. J. Howard Jersey[/url] , third-most in the league behind Kansas City (26) and Indianapolis (23).Koetter concedes the Bucs, who are 28th in rushing at 91.3 yards per game, have evolved into a pass-first team.Panthers safety Eric Reid said Carolina is preparing the same way regardless of who is under center, noting that both QBs like to throw the ball deep."Their offense runs the same with both guys," Reid said.NEWTON'S SHOULDERRivera didn't appear concerned about Newton's right shoulder, even though the eighth-year QB has been limited in practice the last two weeks. In fact, Newton declined last week to throw a Hail Mary pass just before halftime, telling the coaches he didn't feel comfortable doing that. That might explain, in part, why Newton hasn't attempted many passes down the field this season.However, Koetter said he doesn't see anything wrong with Newton's arm strength."Man if he's got a sore arm, I'd hate to see the real deal," Koetter said. "Cam has always had a cannon. He can stand flat-footed and put that thing on a line. I've been in this division a long time, and arm strength is probably about the 159th thing on the list that you'd be worried about with Cam."PROTECTING CAMThe Bucs will make it a priority pressure Newton, but that hasn't proven easy to do this season.Newton has been sacked a league-low 10 times because he's getting the ball out quicker playing in new coordinator Norv Turner's scheme and the patchwork offensive line is "protecting Cam better than he ever has been before," Rivera said.Newton said while a lot of people think Carolina's offensive line is made up of "misfits and undesirables," he added "those guys have been playing lights out."FAST STARTDefensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a sack in a Bucs franchise-record six consecutive games. With eight of the team's 16 sacks through seven games, he's nearly halfway to the career-best 16 陆 he had for the New York Giants when he was an All-Pro in 2011. Tampa Bay, which acquired Pierre-Paul in an offseason trade, hasn't had a player finish with 10 or more sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005."I am so excited about what Jason's brought to us," defensive coordinator Mark Duffner said. "He practices hard, he prepares hard. This guy is on a mission and it's been beautiful to see and be around."MORE OF MOOREThe Buccaneers can expect to see a heavy dose of speedy rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore. With Torrey Smith out with a knee injury last week against Baltimore, Moore took advantage of his increased playing time and led the Panthers with 90 yards receiving and added 39 yards rushing on two carries. Smith is out this Sunday, too.AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida, contributed to this report.
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