The Bucs this week are hoping for redemption after last week’s embarrassing loss and a shoddy season overall. The team seems optimistic about playing the Steelers. However, we think this game will be just as ugly as the first three as we meet up against our most dangerous opponent yet. Here’s why:
Buccaneers Offense against Steelers Defense
QB Josh McCown (#12) is listed as doubtful for this Sunday’s game due to a thumb injury sustained last week. That means backup and second-year QB Mike Glennon (#8) will start in his place. McCown has been criticized for his boneheaded decisions when trying to extend a play; we will not have to worry about that with Glennon. Glennon, being much more conservative, will take a sack before throwing the ball away. Expect the Steeler’s mean defense to stay on top of Glennon the entire game.
When we say mean, we mean mean. This defense likes to hit people and they are good at it. LB James Harrison (#92) was recently re-acquired by the team. While it is still undisclosed how much he will play, you can bet he will make his presence felt.
Overall, the Steelers defense is extremely well-rounded. If we had to pick a weakness, it would be the secondary. Even still, the secondary is heads above any team we have played this season. This defense, and team overall, has no glaring weakness we could exploit. This will be a game where our offense has to take what it can get when it can get it.
Buccaneers Defense against Steelers Offense
This offense is scary, particularly RB Le’Veon Bell (#26). The Steelers are a run-first team and Bell is one of the best running backs in the league this year. He is fast, elusive and hard to bring down. This will be a trial for our defense whose tackling and football awareness has been downright terrible. Bell runs mostly between the tackles. Our defensive line will have to be at its best today to mitigate the damage Bell can surely inflict. Most running teams win in time of possession, but move the ball down the field slowly. Not this running team. Bell is so good he can easily take the offense down the field in five minutes or less. This will mean more possessions and chances for them to score if we do not keep the offense off the field.
QB Ben Roethlisberger (#7) is another weapon this offense has that will tear our defense up. Granted, Roethlisberger is known to make some poor decisions, but this is vastly outweighed by his elusiveness outside the pocket and ability to extend a play once it has broken down. And he is extremely hard to bring down. He is a more-seasoned Cam Newton with a little less athletic ability, i.e. dangerous. He also has a fantastic deep ball and receivers with good hands. WR Antonio Brown (#84) is another slippery player with speed and agility, which our bad tackling is no match against. Defensively, we can only hope they take it easy on us.
Spotlight: Blount Force Trauma
RB LeGarrette Blount (#27) was a force in Tampa until complaints that he had a fumbling problem, could not pass protect or catch led to his trade to the New England Patriots. And he has been a rockstar since then. The Steelers will surely give Blount the opportunity to hurdle over our defenders several times when we visit him at his new home. We can only hope we aren’t on the wrong side of one of his highlight reels this week.
Brace yourselves, Tampa. This one will be ugly.