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5 Buccaneers to Watch Against Arizona

Posted Oct 12, 2017

Here are a few players to watch as the Bucs head to the desert this weekend to take on the Arizona Cardinals.

1. WR DeSean Jackson
Jackson has faced the Arizona Cardinals six times in his illustrious career, including once in the postseason. He’s caught 22 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns in those six contests. Two of his three scores came on plays of 60 or more yards, including a 62-yard touchdown during the NFC Championship game while with the Philadelphia Eagles on January 18, 2009. Jackson is coming off his first 100+ yard game with Tampa Bay this season (five passes, 106 yards vs. New England) and with 100 or more receiving yards at Arizona would be the first player in the NFL to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games in 2017.


2.
DT Clinton McDonald & DT Gerald McCoy
The dynamic defensive duo each recorded their first sack of season in Week Five, handing Tom Brady his 15th and 16th sacks of the season, surpassing his sack total for all of 2016 (15). The two defensive front men will be key in getting to Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer before he and the league’s second-best passing offense can unload the ball. The good news is that Arizona is tied for 30th in sacks allowed, letting their quarterback go down 19 times so far in 2017. Take away the passing attack and the Cardinals’ will have to turn to the NFL’s worst rushing offense to get the job done. Even with the addition of running back Adrian Peterson this past week, that should still bode well for the Bucs.

3.
WR Mike Evans
Evans has been comparatively quiet so far this season as far as scoring, but look for him to break out in Arizona this week. Evans and the Buccaneers have some unfinished business with the Cardinals following a 40-7 loss in 2016. The receiver will undoubtedly be lined up opposite Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson on Sunday but managed to average 11.7 yards per catch in last season’s contest under the same circumstances. Paired with another viable threat in Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the Cardinals secondary will have their hands full, leaving room for Evans to find his rhythm. Evans needs just two more receiving touchdowns to tie former Bucs wide receiver Kevin House for second-most in franchise history (31).

4. The Bucs Offense
The Buccaneers recorded 409 yards of total offense against New England last Thursday night, marking their second straight game with at least 400 yards of offense. It was the first time Tampa Bay had registered consecutive games with at least 400 yards of offense since 2012, when they set a franchise record of four. More than that, the Bucs had over 400 yards of total offense and no turnovers for just the third time in franchise history. If quarterback Jameis Winston can continue to shoulder the load and record another 300-yard performance, the Cardinals defense would be hard-pressed to stop the Bucs offense from tipping over the 400-yard mark yet again.

5.
QB Jameis Winston
The Bucs signal-caller has amassed 300 or more yards in each of his past three games. With another 300+ yard performance at Arizona, Winston would surpass former Buccaneers quarterback Vinny Testaverde and set a franchise record for consecutive games with 300 or more passing yards. Not to mention, Arizona ranks 27th in total points allowed this season. Look for Winston to try to exploit the defense to put up some big numbers and more importantly, big points.