Tampa Bay CB
-- RB B. Rainey faces a Lions defense that ranks fifth in the NFL against the run
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have posted three consecutive games with at least 140 rushing yards, which has rocketed the team from 21st in the NFL with 93.6 rushing ypg after Week Eight to 13th in the league with 118.6 yards per game currently. This week, they face their toughest test since Week Eight, a Lions defense that is allowing 94.6 ypg, fifth lowest in the league. Rainey went off for 163 yards rushing and three total TDs last week. He, Leonard and the Bucs O-line will need to be on their game against the Detroit front that has allowed just five rushing scores this season.
These two big men in the middle have been linked since being drafted back-to-back with the second and third overall picks in 2010. Each has represented the NFC in the Pro Bowl and is considered among the best at the defensive tackle position. As was graphically represented earlier this week, the two are again back-to-back this season in QB sacks, hits and hurries in both total and percentage of plays. While they don’t directly face one another, of course, they are both game-changers that opposing offenses must plan around. They must use their differing styles to be a disruption in this game.
Buccaneer LBs vs. Detroit RB Reggie Bush
Bush is currently ranked fifth in the NFL in scrimmage ypg with 113.3. He has 654 yards on the ground, but is also a threat in the passing game, having caught 36 passes for 366 yards. The Bucs defense is allowing 120 rushing ypg over their last four games, but have limited running backs to just 16 receptions, 100 yards and one TD in that time span. The Buccaneer linebackers, minus usual starter
After three relatively quiet weeks, Jackson erupted last Sunday against Atlanta with 10 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. He was on the receiving end of two 45 -yard passes in the game. He will look to put up his fifth game of the season with more than 100 yards against the Lions this week. The Lions rank 29th in the NFL with 296.7 passing ypg allowed and 23rd in the league allowing 24 passes going longer than 25 yards. Jackson has been targeted 113 times this season, second most in NFL, and could be in line for another explosive game if those numbers continue in Detroit.