Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Bucs to Watch vs. Green Bay

A few Buccaneers to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay takes on the Packers in Week 13

**

  1. QB Jameis Winston **All eyes will be on quarterback Jameis Winston as he returns from an AC joint injury to his throwing shoulder that left him sidelined the past three weeks. It was Winston's first opportunity to watch his team from the sidelines – something he had never done at any level due to injury in his playing career. Prior to hurting his shoulder, the third-year quarterback almost single-handedly propelled the Bucs' passing game to top three in the league. Winston was 159 of 259 for 1,920 yards and 10 touchdowns through eight games of the season.

2. C Joe Hawley
With starting center Ali Marpet placed on injured reserve this week, it's next man up in center Joe Hawley. It's a familiar position for Hawley, who was the team's starting center for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons with Jameis Winston as his quarterback. It should be a smooth transition for both, as Winston is just returning from injury. Hawley's offensive linemates will have to contest with a Packers defense that utilizes the outside linebacker role more than most in order to get to the quarterback. With the likes of six-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews tasked with the job, protecting the passer will need to be a priority for an injury-ridden O-line that has had to do a lot of shuffling over the past week.

**

A look back at all of the match-ups between the Buccaneers and the Packers.

  1. LB Lavonte David**
    The Packers aren't the only ones that have a disruptive linebacker corps. The outside linebacker position is one to keep an eye on for the Bucs, too. Lavonte David will be looking to get to an inexperienced quarterback in Brett Hundley who's in for the injured Aaron Rodgers. Hundley is a mobile threat and prone to moving outside the pocket. He has 110 rushing yards on the season and two rushing touchdowns, including a 14-yard scramble against a stingy New Orleans run defense in Week 7. However, Hundley's inexperience could be David's advantage if he can get to Hundley from the outside.

4. DT Gerald McCoy
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, while down on sack production this season, is quietly having a great year. The five-time Pro Bowler leads all defensive tackles in number of quarterback hits in 2017. Head Coach Dirk Koetter went so far as to say that he is 'as disruptive as he's ever been' in his press conference on Thursday. Koetter cited the fact that McCoy is often double-teamed, taking on two blockers himself, theoretically creating favorable matchups for his fellow defensive linemen.  The Green Bay offensive line has allowed the second-most sacks on the quarterback this season with 40, so it will be a great opportunity for McCoy to get pressure on the Packers' inexperienced quarterback.

5. RB Jacquizz Rodgers & RB Peyton Barber
With running back Doug Martin still in concussion protocol, the Buccaneers will rely on running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber to get Tampa Bay's ground game going. Barber had two touchdowns in Atlanta, his first two of the season, while Rodgers had eight carries in the game. Rodgers has played alongside Martin and filled in for him, starting the first three games of the season while Martin served his suspension. Barber has seen limited action this season but had his most work in the Week 9 matchup in New Orleans, tallying 11 carries. Both running backs will look to build on an improved rushing effort in Week 12, where the Bucs accounted for 94 rushing yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising