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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6 Key Matchups for Bucs vs. Raiders

Whether it's David Amerson or Sean Smith, Bucs WR Mike Evans will face a tough test this Sunday as he looks to add to his league-best receiving TD total.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) return home after back-to-back road victories, looking to secure their first win at Raymond James Stadium in 2016. The opponent is the 5-2 Oakland Raiders, who have won all four of their road contests so far this year. Here are a few individual matchups that could play a key role in determining the outcome of this Week Eight contest:

1. QB Jameis Winston vs. S Reggie Nelson
Nelson has been a ballhawk this season, leading the Raiders in total tackles with 42 and coming up with two interceptions, tied for the team lead. Winston will need to be mindful of where the safety is on the field at all times to limit turnovers. Winston has thrown just one interception in the Bucs' last two games.


  1. WR Mike Evans vs. CB David Amerson**
    With at least one touchdown in five of the Bucs' six games and a 90.8 yards per game average, Evans has emerged as a receiver that defenses must game plan around. Expect a tough battle whether it is Amerson or CB Sean Smith lining up against Evans; both cornerbacks have two interceptions this year and are graded in the top 20 at their position by Pro Football Focus.

3. DT Gerald McCoy vs. QB Derek Carr
Carr has been sacked a league-low seven times and has thrown only three interceptions this season. If McCoy can provide a solid push up the middle as he has throughout his career, it could be enough to throw Carr off his game. A strong Bucs pass rush is critical to slowing down the Raiders offense.

4. OT Demar Dotson vs. DE Khalil Mack
Mack is one of the most feared pass-rushers in the league, finishing last season with 15 sacks. He has three this season and one in each of his last two games. Dotson will have his hands full this week, but has proved up to the task this year. He has the second-highest PFF grade on the Bucs offense. 


  1. Buccaneers CBs vs. Raiders WRs**
    WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have a combined 79 receptions for 1,075 yards and seven scores. CBs Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves will need to make plays to not only limit their opportunities, but also create turnovers to help get the Bucs offense back on the field.

6. LB Kwon Alexander vs. RB Latavius Murray
While the cornerbacks try to limit the Raiders' aerial attack, Alexander will look to add to his tackle total by wrapping up Murray before he can get things going on the ground. Alexander leads the Buccaneers with 53 total tackles, 45 of them solo. After missing two games, Murray returned to action last week with 59 yards and two TDs.

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