The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) will take on the Tennessee Titans (0-0) on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Here are several matchups between individual players and/or certain team units that could go a long way towards determining the game's final outcome:
QB Jameis Winston vs. QB Marcus Mariota
** Both quarterbacks have rightfully stated this week that the game is Buccaneers vs. Titans, not Winston vs. Mariota, but all eyes and minds will still be fixed on this instant rivalry. The two were picked number one and two overall in this year's draft and are both former Heisman Trophy and AP Player of the Year Award winners.
Buccaneers WRs vs. Titans CBs
This offseason, the Titans signed CB Perrish Cox, who finished 2014 tied for the league's third-highest interception total (5) to compliment returning CB Jason McCourty. The duo boosts the Titan's pass defense, but will have their hands full with WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, who each eclipsed 1,000 yards last season with 14 combined TDs.
CB Alterraun Verner vs. WR Kendall Wright
**Wright was Tennessee's leading wide receiver last year with 715 yards, and has been a favorite target of Mariota so far, catching 28.5% of Mariota's 21 completions for 84 yards on six receptions during the preseason. Alterraun Verner ended 2014 as Pro Football Focus's seventh-highest rated cornerback.
RB Doug Martin vs. S Michael Griffin
Doug Martin lit up the NFL his rookie season with 1,926 yards from scrimmage, third-most for a rookie all-time. After a strong camp and noteworthy preseason (1 TD, 5.9 yards per carry), he looks like his rookie self and will need to get past Michael Griffin, the Titans' 2014 tackle leader (110).
OT Donovan Smith vs. LB Brian Orakpo
Currently listed as the Bucs starting LT, rookie second-round draft pick Donovan Smith will likely see a lot of another new Titan, Brian Orakpo. Entering his seventh season, Orakpo has accrued 8+-sack seasons four times in his career and he gives Tennessee a strong pass rush opposite OLB Derrick Morgan. Smith started 31 games in college at left tackle.
LB Lavonte David vs. RB Bishop Sankey
David led the NFL in tackles per game last season (10.4) and ranked third in both stuffs and forced fumbles. He leads a strong Bucs linebacker group against Bishop Sankey and the Titans rush attack. Sankey led the team as a rookie last year with 569 rushing yards. David & Co. stopping the run is a key to getting after QB Marcus Mariota.