Home Sweet Home**
Not just a "Motley Crue" song from the 80's, but appropriate for the Bucs this week as the see Raymond James Stadium for the first time since…. September 14th! There will be two immediate advantages: the October Florida heat and LOUD environment. On the first point, with temperatures expected in the low 90's and some humidity, it will be a warm one. With the Ravens in dark jerseys, that should mean the advantage goes to the Buccaneers. Of course, how play is dictated, how long the Ravens D is on the field and whether the Bucs are winning/pounding the run game, etc. are all factors in this too. As for noise? Tampa Bay has endured two domes and the Terrible Towels since they last got to play in front of the rowdy Buc fans. Time to use it to the home team's advantage starting early and VOCALLY!Don't let Steve Smith, Sr. make big plays
We have seen him too many times in Carolina Blue go for big gains and huge statistical days against the Bucs, and Smith will be highly motivated again this week. The Bucs will likely use Alterraun Verner on him most of the time, but whether it's Verner or coverage from safeties like Mark Barron and Major Wright in a double team, you can't let Smith, Sr. go off with a big day. They must do their best to keep him in front of them at all times, "POP" him after catches when they can and most importantly, if he does catch it, wrap him up. Smith loves to get big yardage after the catch and it will be key to prevent him from doing so.
And finally,Continue to produce touchdowns on offense
Going back to both the Pittsburgh and New Orleans games, I have been tremendously impressed with the offense's ability to put 7 on the board, repeatedly. They had 3 consecutive touchdown drives last week in the Superdome. Quarterback Mike Glennon has shown composure and decisive throws, while Louis Murphy and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins have been key compliments to Vincent Jackson the last two games, as well. The bottom line is that settling for field goals can and likely will cost you. So keep finishing these drives with touchdowns and the Bucs will have gone a long way towards beating Baltimore.
Steve Smith is coming to town again, this time as a Raven, but he may have a hard time putting up his usual strong numbers against the Bucs if Alterraun Verner is at the top of his game.