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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TJ's Take: 3 Keys to Beat the Bengals


1) Defense sets the tone, this time at home* In each of the last two games, the Bucs D has come out and gotten not only stops, but takeaways as well, and established the early lead. Last week, it was Gerald McCoy¹s sack/fumble at midfield that eventually led to the Mike Evans TD catch and a 7-0 lead. The D also stuffed Chicago on other occasions in the first half holding them to just four first downs and zero sustained offense. Now, it¹s time to do something similar in front of the home crowd. Get them involved from the beginning, get some momentum and make life miserable for the Bengals.2) Establish the ground game Since the Browns game, Tampa Bay has been unable to get anything going on the ground with any consistency. While there has been an occasional carry by Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey or rookie Charles Sims that shows promise, there has not been nearly enough effective running. The Bengals have a good front seven and the Bucs want to utilize play action as the game goes on. That can only happen effectively, if you keep the defense honest by running solidly. Let¹s see if it changes this week.*

If the Bucs want to get pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton, who has absorbed just 13 sacks all season, it may need to come up the middle with DT Gerald McCoy against C Russell Bodine

3) Keep Bengal Big Play Threats quiet**
While A.J. Green gets plenty of attention, Cincy has two other threats that don¹t get a lot of notoriety. Mohamed Sanu and Giovani Bernard are explosive as well. It will be incumbent for players like Johnthan Banks and Alterraun Verner to keep Green or Sanu from beating them deep. But Bernard can also do damage, if he has space. Tampa Bay is hoping for Lavonte David to return from injury and he and the linebackers in particular will have the challenge of keeping up with him.

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