Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TJ's Take: 3 Keys to Beat the Lions


  1. Keep the Fast Starts on Defense Momentum Going**
    For three consecutive weeks, we've seen the Bucs' defense do exactly what Head Coach Lovie Smith wants early: 1) stuff the opposition and, 2) take the ball away while doing it. In all three games, whether it's been a pick by CB Johnthan Banks or a sack/fumble by DT Gerald McCoy, etc., Tampa Bay's defense has come up with great field position, giving the offense a golden opportunity to be the first to put points on the board. Now that the Bucs are back on the road, in what will be a raucous indoor environment again at Ford Field, it is an even bigger key to do it this week. Many of the defensive players in this game were also on the field last December when the Bucs repeatedly intercepted Matt Stafford leading to a Bucs upset win. That is something to build on too.


Get to know the key players on Detroit before the Buccaneers face off with the Lions on Sunday.

  1. Establish the Ground Game, Again**
    In last week's narrow loss to the Bengals, the Bucs were able to effectively run in the first half with RB Doug Martin averaging almost five yards per carry. Running not only effectively gained yards, but it also opened up other opportunities like play-action passes, downfield throws, etc. This again is a key factor, especially early, for the Buccaneers offense. Whether it's Martin again or Charles Sims, the offense must get something going on the ground against a good Lions run defense and then look for big plays from WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson to may Detroit pay for bringing extra guys in to stop the run.

3. Finally, Stop Beating Yourselves with Penalties
As both QB Josh McCown and McCoy both said on Buccaneers Radio this week, at this stage of the season it is inexcusable and unacceptable to continue to have double-digit penalties in games. Both Bucs stars used the word "focused." It is important for a player to remember that, when you are coming in the game, you are 100% responsible for where you line up, what the snap count is, and that the opposing QB is going to bark or "hard count" to get you to try to jump offsides. Teams that want to win and ultimately do win, do not repeatedly cost themselves with flags. Enough is enough.

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.

Latest Headlines