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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to Look For: Buccaneers vs. Vikings

A few storylines to follow when the Buccaneers take on the Vikings on Saturday.


Anticipated Vikings starters for Tampa Bay at Minnesota. (Depth chart via


1. Jameis Winston's snaps.
Head Coach Lovie Smith said he expects his starters to play for about a quarter, but as a rookie Winston might stay in the game for a little bit longer. Keep an eye on how many snaps Winston gets and if he's still in the game closer to halftime.

*2. Testing the first-round pick. *
They won't get many snaps against each other, but there's a chance we could see Trae Waynes, a cornerback who the Vikings selected 11th overall in this year's draft, match up with the Bucs' first-round pick from a year ago, Mike Evans. Waynes had some growing pains in his NFL debut, getting flagged three times and beat on a 35-yard pass. He will have his hands full, not only with Evans, but also with Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  

3. The Bucs' leading rusher.
The leading rusher will likely be the player who handles the bulk of the carries, but who will that be? It probably won't be Doug Martin, who's listed No. 1 on the team's depth chart and is expected to be the team's "lead" back this season. If Charles Sims, Dominique Brown and Bobby Rainey all get the same number of snaps, who finishes with more rushing yards?

4. Special teams standouts.
There are 90 players on the Bucs' roster and only 53 will be active come Week 1. For many players, their value on special teams will determine whether or not they make the squad. Two of those players, Russell Shepard and Kaelin Clay, both wide receivers, are on the inside of the roster bubble because of special teams performance. Who else will make their case by standing out on special teams?

5. Who's starting at left tackle?
The Bucs have two different players, Donovan Smith and Kevin Pamphile, listed as co-starters at left tackle on the depth chart. Who gets the nod come game time - Smith, the rookie, or Pamphile, the second-year pro?

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