10 ways for the Bucs to achieve 10 wins

by Gary Shelton on August 5, 2018 · 4 comments

in general

Jameis Winston has to come back strong./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jameis Winston has to come back strong./STEVEN MUNCIE

Sunday, 2 a.m.

Ten shortcuts to have a chance at 10 victories by the Tampa Bay Bucs.

1. The Bucs have to survive that killer first three weeks of the season. That means that Ryan Fitzpatrick has to steal one, maybe two victories while playing in place of Jameis Winston. That won't be easy with the Saints, Eagles and Steelers right off the bat. An 0-3 start would be a step toward trouble.

2. Ronald Jones II has to be an impact running back starting early in the season. His total yards won't be nearly as important if his average per carry is above 4.0. But he has to be a  difference maker, which Doug Martin was not.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Jason Pierre-Paul has to provide pressure./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jason Pierre-Paul has to provide pressure./STEVEN MUNCIE

3. The defensive line has to terrorize opposing quarterbacks. That won't be easy; the Bucs were last in the league in sacks last year. But if Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry can provide pressure from the edges, and if Gerald McCoy and Vita Vea are solid in the middle, the Bucs should be much better on defense.

4.  Chandler Catanzaro has to be the long-sought answer at placekicker. After suffering through Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk, it's about time. Catanzaro can miss a long one or two, but he has to be deadly from 40 yards in.

5. The much-criticized offensive line has to make you see what Tampa Bay coaches see, not what critics see. For years, analysts have disparaged the line, particularly Donovan Smith. But the line -- injured much of preseason camp -- has to be difference-makers, especially new center Ryan Jensen.

6. The secondary cannot play chase. Remember the number that Julio Jones did on the Bucs a year ago? That can't happen with the kiddie corps -- rookies Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart and second-year safety Justin Evans. Playing cornerback in the NFL is more than giving up a 40-yard play and then making the tackle. It's making a play on the ball.

7. This year, the Bucs have to get more explosive plays from wide receiver  DeSean Jackson. It was hard last year, because there was no threat of a running game to draw the safeties. This year, with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard, the Bucs have to play like this is a strength.

8. Jameis Winston has to come back without rust. Winston is suspended for the first three games, and whatever you think of his actions, the Bucs are still counting on him. He has to lessen his turnovers and star in the team's fourth quarters.

9. The linebackers have to continue to pursue and tackle. If anything, a better defensive line should help out both Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David.

10. The team has to be relatively injury free. Bad teams always talk about how beaten up they are, which is true. It's a game of attrition.

{ 0 comments… read it below or Subscriptions }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: