A Preview Of Week 8

Published: October 31st, 2010
By Buccaneers Gab

Tampa Bay has brought attention to itself with Raheem Morris’ comments and the respective reactions of the players. More than that, another fourth quarter comeback for Josh Freeman brought the team attention. Now, they try to go into my favorite stadium in Sports, University of Phoenix Stadium, and beat the kind of opponent good teams beat.

When Tampa Bay is running: Arizona has weak spots at defensive tackle, despite spending a few 1st and 2nd round picks on them. While they have one of the best run-defending DE’s in the league in Darnell Dockett, they’ve cycled through a lot of DT’s trying to establish a strong run defense, which is the foundation of most good defenses. Tampa will give more carries to LeGarrette Blount, who I’m really high on, but Arizona has fed off the crowd in year’s past and they will get a boost from having Gerald Hayes back and from unveiling 4th-round pick/1st round talent O’Brien Schofield. Edge: even.

When Tampa Bay is passing: I’m still not sure why Maurice Stovall hasn’t been active. I get the feeling if they have to go 5-wide, especially Jerramy Stevens cut, they don’t have favorable match-ups across the field. I expect Arizona’s offense to put up some points today and probably not enough for Tampa to want to get out of the formations they are most comfortable in. I just feel like the more you can do, the more you can keep a defense off balance. Freeman will dink and dunk with Williams and Benn but he needs to be careful not to take shots at Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is the best corner in the NFL at baiting people into interceptions. Clark Haggans is being replaced by Will Davis, but I think Campbell and Dockett will bring a big pass rush. Edge: even.

When Arizona is running: Tim Hightower is my second favorite player in the NFL. That said, it was about time they put Beanie in as the starter. Beanie has so much power and explosion that I  always feel like if you give him 7 or 8 more touches in a game,  a big play and even a huge touchdown catch are likely. Tampa is worst against the run. Edge: Arizona.

When Arizona is passing: Max Hall doesn’t have a touchdown pass yet. Steve Breaston is here to help that and Whisenhunt has some pride and would like to prove everyone wrong on their criticism of his and Graves’ handling of the QB situation. Larry gets his break-out game today but Hall needs to be careful not to take bad sacks or turnovers, which Tampa Bay is expert at causing. Edge: Arizona, slightly.

Prediction: This is a much tougher road test than many would believe. The Bucs need to establish the run, force turnovers and finish drives . if Arizona’s offense awakens like I think it will, Barth field goals won’t cut it. I think this is the hardest one to pick, despite Arizona’s inexperience at the QB position. Cardinals 28, Bucs 23.