It’s not all that often that you say that you want to force a Super Bowl MVP quarterback to throw the football, but that’s exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to do on Sunday if they want to make for great NFL picks against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Last week was a real shining moment for the Tampa Bay defense. This was one of the worst defenses in the league a campaign ago, and it really came up big up front against the Carolina Panthers. There were just no holes for Carolina to run through, either way QB Cam Newton or RB DeAngelo Williams, and the end result was just 13 carries for 10 yards.
Up in the front seven for Tampa Bay, youngsters like LB Mason Foster, LB Quincy Black, and S Mark Barron were all used against the run, and DB Ronde Barber is still one of the most instinctive cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage that the league has to offer even though he has lost a step.
And what happened when Newton was forced to throw the football? He threw a pair of picks and was sacked three times. The end result? Just 10 points on the board.
It would be unrealistic to think that the Bucs could duplicate that sort of game against versus the Giants, nor is it really the expectation. However, the theory that seven players are going to have to line up in the box with corners on the line of scrimmage definitely isn’t out of the question. Yes, there is definitely a risk, knowing that QB Eli Manning really could torch this secondary to bits and pieces as so many did last year. However, to take RB Ahmad Bradshaw out of the game would at least give Schiano the opportunity to work with his defensive schemes and to devise some tricky options to try to give the younger Manning troubles.
Tampa Bay is a huge underdog at +7 ½, but with the right defensive schematics in place, it can pull off this upset at MetLife Stadium.