Nov 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches a touchdown pass after getting past Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) in the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals travel south today to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and most Cincy fans have already chalked up the win. This has been a streaky Bengals team, though, and the Bucs are improving, so you never know. Here are three ways that the Buccaneers could defeat the Bengals toda.
The Buccaneers Get to Andy Dalton
Through 11 games, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has absorbed just 12 sacks, but now right tackle Andre Smith is out for the season, and Dalton is vulnerable. Meanwhile, the Bucs have stiffened their defensive efforts and have recorded nine sacks the last two weeks, and DT Gerald McCoy has 7.5 on the season. If Dalton is under pressure or on the turf, the Bengals’ passing game could fall apart.
Mike Evans Outplays Terence Newman
Really, wide receiver Evans won’t need to outplay cornerback Newman for the whole game in order to have an impact. Of all the highly celebrated rookie wide receivers in 2014, Evans has emerged as the most consistent deep threat. Samer Kalaf at Deadspin has all the particulars of Evans’ outstanding talents and breakout season, but just know that he’s been targeted for 20 or more yards on 35% of throws his way, and he’s caught more than 62% of them.
If Evans can break just one of those for a TD, the Bucs could get the upper hand.
The Buccaneers Stop the Bengals Run
The Bucs gave up 155 yards on the ground to the Washington Redskins two weeks ago, but their general trend has been toward a more stout run defense. n the last five weeks, they’ve held opponents under 100 yards three times
There are no guarantees in the NFL, and that’s especially true for the 2014 Cincinnati Bengals. If they’re not careful, the Bucs just might swashbuckle them.