Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Why They May or May Not Win in Minnesota
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There are places we'd rather see the Buccaneers go for a Thursday night football game.
Minnesota isn't one of them.
Hate to say it, but I don't have a good feeling about this one. Really.
We have the 5-2 Minnesota Vikings who are one of the surprise teams in the league this year. They've beaten the San Francisco 49ers, for goodness sake, as well as the Cardinals, Titans and Lions to give them four wins in their last five games.
The Bucs will have two days of practice then catch a plane on Wednesday for Minneapolis.
Let's take a look a reasons why the Bucs may win this game and reasons why they may not.
WHY THE BUCS MAY WIN:
The defense can stop the run and the Vikings are a running team.
Christian Ponder is not Drew Brees.
The Vikings were beaten by the Indianapolis Colts.
Can the Bucs stop Adrian Peterson?
Greg Schiano has sworn off his stupid "let's draw the defense offsides on this field goal attempt" play, that he says is legal and the NFL says it is until you have someone blurting out a signal.
The Bucs may be smart enough not to give it to LeGarrettte Blount three straight times on the one.
Mike Sullivan has been solid with his offensive play calling, except for the Blount Blunder against the Saints.
Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are tough to cover.
Dallas Clark will catch the ball if you throw it to him, Luke Stocker too.
Doug Martin is gaining confidence.
Tiquan Underwood is a very reliable third receiver.
They've told Arrelious Benn to kneel down in the end zone when he receives a kickoff.
Linebackers Mason Foster and Lavonte David are playing like All-Pros.
Christian Ponder has been sacked 16 times this season.
So there you have some of the reasons the Bucs might get their third win of the season.
Can the o-line keep Josh Freeman upright?
WHY THE BUCS MAY NOT WIN:
As good as your rushing defense might be, Adrian Peterson is still Adrian Peterson.
Percy Harvin is a tremendous threat any time he gets the ball in space.
The Vikings are ranked ninth in the NFL in total defense. The Bucs are 25th.
The Vikings had seven sacks last week against the Cardinals.
The crowd will be very noisy on Thursday night.
Greg Schiano doesn't know all the rules.
The Minnesota defense has 22 sacks.
Jared Allen. (Did we already mention him?)
Adrian Peterson (Did we already mention him?)
The Bucs haven't beaten any good teams.
Who will win this game?
The right side of the offensive line may spend the night getting holding penalties.
Vincent Jackson might run out of gas.
Adrian Peterson averages close to five yards a carry.
That should about wrap it up for now.
The thing they do have in common is that both teams lost to the Washington Redskins, done in by Robert Griffin III.
This is a tough one to forecast. If you're gonna play on Thursday night, you'd rather not be traveling but the Bucs are doing just that.
We've seen so many different versions of the Bucs this year. One thing we do know is that they don't fare well against elite quarterbacks like Eli Manning, Drew Brees and RGIII.
Fortunately, Ponder isn't anywhere near that class.
So the Bucs have that going for them, which is nice.
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