Bucs vs. Saints: 4 Halftime Adjustments Tampa Bay Must Make

Matt Birch@TheMattBirchFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 09:  LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Bucs currently lead the Saints, 20-10. Here are 4 adjustments Tampa Bay must make if they want to hold on to their lead:

Run the football more

The Bucs have rushed 13 times for 56 yards. Especially with a lead, they must run the ball to control the time of possession and shorten this game.

Without a solid run game, the Saints are going to sit in coverage. The result could be a few interceptions for QB Josh Freeman. As well as some stalled drives.

Tampa Bay must give more touches to its running backs to shorten this game, even though they are thin at that position today due to injuries.

Take deep shots down the field

Gregg Williams’ defensive unit is an opportunistic one, and they take a lot of chances and blitz out of the secondary often.

In the second quarter, the Bucs took advantage, finding a wide-open WR Arrelious Benn for a 65-yard touchdown. It was the team’s longest pass play since 2008.

The Saints score points at will. The Bucs will need to continue to take their chances in order to keep up with them.

Scale back the blitzing

The Bucs are blitzing often, and eventually Saints head coach Sean Payton is going to catch on and make the necessary adjustments.

The Saints field an offense loaded with speed that can bust a big play at any time. Tampa Bay can't get blitz-happy, because otherwise it will come back to bite them in the second half.

Continue to play turnover-free football

The most important statistic in this game: The Bucs have forced three turnovers. The +3 turnover ratio is the reason they are winning this game.

They must continue to play smart football if they want to hold on to win this game.