Week 4 was my favorite week of NFL action. Not that this was the best week of action on the field, but simply because it was the one Sunday out of the entire season that I did not have to worry about how the Buccaneers would fare. When fervently supporting a team to the degree I (and I’m sure most here) do, enjoying other big match-ups is often difficult to do. Considering the swoon the entire organization has been in since December of 2008, that is a long time between meaningful football for our Bucs. With that said, it is time to get the team back on the field.
So far this season, the Bengals have been consistently inconsistent. As soon as they begin to show signs of exploding, they are plagued by miscues and stalled drives. A week ago against
Since giving up 38 points in a debacle against the New England Patriots in week 1, the Bengals defense has settled in quite nicely into the unit that carried the team into a division title in 2009. The unit has young talent on all three levels, including one of the best cornerback tandems in the entire league in Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. They are the only team to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in 2010, and made Joe Flacco look like Joe Kapp in doing so. They played solid against the Browns but were unable to get off the field in crucial situations. One problem the Bengals defense currently has is their lack of a consistent pass rush. They rank dead last in the NFL in sacks (3), after ranking in the middle of that category a year ago. It’s difficult to predict how they will fare against a Buccaneers offense that is in transition. It’s unclear who will get the bulk of the carries on the ground, but it will be crucial for the Bucs to be able to run the football to take the pressure off of Josh Freeman. Peyton Hillis had a big day for the Browns against the Bengals last week, something that provides hope that the Bucs can finally have a good day on the ground after being stagnant for most of 2010. The Bengals have 6 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles so far this year, so the Buccaneers have to take care of the football if they want to pull out the win.
So how will the Bucs perform? They looked solid in jumping out to a 2-0 start, but completely melted down against a quality opponent in