Here are my three key matchups for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on offense.
Mike Williams vs Cortland Finnegan
Mike Williams finally had a good game last week, and the Buccaneers rely heavily on the former fourth-round pick. He's been targeted 87 times this season, more than any other player on the team. That's not likely to change, and that's also why the Bucs need him to once again have a good game.
And to do so, Mike Williams will need to defeat the Titans' best cornerback: Cortland Finnegan. A dirty player who will do whatever it takes to win - and has the skills to shut down opposing wide receivers. While he hasn't had a great season so far, the veteran is still a formidable opponent and Williams will again need to play well to be productive in the passing game.
With Barrett Ruud out, the Bucs can take advantage of rookie middle linebacker Colin McCarthy. The easiest way to take advantage of him is through play-action passes: force him to react to the run game, and then hit a pass to Kellen Winslow behind him. Winslow just had his first good game of the season with nine passes for 132 - despite dropping a two-point conversion and tipping a pass for an interception.
If Winslow can get behind the linebackers and the Bucs can get McCarthy to bite on play-action consistently, they can have a big day through the passing game. The fact that the Titans have really struggled to stop tight ends (31st in the NFL) will help Winslow as well.
Last week, Jeff Faine really struggled vs the Packers' defensive tackles. If the Bucs want to be able to run the ball consistently, he has to do better against Sen'Derrick Marks. The third-year player was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, and has started a handful of games since then. He and Shaun Smith have been rotating at defensive tackle on running downs, and the Bucs must move those players to run the football.
And that's key to any Buccaneer victory this year, as it seems the passing game cannot carry this team by itself. The run game must serve as a foundation of the offense, and while the Titans have a good run defense the Bucs must find a way to get Legarrette Blount going. Jeff Faine having a good day would be a solid start.