You want some things to watch during the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants? You know, besides the ball? We've got them right here for you. Find out what you should pay attention to during the game, and which matchups could decide Sunday's game.
RT Demar Dotson/Jeremy Trueblood vs. Jason Pierre-Paul/Justin Tuck/Osi Umenyiora
If there is one single matchup that could decide Sunday's game, it's this one. Starting right tackle is injured and hasn't practiced the past two days, making Demar Dotson the likely starter on Sunday. That could actually bode well for the Buccaneers as Dotson is the better pass-blocker, but his lack of experience will hurt him a lot against the Giants' awesome front-four. With third-year guard Ted Larsen next to him he won't have a lot of help, either - unless the Bucs decide to keep in a tight end or running back to help him out. Which would be a smart idea.
Still, stopping players like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul is far from easy. as many, many people in the NFL found out last year. Pierre-Paul collected 16.5 sacks, and was arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. He will have to be the focal piece of the Bucs' protection and run-blocking schemes, and the question is whether they can figure out a way to slow him down.
FB Erik Lorig vs MLB Chase Blackburn
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to run the ball against the New York Giants. In fact, they want to run the ball against ever opponent they go up against. One key to running the ball for the Bucs is to have their fullback do well. Erik Lorig had a pretty good game against the Carolina Panthers, but he had some good games last year too: consistency was an issue. If Lorig can take out a linebacker on most running plays, he'll have a good game, and then Doug Martin will have a good game too. Plus, Lorig actually contributed a lot in the passing game as well.
WR Vincent Jackson vs CB Corey Webster
The New York Giants don't have much, if anything, at cornerback. That's good news for the Bucs, of course, who will still have to throw the ball at times. Vincent Jackson is obviously a key player in the passing game, and he'll have to do better than last week when he got open, but dropped a few easy balls. He needs to do better this week, and he'll get a chance against Corey Webster who isn't the best cornerback around. Jackson has the speed to burn the Giants deep, but for that to happen the Bucs offensive line must hold up long enough and Freeman must throw an accurate ball. Just being productive in the intermediate passing game should be good enough for now, however.