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Vikings vs. Buccaneers: Three key matchups on offense

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to win these three matchups to beat the Minnesota Vikings.

Justin K. Aller

LT Anthony Collins vs. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen has turned into a terror this season. He has seven sacks this season, including three last game, and he'll get another opportunity to add to that group this week: Mike Glennon takes more sacks than most quarterbacks, and Anthony Collins has struggled so far this season. He hasn't brought what the Bucs hoped he'd bring, and while he's been marginally better than Donald Penn, the difference isn't all that big.

So that's going to be a problem this week. If the Bucs have to keep in players to help Collins, they severely limit their ability to execute on offense. If they don't, they risk Griffen destroying their offense the way Robert Quinn did when they played the St. Louis Rams.

Mike Glennon vs. the blitz

The biggest issue for the Buccaneers last game wasn't necessarily that individual players were getting beat, but that they couldn't handle the blitz. Executing a simple hot route seemed to be beyond the team's capabilities, even on obviously telegraphed blitzes. That has to change, especially against a Mike Zimmer-coached team. Zimmer is the king of 4-3 blitzes and he'll destroy the Bucs if they can't adjust to those blitzes.

That's not just on Glennon, though. He has to set the protection, communicate any route adjustments and be decisive on those passes. But the coaches also have to build these adjustments into the scheme, and the receivers have to execute them properly.

WR Mike Evans vs. CB Captain Munnerlyn

The Bucs are pretty well-acquainted with Captain Munnerlyn. The 5'9" cornerback had been a Carolina Panther for his entire NFL career, before he moved to the Minnesota Vikings this offseason. He's been a fairly steady force throughout, but he has one fairly big problem: he's small. And Mike Evans is just the player to exploit that.

Evans has been surprisingly steady, as the first wide receiver since James Jones in 2007 to catch at least four passes in his first five games as a pro. That consistency should continue this week, as his 6'5" frame gives him a big advantage over Munnerlyn. If Glennon can get him the ball even when he looks covered, he should be able to eat up Munnerlyn.

One problem, though, is that Evans isn't the smoothest route runner. He's been surprisingly good on double moves, but he's not creating a lot of separation at the top of his routes. Not that we'd expect that out of someone with his size, but it does mean that Munnerlyn will often be in position to break up passes, even if he'll be at a disadvantage. And Glennon has the tendency to throw balls fairly low, negating the size advantage of his receivers.