RT Demar Dotson vs DE Charles Johnson
Demar Dotson has been the Bucs' best offensive lineman this year, but he's been far from perfect, especially when it comes to penalties. He'll have one of the toughest matchups of the year on Sunday, when he goes up against Charles Johnson -- a power rusher who isn't quite dominant, but is still very good, both against the run and against the pass.
So Dotson is going to have to step up. No false starts. No dumb penalties. And most of all, no allowing Charles Johnson to pressure Josh McCown. The Bucs will have plenty of problems stopping everyone else along that defensive line, because they've had issues all season, and if they don't want to collapse even more than they have this year, they need Dotson to shut down his man.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs S Roman Harper
The lack of quality play from the tight ends has really hurt the Bucs in recent week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins should return this week, which should give the Bucs a little boost. Not that he's been that threatening this year, but he's certainly been more productive and more of a concern for opponents than Luke Stocker and Brandon Myers.
And fortunately for him, he'll be going up against disaster-in-coverage Roman Harper quite a bit. The Bucs have consistently picked on Harper throughout his history -- when he was with the Saints, and now that he's with the Panthers they'll probably do the same thing. But for that to happen they must have Seferian-Jenkins playing better than he has this year: he's looked a little sluggish in the passing game, possibly because he's not used to the game's speed.
WR Mike Evans vs CB Josh Norman
Mike Evans has slowed down a little in recent weeks, mostly because Josh McCown has failed to get him the ball, which in turn is caused by the worst offensive line in the NFL -- and his own incompetence, of course. If the Bucs want to win, they can't be incompetent as a passing offense. And Mike Evans is the key to that, as he's been throughout the season.
Evans will mainly be going up against Josh Norman, a third-year player who has good size but is not a particularly good player beyond that. He's started six games at cornerback, playing predominantly on the right side of the defense -- which is where Mike Evans most often lines up. The Bucs should be able to pick on Norma with some consistency, as long as McCown can be protected long enough for him to decide to actually throw the ball.
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