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Bucs Linebackers Look to Shine Against Houston

Might have an easier test this week against the Texans

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we learned a couple of things.

Jameis Winston is capable of managing a game well, and making very few mistakes. Last week, he threw for 207 with a touchdown and no interceptions. Not bad for a kid in just his second game.

We also learned that the Buccaneers linebackers didn't play too bad against Drew Brees and the Saints. Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander each had 8 tackles in the game for Tampa Bay, which makes you pretty excited because these guys will bring the hurt to many opposing offenses for years to come.

Kwon Alexander is proving to be a valuable member of the Buccaneers linebacking corps. (Courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Kwon Alexander is proving to be a valuable member of the Buccaneers linebacking corps. (Courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

These kids have done Hardy Nickerson proud.

Coach Lovie Smith has been very impressed with the plays of his linebackers, especially Lavonte David.

This week, the Bucs defense faces a questionable Houston Texas offense, minus Arian Foster. He tells ESPN he feels fine.

"I've been pretty much able to do anything," Foster said. "I don't feel like it's 100 yet, but it feels good. ... Whenever I come back I make sure I'm able to carry the load. If I'm out there, I'm out there to be of use as usual. No timetable. I'm gonna make sure that it's 100 so I'm not jeopardizing my teammates or myself."

Despite the optimism, Texans coach Bill O'Brien doesn't think that Foster will play Sunday.

That's definitely good news for Bucs' coaches, players and fans. That, mixed in with the fact that Texans QB Ryan Mallett hasn't exactly been wowing audiences with his performances gives the Buccaneers the inside edge this weekend.

The Buccaneers will need Alexander and David to control the Texans running game. In 2 games, the tandem has allowed only 114 yards, and they figure to do the same this week due to Foster's injury. Chris Polk will get the start for the Texans this week. Last Sunday against Carolina, Polk only got 38 yards on 14 carries against a pretty strong Panthers defense.

Buccaneers Linebacking Corps-2015
Name Games Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Interceptions
Kwon Alexander 2 13 0 0 0
Lavonte David 2 13 0 1 0
Danny Lansanah 2 7 0 0 0
Bruce Carter 1 1 0 0 0

I see the Buccaneers winning 27-21, mainly because Winston won't make too many costly mistakes, and also because the linebackers on the Buccaneers will help stop the Texans' pass and run game.