If you’ve watched the Bucs in 2019, you know they are in need of a third option at receiver.
Don’t get me wrong, they have plenty of “bodies” to play the third receiver role, but when it comes to production, there isn’t much to say about the current group behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
In fact, the quartet of Justin Watson, Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, and the now-released Bobo Wilson have combined for 10 catches so far this year. To put it into context, Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II - both running backs - have 11 combined catches on the year.
O.J. Howard won’t play on Sunday against the Titans. He’s easily the team’s third-best receiver, despite his lack of involvement in terms of catching the ball in this offense. Cameron Brate is decent, but is at his best in the red zone.
So, who could step up and fill the third receiver void on Sunday?
Well, even though he’s in the aforementioned quartet of disappointment, this could be the week that Perriman emerges out of the dark and into the spotlight.
Perriman’s always been known for his speed and abilities as a deep threat. His 4.24 speed helped him become a first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. Injuries derailed his career, but a somewhat-productive 2018 season with the Cleveland Browns was enough evidence for the Bucs to sign him during the offseason.
Injuries have limited Perriman’s 2019 season so far, but he is finally healthy and will play against the Titans on Sunday.
Usually, you match speed with speed, right? Well on Sunday, the Titans will be without Adoree Jackson, their fastest corner. That could present a problem considering none of the currently-rostered corners have top-end speed. In fact, the entire Titans’ secondary isn’t really known for its speed.
Malcom Butler is on record running a 4.6 (even though he ran a 4.4 in a tryout with the Patriots), Logan Ryan runs a 4.56, and LeShaun Sims - Jackson’s likely replacement - runs a 4.53 40-yard dash.
Butler and Ryan will likely be on Evans and Godwin in an interchangeable fashion, leaving Sims and the others to deal with Perriman and co. If you’re the Bucs, you have to love that matchup.
The Titans have allowed 21 pass plays of 20+ yards and three pass plays of 40+ yards on the season, so there are opportunities to exploit if given the chance.
The Bucs will need to consider the Titans’ safeties when it comes to the deep ball. Kevin Byard is arguably the best free safety in the league and Kenny Vaccaro has been great during his year-and-a-half with the team.
Another key factor to Perriman’s success will be how well the Bucs hold up against the Titans’ pass rush. According to Football Outsiders, the Titans boast the 14th-highest sack percentage in the NFL, but that figure includes six games without rookie Jeffery Simmons, who saw his first action of the year last week against the Chargers. All he did was record two TFLs and a sack in 21 snaps.
Tampa Bay’s offensive line will need to hold up long enough to allow Perriman to develop his routes downfield. If that happens, then Perriman could definitely have a big day on Sunday.
How the Bucs defend the Titans’ pass rush will go a long way in determining Perriman’s potential impact on the game.
All it takes is one play for a guy like Perriman to change the game and open up the defense. That would also take pressure off of Evans and Godwin, which in return would help them make plays, as well.
Hopefully, Perriman can open up the offense and allow the Bucs to move the ball against a stout Titans’ defense on Sunday, but as most things in relation to Perriman’s career, we will just have to wait and see.
How much of an impact do you think Breshad Perriman has against the Titans?
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