This week is the week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are going into Atlanta, facing off against their division rivals for an opportunity at first place in the NFC South. A win this week could help erase a season of frustration for fans and simmer the boiling heat on Todd Bowles’ seat. Here are some things that could, should, and will play out during the game—
Chris Godwin could have a big game and get himself back into the flow.
‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease’ —Chris Godwin’s wife made major Tampa Bay headlines this week, after she outed Todd Bowles as a 'liar.' Any Bucs fan has heard by now, but a quick recap— Mariah Godwin took to social media, following Todd Bowles’ post-game press conference and called the Tampa Bay coach a liar, taking offense to the inaccuracies in his post-game quotes when discussing Chris Godwin’s playing time.
Although in the days that followed, everyone involved handled the situation with the utmost professionalism, it has lingered in the news cycle.
Chris Godwin is certainly capable of speaking for himself, but whenever a family member or loved one of an athlete speaks out, the notion becomes they are acting as a mouthpiece for the athlete. Whether that sentiment is fair/unfair, true, or a false narrative, it is often the public's viewpoint. The Buccaneers, as most teams would, could make it a point of emphasis to incorporate Chris Godwin into the offense more this week.
This game should be a major moment for Baker Mayfield’s bank account.
It will be interesting to monitor Baker Mayfield’s contract negotiation with the Bucs this offseason. A win this week should go a long way towards those talks. The Buccaneers, by all accounts, like having Baker Mayfield in the building. Jason Licht and Todd Bowles have both been open with their praise of Mayfield and the quarterback’s teammates have also been openly satisfied with the passer, since his arrival in Tampa. Take the support of your teammates, coaches, and management, and then tack on big road divisional wins down the stretch that position your team to have a shot at the playoffs— That should represent a large bargaining chip for the Mayfield camp.
The Buccaneers’ defense will need to focus on Atlanta’s running backs and tight ends.
Last week, against the New York Jets, the Atlanta Falcons featured their running backs and tight ends. Atlanta is a running team and they field a deep backfield. In their win over the Jets, Atlanta ran the ball 34 times. Matched up against a good defense, they only netted 90 yards rushing, but still committed 34 rushing attempts.
In the pass game, more of the same. Desmond Ridder completed 12 passes last Sunday. 11 of his 12 completions were to running backs and tight ends. Drake London was the only receiver who left last week with a reception— One catch for eight yards.
The ability of Tampa Bay’s injury-hampered linebacking corp to tackle and cover should be a focus for Todd Bowles’ defense.
Do you agree with our list? Do you disagree? What are some things you think could happen, should happen, and will happen this week?
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