Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Week 3 Preview – St Louis at Tampa Bay

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The week 3 matchup for the Bucs is what looks to be another tough matchup against the St Louis Rams. The Rams are 0-2 having lost in week 1 to the Panthers and in week 2 losing a tight divisional game against the 49ers and, and the Bucs will hope to increase the pressure on Marc Bulger and the Rams. The NFC West looks to be the most wide open in years and the Rams will want to get their season on track to make up ground on the rest of the division. The Bucs sit in second place in the division and will look to build on last weeks performance to give confidence for a tough stretch of games ahead that includes the current Superbowl champion Colts.

Steven Jackson and the Rams are this weeks visitors to the Ray Jay.

Injuries:

The Rams have already lost ProBowl LT Orlando Pace to IR, thanks to a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff. Richie Incognito the Rams C is out for at least another 2 weeks due to an ankle injury and starting CB Tye Hill has a back injury that has sidelined him indefinitely.

For the Bucs, there are three players listed as questionable – defensive end/linebacker Patrick Chukwurah (knee), wide receiver Ike Hilliard (ankle) and cornerback Brian Kelly (groin).

Keys to the Game:

For the Bucs they must stop Steven Jackson. Jackson is a dual threat from running back, he racked up 1528 yards on the ground and 806 through the air last season. Jackson has had a slow start to the season and the Rams RB will be looking to get started against the Bucs. If Jackson gets some success on the ground it will open up the game for Bulger, and his WR core. The Rams may not be the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ anymore but give them half a chance and they’ll be racking up the yards all day.

For the Rams, they have to stop the Garcia Galloway partnership and force Garcia to find other recieving threats. Ike Hilliard and Alex Smith have made key grabs but the other WR’s will need to step up. Also their offensive line will need to find a way to keep Marc Bulger on his feet. Bulger has been sacked 7 times this season and the Bucs will hope to pressure the Rams line who are missing 2 starters. I expect to see a lot of Gaines Adams on passing downs to try and get to Bulger so Alex Barron will have his hands full.

Prediction:

I think the Bucs could surprise the Rams, confidence is high after last week and the Rams will be under pressure not to go 0-3. Like last week the heat at the RayJay could be a factor especially as the Rams are used to playing in a dome.

Bucs win by 7.

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