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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs face tough challenge to block Rams all pro Aaron Donald

Abbey Radeka

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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The Bucs are heading to Hollywood this week to take on defending NFC Champions L.A Rams, who have already beaten fellow NFC South teams Carolina and New Orleans this year. In order for Tampa Bay to move them out of the unbeaten column this Sunday, they’re going to have to focus their attention on stopping on a few individual threats.

We wrote earlier this week that Bucs HC Bruce Arians said the key for the Bucs defensively is stopping the their star RB Todd Gurley.

However, the Rams provide an even bigger challenge to the Bucs offensively in back to back AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. The four time All Pro defensive tackle has recorded 60.5 sacks in his career, with 20.5 of them from the 2018 season alone.

As for the Bucs offense, they’ll likely try to establish a run game, and when they’re trying to pass block, he’s the number one guy they’ll want to double team. Even then, he led the league in sacks while getting double teamed nearly twice as much any other DT.

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich referred to him as “The challenge” for not only the Bucs, but everyone who faces him in the NFL, adding that he is a “man amongst men.”

Tampa Bay’s fifth year offensive lineman Ali Marpet spoke to the media Thursday about arguably, the leagues best defensive player.

“He’s definitely got a great first step. He’s athletic, he’s great with his hands. One of the reasons why he’s so good is he’s got just a lot of different pass rushes and seems to do a lot of things very well.”

Marpet, along with other Bucs interior lineman, Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa will have the task of trying to block him. And if they want to give their QB a chance to produce on offense, they’ll spend a lot of time getting to know Donald on Sunday.

It’ll be a tall task to try to get Tampa Bay back to .500, but if they can get it done, it will be an incredible start to the long stretch of road games on the Bucs schedule.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Winston overcome miscues to win third straight

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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It wasn’t easy and there were plenty of self-inflicted mistakes, but the Bucs found a way to come from behind, and defeat the Colts for a third consecutive victory Sunday.

Tampa Bay turned the ball over four times and found themselves trailing by double-figure twice, but QB Jameis Winston threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman with under four minutes to play and the Buccaneers defense held up to improve their record to 6 – 7.

On a day in which Winston threw for a career-high 456 yards, it actually started horribly This as, he threw an interception, once again, on the opening possession of the game. Darius Leonard’s pick  led to a Jacoby Brissett 48 yard touchdown to Marcus Williams and a quick 7-0 lead. It was the third time in five games that Winston has thrown an int on the first Bucs drive.

Winston threw another interception later in the second quarter that was returned by Leonard 80 yards for a score and the Colts led 24-14.

Undaunted, Winston continued to gun-sling finishing 456 yards passing for a career-high yardage and four touchdowns, including a second half score to reserve receiver Justin Watson. And then, he threw the eventual  game-winning 12 yarder to Perriman.

The Colts gave away two opportunities to potentially put the game away. First, when backup running back Nyheim Hines fumbled inside the Tampa Bay 20 with 10 minutes remaining, and then, later new rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin ,who replaced Adam Vinatieri who’s dealing with an injured knee, hit the right upright on 47 yard field goal that would have put in the Colts up by 7 late in the game.

Winston led the go-ahead drive from there, going 63 yards in eight plays and including converting a fourth down with a pass of 4 yards to Dare Ogunbawale. The touchdown to Perriman came on the very next play.

Tampa Bay stopped Brissett and the Colts on fourth down at midfiled with 1:45 remaining, when DE Jason Pierre Paul hit the QB’s arm. The ball fluttered in the air, Brissett caught it and then desperately and illegally tried to throw it a second time forward to another teammate. That pass was incomplete.

The Bucs ran out the clock for their second win at home this season.

The Buccaneers playoff hopes were dashed even in victory, though, as the Minnesota Vikings won their 10th game on Sunday. That means that even if the Buccaneers win out, they can no longer catch the Vikes in the NFC race.

Still, first year Bruce Arians team is certainly playing hard, and at the right times with three games to go

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs looking for three in row leads our primer

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Week 14 of the NFL sees two Florida teams at home and the other one facing a familiar foe in New York. The Bucs try to make it three wins in a row hosting the Colts, the Dolphins travel to play the Jets and the Jaguars have gone back to their rookie QB, while hosting the Chargers.

First in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers come off of back-to-back road wins, where they accumulated 11 sacks and six turnovers defeating Atlanta and Jacksonville. They will take on another AFC South opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are stumbling with three losses in their last four games and have fallen out of the AFC Wildcard picture for the moment.

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played better over the course of the last two games, but returns to Raymond James Stadium, where he threw four interceptions it a loss to the Saints three weeks ago. Winston is working with two of the premier receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (above) who both have over a thousand yards this season and look to have a big day today.

The Colts have had success this season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and want to run the ball against what is the best run defense in the NFL, the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay must win to keep slim playoff hopes alive trying to get into a 9 – 7 tiebreaker in the NFC Playoff Picture.

Next, the Dolphins come off a euphoric 37 – 31 win over the Eagles at home for their third win of the season. DeVante Parker had his best game as a Dolphin catching three touchdown passes. And, Miami scored on a trick play that saw punter Matt Haack throw a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders. They now rematch AFC East rival the Jets who were humbled a week ago, as Cincinnati earned their first win of the season at their expense.

The Dolphins also defeated the Jets, and former coach Adam Gase, at home earlier this year

Finally in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have turned back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew. After three dismal offensive showings in a row under free agent Nick Foles, Minshew replaced him in the second half of last week. And, he sparked the Jaguars to a field goal and a touchdown in their 28 – 11 beat down by the Buccaneers.

The rookie did win four games in Foles’ absence due to his broken collarbone earlier this year. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Chargers come in reeling having lost dramatically in Denver a week ago and questions are swirling whether it is the end of the tenure of Philip Rivers at quarterback.

Jacksonville’s defense is beaten up, including putting Myles Jack on injured reserve earlier this week with an injured kneed.

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