On Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, two 1-3 teams will take the field in hopes of climbing out of tie for last place in the NFC South. For both the Bucs and Saints, a 1-3 start is not where they envisioned themselves after four games. But when you look closer at the body of work for both teams, the Saints appear to the be the one's who are more vulnerable. The Bucs certainly have their issues but after last weeks win against the Steelers, the team feels like they found their offense, especially in the second half.
Like most Bucs fans, I'm curious to see if Mike Glennon can continue his progression as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Against this Saints defense, that shouldn't be a problem. Glennon might not throw for 302 yards. At least in this game, he might not have too. Don't get me wrong, there will be chances for the passing game to put up some nice numbers. But those numbers will be a direct result of the Bucs running the football effectively.
Lovie Smith wants to run the football. He wants his offensive line to be physical. Come Sunday afternoon, he'll get his wish. Establishing the run game, especially in a hostile place like the Superdome, is essential. The Saints are giving up 123.5 rushing yards per game through 4 games right now. That's good for 21st in the league. Factor in Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray rushing for 149 yards on 24 carries in that game and you can see why the Bucs will want to come out and hit the Saints defense right in the mouth.
Who gets the bulk of the carries is anyones guess. Doug Martin is still trying to find his game after missing most of last season with an injury. Bobby Rainey hasn't earned the trust of the coaching staff just yet. Either way, the Bucs will need both backs to be productive come Sunday.
Speaking of Martin, Greg Cosell from NFL Films, who was on with Fan Interference Thursday morning, still has some questions about Martin's game.
"They need to run the ball better. I don't know where Doug Martin is at this point in his career. He was actually far,far better picking up the blitz, which was a real positive. But as a runner right now, he's a very methodical, measured runner. He's a little stiff and straight line. There's not much burst to him. I don't know if that will get better as he comes back from injury."
If the Bucs are going to defeat the Saints this Sunday, Martin will have to do more than just pick up the blitz. He's going to need to be the best back on the field.
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