The Minnesota Vikings have struggled offensively this season. Many are expecting the Buccaneers' pass rush to finally show some pressure throughout the game but there is a possibility that won't happen and if they do, it won't be a good way to measure how good the pass rush really is.
Vikings' rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been sacked 15 times, same amount as St, Louis Rams' rookie quarterback Austin Davis. Carolina's quarterback has also hit the ground often, being sacked 14 times since starting his season in Week 2. Why mention Carolina and St. Louis? Both teams have struggled in protecting their quarterbacks and the Bucs have played them both.
Tampa Bay came away with 3 sacks between Weeks 1 and 2 but their lack of a pass rush allowed Carolina's Derek Anderson to pick apart the secondary as he went 24-for-34 for 230 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 108.7. Similar situation occurred in Week 2 but this time they allowed a rookie in Davis go 22-for-29 for 235 yards and a 99.1 rating. They lost both games and when they went against higher profile quarterbacks the following four weeks -- including an Atlanta team that has seen bad play from their offensive line -- they had their way with the Buccaneers defense.
Players and coaches seem to be confident that any and all issues were ironed out during the bye week. One of those players is linebacker Lavonte David.
“Yeah, during the bye week, we got a chance to go back to the basics and things like that. It’s coming along well," David said when asked about players taking the bye week to better understand the defensive scheme. "Guys are getting a real good hang of it. We had a great week of practice.”
So how good could the Bucs' front be labeled if they get to Bridgewater? Frankly, they should have no issues getting to him. Good pass rushing teams should be able to get to quarterbacks with questionable protection often or at least apply pressure consistently. It's the teams with good protection that defines a pass rush if they can get to their quarterbacks.
In no way should we discredit their performance if they are successful on Sunday, but it won't be a good measuring stick either.
Follow Bucs Blitz on twitter: @TBBucsOnScout