The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Denver to take on the Broncos and they’ll rock a jersey they’ve never worn before.
The all-pewter will be debuted as Brady and the team takes the field today.
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Brady Looks to Overcome Broncos Woes
Brady has a winning record against 30 franchises, as I detailed in the team’s betting preview this week. He’s never played the Patriots and his lone losing record is to the Broncos, the team he faces on Sunday. Brady has won just eight of his 17 career starts against Denver.
While the Bucs are expected to win, don’t expect a big-time performance from Brady. Denver does a good job of decreasing passing totals. They cut yards and touchdowns per attempt by 4% and 17%, both top 10 in football, as Scott Spratt writes on Football Outsiders. Additionally, the Buccaneers play rather slow. Only five teams have ran fewer offensive plays than Tampa Bay at 61.0 per contest, as Teamrankings.com showcases (Brady ran 67.9 offensive plays per game last season in New England).
Mike Evans is expected to bounce back. He began the season with a one-catch performance, fueled by a hamstring injury and coverage from Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. However, in Week 2, the All-Pro shines, receiving 10 targets, which was a whopping 34.5% of his routes ran.
“We just took what the defense gave us this week,” Evans said (via the Tampa Bay Tribune). “There wasn’t a lot of double teams this week, a lot of zone, and Tom was just picking it apart.”
Head coach Bruce Arians made it a point to feature Evans in the playbook and it sounds like that’s something that isn’t going away.
“We’ve got to do that every week,” Arians said. “We can’t ever let Mike just sit still and be somewhere where everybody can double-cover him. Tom did a great job of finding him, especially deep down the middle.”
What to Expect from Gronk?
Bruce Arians seems content with playing Rob Gronkowski without any expectation from him in the passing game.
“We haven’t had that many red-zone opportunities and I don’t see him running 40 yards past people any more,” Arians said. “We brought him in to play tight end. If that means no catches, that means no catches.”
Gronk was considered one of the frontrunners for the Comeback Player of the Year award, as Pro Football Action relayed. Heading into the season, oddsmakers only have Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton ahead of the tight end, though with the way the two quarterbacks have played, it would take a lot for Gronk to get back in the race.
Gronk is here to block but what about the other tight ends on the roster? Brady hasn’t been utilizing his tight ends, as we recently broke down.
Buccaneers Tight End Snap Count
*Anthony Auclair played 11 snaps in the opener against the Saints. He was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 and is eligible to return in Week 5.