It’s not that Tom Brady can’t throw the ball anymore. Tom Brady is throwing the ball too much. And that makes his Tampa Bay Buccaneers too predictable when all is said and done.
You can see it in the results, as the team is 3-4 and in danger of falling behind even the Carolina Panthers, who are perceived to be a team in disarray and whipped them pretty good this past Sunday.
BetOnline customers know there is trouble ahead for the Bucs if they can’t get past the Baltimore Ravens in Thursday night’s Amazon-televised action that takes place at Raymond James Stadium (8:20 PM ET kickoff).
After losing 21-3 to Carolina, head coach Todd Bowles said, “This is about as dark as it’s going to be right now.” Well, maybe, and maybe not. The Bucs aren’t the team they used to be on the defensive line, as they gave up 173 rushing yards to the Panthers. And Baltimore is averaging 5.4 yards per carry as a team.
The Ravens will be without JK Dobbins, who is their top running back. But as they lost backfield players in advance of last year’s season opener, you saw how offensive coordinator Greg Roman, one of the best in the business, was able to operate on a “plug ‘n play” basis. And, of course, keep in mind that Lamar Jackson leads all NFL players with 7.7 yards per carry.
This could be the wrong opponent at the wrong time for them.
In the NFL Thursday Night Football odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Bucs are the favorites:-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2
Baltimore Ravens +2
Over 46 Points -110
Under 46 Points -110
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Brady hasn’t been the kind of quarterback who has given the ball away to the opposition; in fact, he’s got only one interception in 274 attempts. And normally, a guy would be praised for that kind of thing. But he has averaged 47 passes over his last five contests. That included 49 passes against the Panthers, where the Bucs ran it only 16 times. There’s no balance in that, And Tampa Bay has the highest passing play percentage in the league, at up over 67%. They are dead last in rushing yards.
You’re not leaving defenses guessing when you do stuff like that. And to think they have someone like Leonard Fournette in the backfield.
One of the major problems is that they can’t convert yards into points. The Bucs have scored touchdowns on only 47% of their red zone trips, which is down near the bottom of the league. Maybe they miss the instincts of someone like Rob Gronkowski, who always had a nose for the goal line. To exacerbate matters, tight-end Cameron Brate won’t play here, affecting the odds statistics at NFL betting sites.
And maybe Giselle is exacerbating matters as well. Who knows what is happening behind the scenes in that crumbling marriage? It may even be worse than the rumors we hear about.
What Jackson does is work designed runs to his advantage and then test the secondary deep. With safety, Antoine Winfield was also ruled out (concussion), which creates a hardship for the Bucs as well.
If the NFC South weren’t so weak, the Bucs would really need to reach for the panic button. Sure, there is time to get the ship moving in the right direction. But at some point, you’ve got to start. And I’m not convinced this is the right place. We take the points with the road team.
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