Seems like the Bucs are much improved based on what I've read and the little bit I've seen. New coach, new draft talent, FAs...damn I guess it will depend on which defense plays better (not good for us I think).
I was assuming that we could go down to Tampa and potentially dominate, but now I'm not so sure. I don't put too much stock in what Balldinger and McNabb have to say, but they aren't the only ones who've pointed out that Tampa may have returned to they're previous defensive might. It remains to be seen whether they can contain our run game, but they have a run game of their own that could eat us alive if the DTs and LBs have any lapses.
I guess in the NFL you have to expect every game to be a challenge, but with the Saints**, Giants, and Falcons on the horizon we really need this win.
One area where this game might be decided (D edge = Tampa; O edge = Carolina) is special teams. I shudder to think that this game could come down to our punt return coverage. If so...YIKES! I'll pretty be holding my breath any time our STs is out there.
We are going to have to win the turnover battle nearly every week to contend. Tampa scares me in that aspect. They are disciplined and opportunistic.
Will clearly be a much closer game than I had assumed.
First of all what did anyone see to assume that their defense will be better than ours? A few preseason games against teams who were not game planning against the defense?? If you go by numbers of the preseason alone, Tampa was ranked 31st defensively compared to our ranking which was 18th. Points wise they gave up almost 24 points while we gave up 18. And guys like Beason didn't even play.
On offense they were 31st again only averaging 15 points. Yeah I know it is preseason but again what clue did they give anyone that they will be anything but a basement dweller again this year.