The Buccaneers are 1-1, following a dominant win over the Panthers and they have the talent to take care of business against an injury-depleted Broncos team on Sunday, as I discussed on this week’s Desktop GM podcast.
Starting quarterback Drew Lock injured his shoulder on Sunday vs. the Steelers. It was diagnosed a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and he is expected to be out 2-to-6 weeks. The team is also without Von Miller, A.J. Bouye, Phillip Lindsay and Courtland Sutton.
While it’s hard to envision Denver pulling off the upset with their injury woes, they could certainly keep it close given Tampa Bay’s propensity to slow down the game. Only five teams have run fewer offensive plays than the Buccaneers at 61.0 per contest, as Teamrankings.com showcases, something that could mitigate any blowout potential from Bruce Arians’ club.
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More on the Bucs-Broncos Game
- Denver’s defense limits opponents’ passing games, cutting yards and touchdowns per attempt by 4% and 17%, respectively. Both figures rank in the top-10 among NFL teams, as Scott Spratt writes on Football Outsiders.
- In week two against the Panthers, Brady targeted Mike Evans on 34.5% of his routes. In week one, Godwin led the team with seven targets, catching six of them for 79 yards. This week versus Denver will be the first game that both Pro Bowl wideouts take the field at full strength.
- Don’t expect much from Rob Gronkowski, as I wrote on Heavy.com. Gronk has only caught two passes in his first two games but coach Arians isn’t stressing as he doesn’t envision the tight end to be a major part of 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.”