Week 4 Preview: Denver Broncos v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Denver Broncos (3-0) versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) in this week four road matchup. Game starts at 4:05pm EST and 2:05 MTN.

Trevor Siemian is coming off an impressive road performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he and the rest of the Denver Broncos will now face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Broncos must force the Buccaneers walk the plank.

The Broncos have only squared off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eight times with a 6-2 record. On paper, the Broncos should beat the Buccaneers handily, but Tampa Bay has playmakers that may force the Broncos in difficult situations. The offensive line continues to see improvement early in the season, but Matt Paradis, Max Garcia and Michael Schofield will face another tough defensive linemen: Gerald McCoy. McCoy’s tremendous first step could present a problem for Paradis, Garcia and Schofield. Hand placement and chip him at the line of scrimmage will be key in stopping McCoy.

Sep 25, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

McCoy receives all the praise on the Buccaneers’ defense; however, despite having more holes than Swiss cheese, the linebackers for the Buccaneers are athletic enough to stay with our tight ends and running backs. The Broncos know all to well about LaVonte David. David could have been a Bronco in 2012 NFL Draft, but Elway and company chose to select now-Houston Texans quarterback, Brock Osweiler. David has Pro Bowl level instincts to go along with his coverage and speed to protect sideline to sideline and the best linebacker no one talks enough about. Kwon Alexander is another linebacker not afraid to mix it up in the running game. CJ Anderson could have an issue getting going for the second week in a row, but Buccaneers’ defense has under-performed this year.

Virgil Green will miss another week, which gives Jeff Heuerman an opportunity for a bigger role. Heuerman made a great catch and the expectation is he will have a much larger responsibility in the offense. The Broncos will need an offensive weapon at tight end and Heuerman has the tools to do so. The Buccaneers defense could allow a positive welcome to the NFL for Jeff Heuerman.

Jameis Winston is the third big quarterback the Broncos will face in 2016. The Broncos are undefeated this season against Cam Newton and Andrew Luck, but it was Luck’s third and 20 scramble that still gives me nightmares. Winston will see tough sledding against the Broncos secondary and the Broncos pass rush must contain the Buccaneer quarterback keeping him in their sights. If Winston runs past the past rush there must be a linebacker to clean it up. Kubiak sees Winston the same way.

“He’s very dangerous. We have to focus on all the positive things he’s doing because he’s doing a lot and throwing for a lot of yards,” Kubiak on Winston.

The No Fly Zone should see no issues in the passing game, but Mike Evans is still a match up nightmare for any cornerback. But Chris Harris and Aqib Talib historically do not have any problems with big wide receivers; however, this is the first matchup against the big target from Texas A&M. Bradley Roby has the assignment of covering Adam Humphries, who has excelled the first few games of the season. Kubiak added this is the biggest group of wide receivers they will probably face this year.

“They’re probably two of the biggest guys we’ll play. Mike Evans is playing big time. Vincent Jackson has been a great player for many years. They’re very big from that standpoint. Adam Humphries, No. 11, is really a good player for them, doing a lot, playing in the slot, moving around, making a lot of plays for them, and the return game. They’re very well equipped as far as weapons and being able to get the ball to guys,” Kubiak on Buccaneers’ corps of wide receivers.

The Broncos should win against the Buccaneers on Sunday, but as the old adage goes, this could become a “trap game” if the Broncos play down to the competition. Should be a fun Sunday in Broncos Country.

SUNDAY NOTES AND STATS TO KNOW:

  • Kwon Alexander already in week four has one pick-six on the season, which ties him with the Aqib Talib on the Broncos. Also leads the NFL in tackles (27).
  • Trevor Siemian has a higher QBR than Cam Newton, Big Ben, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Brock Osweiler.
  • Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston leads the NFL in passing attempts on the season (47.3).

Who: Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Where: Raymond James Stadium

Time: 4:05 PM EST/2:05 PM MST

Network: CBS

Announcers: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Solomon Wilcots (color commentator)

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