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December 1, 2012 @ 10:40 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Bucs Five Keys To Victory Game 12: Denver Broncos

Written by Haley
Haley Cornish


Pewter Report Intern E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
What five things can the Buccaneers do on Sunday to leave the Mile-High City with a victory? Find out what Pewter Report thinks in this weekly feature.
Despite losing last week to the Atlanta Falcons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain very much in the thick of things going into week 13. The Bucs will face the red-hot Denver Broncos, quarterbacked by future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

The Buccaneers have yet to get a signature win, and this week presents the perfect opportunity for them. If the Bucs succeed at these Five Keys To Victory, the Bucs could come home with an upset win.

Key 1. Protect Your Treasure
The Denver Broncos defense is the best the Bucs have yet to face all season. They will be facing star linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil, both of which are having pro-bowl years. The two studs have combined for 22 sacks and 10 forced fumbles, specializing in the strip-sack.

The Bucs’ offensive line has done a good job of protecting Josh Freeman from elite pass-rushers like Jared Allen and Demarcus Ware. The offensive line needs to step up, regardless of the injuries, and give Freeman time to throw the ball. If the Broncos can simply rush Freeman into throwing errant balls, it will be a long day for the Bucs.

Key 2. Pressure Peyton
This is essential. If the Bucs don’t get any pressure on Peyton Manning, he can light the secondary up. If you give an elite quarterback as much time to throw as the Bucs gave Matt Ryan last week, they will be successful against almost any secondary.

The front four has been so hot and cold all year. In their losses against the Giants, Saints, and Falcons, the Bucs got zero pressure on them. Which is really saying something, because they dropped back to pass an average of 40 times per game. Yet in the games against the Cowboys and Redskins, the Bucs D-line combined for seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

The Bucs can’t risk leaving their cornerbacks in one-on-one positions, so blitzing shouldn’t be the answer. If the Buccaneers dial up too many blitzes, they might see another 80-yard touchdown on Sunday. They need players like Michael Bennett, Gerald McCoy, and Da’Quan Bowers to really step it up from their performance last week so their secondary isn’t exposed.

Key 3. Run Martin, Run
Doug Martin did a great job against the Falcons in terms of turning negative plays into positive ones. The offensive line missed blocks and didn’t create enough holes for the rookie to make any plays. Martin did what he could, but it simply wasn’t good enough.

The Bucs offense is at its best when they have the run game working because it diverts attention from Freeman and his receivers. That will open up the pass game and allow the Bucs to successfully use play-action.
It will be difficult for him and the offensive line to have a bounce-back game against the leagues ninth-best rushing defense. But if the Bucs offensive line can win the battle in the trenches and give the rookie sensation enough wiggle room, he could break one loose.

Key 4. Capitalize
As the Bucs learned last week, you can’t beat elite offenses when you can’t score touchdowns. The Broncos are going to score points. Whether they score touchdowns or field goals is irrelevant. The Bucs must get touchdowns instead of field goals.

Peyton Manning is one of the best come-from-behind players of all time. Just ask the 2003 Bucs, or more recently, the San Diego Chargers who blew a 24-0 halftime lead. If the Bucs manage to drive the ball down the field, they need to capitalize. If they force a turnover, they need to capitalize.

Too many of the Buccaneers losses this year have been because of their inability to score touchdowns. When they couldn’t score after a 95-yard Vincent Jackson catch against the Saints, or when Freeman missed two wide-open receivers against the Falcons. 

Key 5. Don’t Be A Broken Record
It seems like after every game that the Bucs have lost, people are saying, “we should have won”. For the most part, that’s been true. Tampa Bay is just a few plays away from being 10-1. The only game that the Bucs really got outplayed in was against the Giants in week two, and that was only in the second half. In the team’s other four losses, the Bucs played as well, or even better than the team that beat them.

If the Broncos game comes down to the wire, the Bucs need to find a way to win. Whether it’s being more conditioned (as was the case in the Bucs overtime win against the Panthers) or just finding the will within themselves to finally get that signature win. There’s a good chance that is what this game will come down to, and the Bucs will have the opportunity to show they are for real. If not, fans will find themselves dwelling over what “could have been” instead of celebrating what was.

Pewter Prediction
Haley Cornish: Broncos 27-24
Mark Cook: Buccaneers 28-27
Scott Reynolds: Broncos 37-23

– Mark Cook contributed to this report

Last modified on Saturday, 01 December 2012 11:23

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  • avatar

    I'm with Scott Reynolds on his prediction Bronco's score over 30, Peyton throws for over 350 yds and 3 td's thx Biggers and Johnson, and we score somewhere in the 20's Freeman throws two picks today as the pass rush make him rush his throws 38-20 Bronco's
  • avatar

    Sterling Sharpe agrees with me!
  • avatar

    My prediction is on the money maybe flashgordon you should listen to me rather than Sterling Sharpe
  • avatar

    If I'm right about our pass protection, the game comes down to dealing with Peyton again; i'm tempted to argue for forcing Peyton to throw the ball deep again; it makes him hold the ball longer as well . . . i smell a possible upset!
  • avatar

    no upset here flashgordon look elsewhere
  • avatar

    Everybody is so worried about the Broncos passrush . . . whatever happened to the Bucs great pass protection? Maybe it's been a little bit suspect; but, when the pride is on the line, I find the Bucs pass protection stiffens up.
  • avatar

    who is haley cornish, first I've heard of her
  • avatar

    @chetthevette I have done a lot of intern work with Pewter Report behind the scenes, particularly during training camp. I go to school, which is why I haven't written anything this season prior to this article. With my semester winding down though, I will be much more involved for the rest of the year. Thank you for reading!
  • avatar

    Hoist the flag....steady the crew....fire the cannons!!!!!!!!!!! GO BUCS!!!!!!!
  • avatar

    Haley: I had to do an Aaron Rogers "double check" because you look a lot like my wife. She's a bit older than you though. Anyway, here are Scubog's Keys to Victory. Key # 1: "Be the Little Train that Could" Don't go into Mile High thinking that you can't win because of the altitude, Peyton Manning or the naked fat guy in the barrel. This is the NFL and the task, although formidable, is certainly doable. Believe you can win! Key # 2:"All I Need is the Air that I Breathe" There is oxygen out there. Don't let the altitude propaganda get in your head anymore than our blazing sun and humidity should psyche our opponents. Maybe we should consider putting signs around the field "Hot Ain't It?" Key # 3: Let Em Run" Since the Broncos have a pretty good pass rush, Josh should get the ball to the receivers on shorter routes and let them run after the catch. Key # 4: "Decisions, Decisions" With our secondary's inability to cover receivers, Manning will have his choice of open targets. This "desert tray" of receivers may make him undecided whether to take the cake or the pie long enough for our D-line to get to him. Key # 5: "Be Road Warriors" Coach Schiano has had this team of cast-offs well prepared to travel. Perhaps they're staying in a Holiday Inn and gained something extra. And the Bonus Key: No Autographs". Don't be in awe of the "Sheriff" and seek his autograph or a photo.
  • avatar

    Key#1 hope that Doug Martin can run like he did against Oakland so it keeps Peyton off the field otherwise we lose no other keys to this game
  • avatar

    All I know is that I am very comfortable that everyone will play their hardest. Go Bucs! Get an attitude at the altitude!
  • avatar

    Great job HC! Key 4 is most critical in my oppinion. I hope schiano has learned that top and clock control are not essential -- what is essential is scoring every possible possession especially off turnovers. The only time I hope we max top is icing the game out in 4 min o in 4th quater. Mannings going to throw for 400+ but if we can catch a break (fumble,int etc) we can win this game. I am having a difficult time feeling confident in the chances of bucs win, but this would be a great momentum game to spring us into the playoffs! Go bucs!!
  • avatar

    Great read HC,imo, I'm with you. In Key 3, you say of Martin "he could break one loose", I would hope he breaks 3 or 4 off! Would love to see that! I am looking forward to your game following feature. Thanks and Go Bucs!!
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