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December 8, 2012 @ 11:00 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs Five Keys To Victory Game 13: Philadelphia Eagles

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 Tampa Bay do on Sunday to secure a victory in the rematch of the 2002 NFC Championship game and honor the Super Bowl team? Find out what Pewter Report thinks in this weekly feature.
Currently on a two-game losing streak, the 6-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves in a must-win situation this Sunday against the 3-9 Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, who started off the year 3-1, have drawn comparisons to the 2011 Bucs that had a ten-game losing streak to end their season. However, the Eagles have been very competitive in the majority of their games, so this won’t necessarily be the easy win fans are expecting.

This week, the Bucs will be honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl team. If they succeed in these five steps, Tampa Bay will remain in the playoff hunt while making the anniversary celebration that much sweeter.

Key 1. Give Martin Wiggle Room
Opposing defenses have held Doug Martin to under 70 yards in three of the last four games. In those three games, he has averaged only 3.0 yards per carry, and his longest run was just 14 yards against the Chargers. It is clear that after Martin exploded for 251 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders, defenses have been working to stop the rookie sensation.

While the Eagles will likely game plan for Martin as others have, the Bucs need to find a way to win the battle in the trenches. Many fans may be quick to blame the "rookie wall" for Martin’s recent struggles, but that isn’t the case. Over the last month, the offensive line has been unable to create enough room for Martin to make it to the second level. In fact, the rookie runner deserves credit for not quitting on plays and working hard for every yard he earns.

The Bucs will have another tough challenge this Sunday against an Eagles defense that has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this year. Tampa Bay hopes to break that streak while giving Martin and the offensive line more confidence going into the remaining three games of the season.

Key 2. Fire The Cannons
Tampa Bay’s explosive offense has been one of the biggest turnarounds from the 2011 season. However their production has steadily decreased ever since scoring 42 points against the Oakland Raiders in week nine. Since then, the Bucs offense has scored 20, 27 (against the Panthers, in which the offense was dead until the final six minutes), 23 and 23 points. They have been 2-2 in those games, winning the Chargers game because of defensive and special teams scores.

The Bucs vertical offense has the opportunity to turn things around this week against the Eagles poor pass defense that is known for giving up big plays. If the Bucs stick to their game plan – run the ball and take deep shots, the cannons will be firing all day long.

Key 3. Stop The Sensation
After replacing an injured LeSean McCoy, breakout rookie star Bryce Brown has exploded for 347 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries. He is averaging 8.2 yards per play, including a 65-yard scamper against the Panthers. While he has been the biggest surprise of the past two weeks, he has had issues with ball security. In just two games as a starter Brown has fumbled three times, loosing all three.

Brown will have his work cut out for him against the league’s number one rushing defense in Tampa Bay. The Bucs will need to continue being impressive against the run this Sunday if they hope to win. If Brown has anywhere near the success he’s had the past two games, it will open up the passing game for the young rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who looked very impressive against a strong Cowboys secondary. 

Key 4. Make Your Alumni Proud
The hype surrounding the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl team has been escalating over the past few weeks. Media members have been asking current Bucs players what they remember from the 2002 team and the influence it has had on them. There is no doubt that players and coaches will be emotional going into Sunday’s game.

Having the presence of that legendary team on Sunday should be a good thing for the Bucs. Being surrounded by Super Bowl champions and future Hall of Famers should remind the (mostly) young Bucs players of the glory that this game can bring. Playing in front of defensive stars like Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice and John Lynch should encourage this young defense to go out and make their predecessors proud.

Media members and fans have made many comparisons between Gerald McCoy and Sapp, who has actually mentored McCoy, as well as Lavonte David and Brooks. I expect McCoy and David to be extra motivated to show they deserve these impressive comparisons. Players like Ahmad Black and Leonard Johnson, who were huge Bucs fans growing up, will surely want to show off to their childhood idols as well.

Also, among players who will be extra motivated on Sunday is, of course, Ronde Barber. He will be playing in front of his former teammates, while being honored for the 2002 season. Barber had the game-sealing pick-six against the Eagles in the NFC championship game; maybe fans will get to see another one on Sunday.

Key 5. Start A Streak
After the Seahawks' upset win over the Bears last Sunday, it became clear that the Bucs would likely have to win out in order to make the playoffs. Tampa Bay was able to pull off a four-game winning streak earlier in the season, so it is not an impossible feat. The winning streak was kicked off by an impressive and decisive win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football. Maybe what the Bucs need to jump-start this team is another decisive win. 

The Buccaneers have the perfect opportunity to do that this week. While the Eagles aren’t a pushover by any means, the Bucs are definitely a better football team. Combine that with the energy and emotion surrounding the team and the fans, and it’s the perfect atmosphere to have a special, momentum-building win.

Pewter Predictions
Haley Cornish: Buccaneers 34-17
Mark Cook: Buccaneers 28-27
Scott Reynolds: Buccaneers 31-17
Last modified on Sunday, 09 December 2012 12:27

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  • avatar

    Too familiar: I've never missed a Bucs game since 1976. I think I'm all "too familiar" with the number of opponent's fans. People just tend to exaggerate the number because it is so annoying. Travel? The vast majority of these green-clad people live within 100 miles of here. Of course I knew the ticket sales were boosted by some Eagles fans but there were not as many as I expected.
  • avatar

    Agree 100% excal, the coaches lost this game as much as our offense did. How do you think this defense who gives up over 300 yds. thru the air every game has a chance to stop Foles with almost 3 minutes left in the game. The offensive coach should shoulder all the blame by running Martin into a 10 man line at the end instead of trying to get a first down throwing it. Same old Bucs playing not to lose instead of trying to win. Get a coach who has some guts instead of the conservative crap he called at the end. Yes, Freeman you sucked most of the game too.
  • avatar

    Another game where the Bucs don't even try to get points at the end. They just ran the ball to try to run out the clock instead of playing to win. Typical Bucs! :(
  • avatar

    A lot of filthy fans in our house .
  • avatar

    Offense is straight SUCKING in1st half atleast defense came to play. Three sacks and barely any yards on the ground. Offense looking like tha pre season game against redskins. Freeman once again looking terrible.
  • avatar

    Bucs 31 Eagles 28
  • avatar

    Scubog's Keys to Victory. Key # 1: "There is Always Need to Fear.....Underdog is Here" Nothing is a given in the NFL. Do not take this Eagles team lightly. Even during the free-fall of 2011, the downtrodden Bucs nearly upset the playoff bound Packers. Key # 2: "In Your Face" No QB likes having a defender charging straight at him when he drops back to pass. # 93 needs to take a few pointers from # 99 and "hunt". Key # 3: "Gaitor Bait" Last year CB Anthony Gaitor showed some promise. He may now be our best CB especially since he has fresh legs and no game film. Perhaps he can bait the young Eagles QB into throwing a pick....or two. Key # 4: "Fast Start" Don't let the Eagles or their obnoxious fans ever think they even have a chance. I do not want to hear that E-A-G-L-E-S chant. Key # 5: " A Trip Down Memory Lane": Probably no players left on that Eagles team the mighty Bucs defeated to go on to the Superbowl. But their fans remember that day well. Keep reminding them. And the Bonus Key: "Let them Eat Steak" Son and I will be headed to DelCo's for a Philly Cheese Steak to celebrate the victory.
  • avatar

    Hate to break it to you, scubog, but the reason this game reached the necessary 85% threshold is because it's an Eagles game and their fans travel well. It's sad to know this before I even pull up on Dewey Rd., but there will be a disturbingly large contingent of Eagles fans today. The key to stopping those obnoxious chants will be executing on the field, cuz trust me, green fans willl be out in full force.
  • avatar

    toofamiliar- I tried saying exactly what you said and got lamblasted for it saying I was exagerating only Bucs Fans go to the games maybe a few handful opposing fans go, lol
  • avatar

    Good Article. As long as we can get some kind of pass defense we can win, but I think it will be a very close game no matter what.
  • avatar

    Great article ...agree with all the key points, especially stopping Bryce.
  • avatar

    Good article overall. Just one point. As a Bucs fan living in Dallas, Texas, the phrase "very impressive against a strong Cowboys secondary. " has not been uttered all season long in any of the Dallas area media.
  • avatar

    @calicojack The Cowboys secondary is ranked 10th overall in the league, and was ranked even higher prior to the Redskins game in week 12. It was impressive that a rookie with just three starts was able to have the success he had against a top ten secondary.
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