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November 23, 2013 @ 12:35 pm
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Bucs' Five Keys To Victory vs. Lions

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers travel to Motown to take on the Lions who are currently tied with the Bears for the NFC North lead with a 6-4 record. Can the Bucs get their first road victory of the season? Find out what Mark Cook thinks Tampa Bay needs to do for their third win of the year.
In 1959 Berry Gordy Jr. borrowed $800 from family and friends and started a small music label called Tamia Records that soon became Motown Records, a label that has put out hundreds of hits and created a distinctive sound that brought worldwide recognition to the city of Detroit.

That was 54 years ago, and two years after the last time the Detroit Lions won an NFL Championship. The championship drought in Detroit continues, but some think the 2013 version could possibly end the dry spell. With talented players like wide receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Lions aren’t lacking for talent and are currently tied for the NFC North division lead with a 6-4 record.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to the Motor City on Sunday as they attempt to continue to turn around from their disastrous 0-8 start by winning their third game in a row.

Here are this week’s Five Keys To Victory, Motown-style, that the Buccaneers must try and achieve in order to leave Detroit with the win.

1. Reach Out, I’ll Be There (The Four Tops)
With safety Dashon Goldson suspended by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Roddy White, and linebacker Mason Foster out with a concussion, the middle of the Buccaneers defense will be manned with backups in Keith Tandy and Adam Hayward. And while these two are talented enough to play in the NFL, they are backups and will need their teammates to help cover any deficiencies that having these two in the lineup may present.

Hayward is experienced and knows the Bucs defense very well, but Foster was having his best season of his career before the concussion, and the Bucs will miss his pop in the middle. Lavonte David, who is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, will have to even play better without Foster lined up next to him.

Tandy filled in for Goldson for two games earlier in the season, and while he did have an interception in the Seattle game, his impact was minimal. Mark Barron will need to continue his impressive season and be a force as the Lions will undoubtedly try and exploit Tampa Bay having the second-year converted cornerback to safety in the lineup.

2. Papa Was A Rolling Stone (The Temptations)
If you read Scott Reynold’s Fab 5 on Friday you learned where part of Bobby Rainey’s motivation over the last two weeks has come from. Since becoming a brand new father, Rainey has been a huge factor in the Buccaneers two-game winning streak.

Asking Rainey to repeat his 163-yard effort from a week ago may be too much, but in order to provide Mike Glennon and the Buccaneers offense the balance they seek, Rainey had to continue to gain positive yards, helping the Buccaneers stay out of third-and-long situations.

Most likely the Lions’ gameplan will be to stack the box in order to stop Rainey and dare Mike Glennon to beat them with his arm. The good thing about the small but bowling-ball-built Rainey is his ability to hide behind his offensive line and squirt through tight openings. With a stacked box, if Rainey can manage to get to the second level, he could be off to the races.

3. You Keep Me Hanging On (The Supremes)
So far this season the Buccaneers have managed to blow late leads in games against the Jets, Saints, Cardinals and the Seahawks. The team could easily be in the middle of the playoff hunt with a 6-4 record, and instead of “Fire Schiano” billboards, fans would be excited for the postseason possibilities. But in all of the blown-lead games the Buccaneers seemed to climb into a shell and failed to pad their leads.

If the Buccaneers somehow find themselves up in the second half against the Lions thy must keep their foot on the gas and continue to do what got them the lead. The Lions have the ability to score from any part of the field and can do so in one play with the likes of Johnson, Stafford and Reggie Bush. No lead should make Tampa Bay’s coaching staff feel safe.

4. Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
The Johnson-Revis matchup will easily be the most anticipated battle fans from both sides will be paying attention to for three hours on Sunday. This is exactly why Revis was given $1 million a game. The two best at their positions going head-to-head, and most likely the winner of this battle will determine the winner of the game.

Johnson is averaging 18.3 yards a catch and he has had a lot of them so far this season (59). Already over 1,000 yards on the season (1,083) and having scored 11 touchdown in 10 games, the former Georgia Tech product is on pace to have a 2,000 yard, 20-TD season for the Lions.

Revis, while with only two interceptions this year, has been excellent in coverage, but for the most part teams are shying away from his side of the field. It appears Revis is finally almost 100 percent recovered from his ACL injury and it comes at a perfect time with Johnson and the Lions next up on the schedule. Revis doesn’t have to pitch a shutout necessarily, but needs to limit the explosive plays that Johnson is capable of.

5. Brick House (The Commodores)
One of the most disappointing units early in the season, the offensive line, has turned into one of the best as of late. Physical in the running game, the line has paved the way for the Bucs running backs to grind out yards and help the team win the time of possession battle over the last three weeks. The best defense of the Lions offense might be just keeping them on their own sideline.

And while the run blocking has been excellent lately, the pass protection has been equally as impressive. Glennon had all day to throw for the most part last week as evidenced by his 20-for-23 afternoon against the Falcons in the Bucs 41-28 victory. The offensive line will have their hands full with the Lions front four, but if they can open a few holes and give Glennon adequate time, the Bucs could come back to Tampa with their third win in as many games.

PewterReport.com Predictions
Mark Cook – Buccaneers 28, Lions 27
Scott Reynolds – Lions 27, Buccaneers 23

Last modified on Friday, 29 November 2013 22:56

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  • avatar

    The best key to victory would be dumping Schiano! The second would be sending Sheridan packing with him. We need to keep Bostad, Wannstedt, our RB coach, our OC if the new Coach wants to keep him, and our Defensive Consultant--Butch Davis! All the buddies Schiano insisted on bringing to our payroll from Rutgers all need to go now too. We never needed to waste money on twenty assistant coaches that Schiano bosses around anyway.
  • avatar

    Motown music was quite popular in my era. A whole lot better than rap, disco and heavy metal. I thought your twist to bring in those great hits was a hoot. I liked the Vanilla Fudge version of "You Keep Me Hanging On" better. Anyway, in keeping with Mark's brilliant theme; here's Scubog's Keys to Victory. Key # 1: "I Heard it Through The Grapevine"- I think we can finally put the questions about the source of the leaks about Josh Freeman's Adderal/Ritalin use and subsequent drug testing behind us now. Notice how quickly the NFLPA closed the book on it. Key # 2: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"-The mighty Bucs have won two games against mediocre opposition. But win in Motown against the Division leading Lions and the red and pewter just might gain a little respect. Key # 3: "Give Me Just a Little More Time"- Mike Glennon has shown an ability to complete short passes but seems to struggle on long range bombs. If that improving O-line can keep him clean in the pocket he may be more willing to take a few shots. Key # 4: "I'm a Soul Man"- Derrelle Revis will have to be a "sole" man today in covering Calvin Johnson long enough and well enough for Stafford to look elsewhere. Key # 5: "Hold On, I'm Coming"-Gerald McCoy and the D-line need to apply constant pressure on the Lion's offensive line trying to protect Stafford. Let's call it "The Heat Wave".
  • avatar

    Warren I'm with you on the classic rock, but until the Bucs play in London again it wont work!
  • avatar

    Mark: I'm not a Motown fan...how 'bout coming up withsome ACDC or Led Zeplin allegories next time! :-)
  • avatar

    o.k. this may be the Bucs best test yet. Looking at the teams injuries is kind of striking; the Bucs triple the amount of players on I.R. over the Lions. If we beat them, we embarrass them. What happens when/if Gruden ends up coach of the Lions?
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