Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans: What's the Game Plan for Tampa Bay?By Luke Easterling Sep 26, 2015Wesley Hitt/Getty Images Through two weeks of regular-season play, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more Jekyll-and-Hyde team than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.After an insanely deflating blowout at home to the Tennessee Titans to start the season, the Bucs bounced back with an impressive outing on the road against the New Orleans Saints last week, besting their division rivals 26-19 to move to 1-1 on the year.This week, they head back out on the road to face the 0-2 Houston Texans, a team struggling with injuries and consistency on offense that J.J. Watt and company haven't been able to overcome.What does Tampa Bay need to do on both sides of the ball to take their 2015 record over .500 this week? Let's take a look.Offensive Game PlanConsidering the playmakers Houston has in its front seven, one might expect the Bucs to have a tougher time running the ball than attacking through the air, but that may not be the case.Through two games, the Texans rank 26th in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up an average of 134 yards per game on the ground. Against the pass, however, Houston ranks 11th in the league, allowing just over 205 yards per game.Chuck Cook-USA TODAY SportsStill, despite the low yardage total, Houston's pass defense hasn't been terribly opportunistic, managing just one interception while allowing five touchdown passes so far this season.Tampa Bay's offense was done in by costly turnovers in its Week 1 loss to the Titans, but Jameis Winston and his crew recovered with a fairly mistake-free outing against the Saints last week. They'll need a similar performance this week against the Texans, where they can eat up small chunks of yardage, eat up the clock by moving the chains methodically and get at least within field-goal range as often as possible.Touchdowns are obviously preferable, but kicker Kyle Brindza's performance last week was the difference on the scoreboard for the Bucs, as the newcomer nailed four of his five field-goal attempts. Brindza proved his range with a 55-yarder, so as long as the Bucs can get near that range, he should be able to put points on the board.Look for offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to do everything he can to get the ball out of Winston's hands early in the passing game while using misdirection in the running game to keep J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on their heels as much as possible—even if it's not very often at all.Doug Martin has delivered on the ground every week so far this year, racking up plenty of yards after contact despite not having a dominant offensive line. The Texans are currently giving up just over four yards per carry on the ground, and if Martin can match that this week, Tampa Bay will be in good shape on offense.Defensive Game PlanPressure, pressure, pressure.It was the name of the game for Tampa Bay's defense last week, and it needs to be at the top of the list of its objectives this week, as well.Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesJacquies Smith led the charge for Tampa Bay's defensive line last week, notching three of its four sacks and forcing a pair of fumbles.The Bucs got after Drew Brees early and often last week, rattling the veteran signal-caller and constantly impacting his throws, leading to four sacks and three takeaways. This week, the unit will face a far inferior quarterback situation and a similarly struggling offensive line in Houston, which should have Gerald McCoy, Jacquies Smith and company chomping at the bit.Throw in the fact that injuries could play a huge part in keeping Houston's best offensive playmakers off the field this week, and you have a recipe for another potentially dominant performance from the Tampa Bay defense.Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans will be without star running back Arian Foster and starting tackle Duane Brown on Sunday. And while their best receiver is listed as probable, DeAndre Hopkins missed most of this week's practices while dealing with a concussion, which could keep him from being 100 percent effective this week.Winning on defense for Tampa Bay this week comes down to its front four getting the job done like they did last week against both the run and pass. If the Bucs can win the line of scrimmage and get consistent pressure with just four rushers, expect Ryan Mallett to make mistakes through the air and for Tampa Bay's athletic back seven to again take advantage with multiple takeaways.Top Players and MatchupsScott Halleran/Getty ImagesTampa Bay's rookie offensive linemen will have their hands full with Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt.J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney vs. Donovan Smith and Ali MarpetTampa Bay's rookie starters on the offensive line have already been undergoing a trial by fire through their first two regular-season games, but they'll face their greatest challenge yet this week.Clowney looks to be finally healthy after missing most of his rookie season with a knee injury, while Watt has already bagged a sack in each of his first two games. Smith will need to take his play to another level quickly at left tackle if he wants to keep Jameis Winston on his feet this week, while Marpet will need all the help he can get to keep the league's best defensive player at bay.Bucs WR Mike Evans and Texans WR DeAndre HopkinsBoth of these teams need their top receivers in a big way this week, but each has been dealing with an injury that could keep him from making a significant impact.Evans injured his hamstring halfway through the preseason and was inactive all the way through Week 1 of the regular season. Despite starting last week's game, Evans was used as a decoy and didn't register a single catch.Hopkins is trying to work his way back from a concussion, returning to practice on Friday, per Wilson. His status for Sunday's game is still up in the air, and considering the absence of workhorse running back Arian Foster and a shaky quarterback situation, it would be a huge blow to the Houston offense if he's unable to play.Either way, these two receivers should have a huge impact on their team's success this week, whether by their presence and effectiveness on the field or lack thereof.Defense will be the strength on both sidelines this week, while the offenses will simply do their best to take care of the ball, minimize costly mistakes and take advantage of turnovers and short fields.Expect both teams to struggle moving the ball, with field position and the kicking game playing a key role in who comes out on top. If either team is able to score on defense, the victory will likely go to whichever side can make that happen.Given the experience and star power the Texans have on their defense, combined with the home-field advantage, I see Watt leading his team to victory in a low-scoring affair that could come down to a last-minute field goal or defensive stand.Final Prediction: Texans 16, Bucs 13link
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