Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns Keys to the Game

Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns Keys to the Game

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns Keys to the Game

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to Cleveland after their week 11 bye week. Before the bye, the Buccaneers came off a 21-16 victory against the Seattle Seahawks in Germany. The Browns are coming off a 31-23 loss against the Buffalo Bills. This game is a must-win for the Buccaneers because they are currently tied in wins with the Atlanta Falcons and risk losing the division with a loss in Cleveland. Here are my three keys for a Buccaneers victory.

Sell out for the Run

The Cleveland Browns are fifth in the league in total rushing yards and second in the league in total rushing touchdowns. The Buccaneers will need to be able to stop the run at all costs in order to come away with a victory. Star running back Nick Chubb is solely responsible for the Browns excellent run game, rather than a committee like other teams and he is the number one threat to a Tampa victory this Sunday. 

Chubb currently is second in the league for rushing touchdowns and fourth in rushing yards. Defending against the run has been a weak-point for the Buccaneers this season who are currently allowing the 15th most yards per carry with opponents averaging 4.5 yards per carry. 

The Buccaneers should sell out to stop the run to cover up for the weaker run defense that was put out earlier in the season. The Browns are typically a run-first team, but it’s possible to make them rely more on their passing game by giving them looks that indicate a pass is the better option. 

Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Force The Browns to Pass

In years past the Buccaneers were known for their amazing run-defense supported by a weaker pass-defense, but this seems to be the opposite this year. The Buccaneers are both top five in total passing yards allowed and yards per reception allowed, while they are also middle of the pack in most rushing yards allowed and least amount of rushing touchdowns. 

The Browns are around average when it comes to passing yards allowed, but they’re near the bottom in passing touchdowns. The Browns passing game is not inept, but the Buccaneers are better equipped to limit the ball in the air versus on the ground. 

The Buccaneers should focus on stopping the run and forcing the Browns to pass. This will help even out their weak run defense and allow them to put more pressure on the Browns passing game, which is currently struggling.

Establish the Run

While the Browns have an amazing rushing attack the same cannot be said about their rush defense. Cleveland is below average in total yards allowed and are bottom five in opponent yards per carry. The status of starting running back, Leonard Fournette, is still unclear after he was injured in the Week 10 game against the Seahawks, but the Buccaneers may have a star in rookie Rachaad White. White ran for 105 yards last game against the Seahawks after Fournette went down. 

He has shown that he is as capable of a back and impressed fans with his aggressive running style. The Buccaneers are bottom four in rushing attempts, but they need to make sure that they establish the run to control their offense and keep the ball out of the hands of the Browns who can chew up the clock with their own rushing attack. 

Overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to focus on stopping the run and establishing their own rushing game in order to come away with a win against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. If they can do these things, they have a good chance at securing a much-needed victory and staying in the playoff race.



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