How many players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can a casual fan name? Aside from their former #1 draft pick, QB Jameis Winston, and superstar WR Mike Evans, it’s a group of dudes that don’t often get talked about in the average living room. However, they have a linebacker that’s ready for superstar-level accolades.
Despite their 1-2 record, these guys can absolutely make the game interesting for the Los Angeles Rams when they travel to the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday.
Here are my five Buccaneers to watch:
EDGE Shaq Barrett
This guy is a problem. Barrett has eight sacks on the year. If he had some tartar sauce on hand, he might have eaten QB Daniel Jones on live television bringing down the rookie QB four times in the game. With two forced fumbles on top of that, Barrett is the heart and soul of the Bucs defense right now. The Rams need all hands on deck to contain this dude.
DT Ndamukong Suh
Remember this guy? Well, he’s back in another uniform and it’s worth noting our interior lineman aren’t looking too hot — so this will be a challenge. Does Suh still have some gas left in the tank? Seems like it, especially with attention going to Barrett, Suh could have some one-on-one battles with C Brian Allen.
WR Mike Evans
Although the Bucs lost to the New York Giants in heartbreaking fashion last week, they had some bright spots. Evans showed that he’s a touchdown machine on Sunday adding three more to his stat sheet. The Rams’ secondary has been strong this season. Hopefully, they can conjure the same spell that kept WR Odell Beckham Jr. quiet last week.
RB Ronald Jones II
Is Jones the starter for the Bucs, or is it RB Peyton Barber? It’s still unclear, but Jones has been quite productive. He had 14 carries for 80 yards in the game against the Giants while Barber had 13 touches for 48 yards. Since Jones is a USC guy, look for him to be comfortable and ready to test the Rams’ run defense.
QB Jameis Winston
Drafted in 2015, the book on Winston should be finished...but maybe it’s being written by George R.R. Martin. As soon as it seems clear that Winston is a bust, he has a great game like he did last week, throwing for 380 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Of course, all of those went to Evans, so that’s something to think about. In his week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers, Winston looked like husk of a human that was trotted out onto the field like a sacrificial lamb, tossing up three interceptions and only one touchdown. What Winston will we see against the Rams? If the Rams D keeps up their solid play, probably the latter.