With this being such a big game, not like every game isn’t a big game, I was able to ask Gil Arcia of Bucs Nation, SB Nation’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers website, five questions leading up to the game.
Check out the Q&A below, and be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all your betting needs this season.
Of course I have to start with Tom Brady. While his off field news is getting plenty of publicity, it’s business as usual for Brady on the field. The dude just never seems to age. What has surprised you most, either positive or negative, about Brady’s game, even at this stage of his career?
I guess it’s not really a surprise, but his ability to get the ball out quickly as he still does is beyond me. Even in tight windows Brady has shown to thread the needle and zip the ball right into the receiver’s chest. Also, his hand isn’t 100-percent. That is preventing his deep ball some which was quite visible last week. But he doesn’t need the deep ball to still move the ball through the air efficiently and accurately.
The Buccaneers defense is a dominant unit, but every defense has their soft spots. What is the soft spot, or area to exploit, for the 2022 Buccaneers defense? That is, if you feel one even exists...
Without a doubt. Tampa Bay’s speed is sometimes a vulnerability in itself. Linebackers have been known to over pursue at times and others players have just not hit their gaps to stuff runs often this season. After dominating the Cowboys run game in Week 1, the Buccaneers haven’t really been as dominating against the run since. Fortunately, there are signs that they’ll turn things around in that department. Their scheme as a whole still helps them with the way head coach Todd Bowles has them disguising looks. That causes confusion for the opposition in the passing game and Tampa Bay’s pass defense has benefitted from it.
Tampa Bay’s running game hasn’t been what many expected heading into 2022. I know the offensive line has suffered some injuries, but is this more play calling being dictated by the game or something deeper?
It’s a mix of everything to be honest. The offensive line hasn’t been able to do much run blocking up front, the play calling has been questionable at times, and games have evolved quite strangely. How they have succeeded is Leonard Fournette just bursting through tight openings. But defenses have been stacking the box and the offensive line has had no idea what to do it seems.
On top of the above question, what is the way to slow down the Tampa Bay offense? What is the area the Steelers could try to exploit in Week 6 to pull off the upset?
If they can find a way to apply constant and consistent pressure, then the offensive line will collapse. We’ve seen that this season especially the past two weeks from the Falcons and the Chiefs where the protection quickly broke down for Brady. Pittsburgh can take that same approach and have success with it. Running corners in off a blitz from nickel and overload the left side of the offensive line. The Steelers should try everything possible to make that happen often throughout the game.
At the time of this question being written, the Steelers are 8-point underdogs, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The 1-4 Steelers have dropped four in a row and are coming off an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Does this make the Bucs fan base uneasy, or are they confident this will be a get-right game for Brady and the boys? How do you see this game shaking out, and do you think the Bucs will cover?
I’ll tell you what, confidence from the fan base has been dropping. Considering how the offense has played, and that is with lots of inconsistencies, I would say that is the major reason why. Tampa Bay’s up and down season hasn’t given me much confidence to say, “Oh they are easily the superior team.” But that isn’t the case. I can see the Bucs winning, sure, albeit by a much closer margin.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for their Week 6 game vs. the Bucs this Sunday in Pittsburgh.