The Bucs and Bengals meet in a crossroad game for both teams. Can the Bucs get over .500 once again, or will they face the prospect of another 3-5 start under Dirk Koetter? Tampa Bay needs this one badly to keep pace in the NFC South, but their reeling opponents need it as well. What else is there to watch out for in Week 8?
DeSean All in?
This is not what you want to see when your team readies for an important game today.
#Bucs WR DeSean Jackson requested a trade from Tampa Bay, sources say. The team has resisted. But an intriguing name to watch. My story: https://t.co/CeoQcy5SAc
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2018
Jackson certainly hasn’t been himself since Jameis returned to the lineup. He and Ryan Fitzpatrick had a magical connection that reignited the 31-year old wide receiver’s career and showed the organization the type of weapon he could be. However, with Winston’s return, he has turned into the decoy once again. The problem is, Winston doesn’t have the deep ball accuracy or 14 years of NFL experience that Fitz has. While he’s completed deep passes to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, those were 50-50 balls to players he trusts. Jackson is the sort of weapon who gets behind a secondary and needs to be hit in stride. Winston hasn’t shown the ability to consistently be able to do that. That can frustrate a receiver who knows he can still play in this league.
To trade away Desean Jackson would be a big blow to the Bucs high-powered offense. However, you can’t have guys on your team who don’t want to be there.
Duff’s Defense on The Road
The Buccaneers turned in a pretty solid defensive performance at home against the Browns, but that was with rookie Baker Mayfield and limited weapons at his disposal. Now the Bucs have to go on the road against a veteran quarterback in Andy Dalton and an elite wide receiver in A.J. Green. If the Bucs defense can play well again, then it’s a really good sign that this football team can stay competitive for the rest of the season.
Is this the week Winston is turnover-free?
We seem to ask this question every week, especially this season, but Winston needs to protect the football better to give his team a chance to win football games. He’s turned the football over 7 times in 11 quarters of play. That can’t continue if the Bucs want to get back to post-season play.
Tampa Bay suffered it’s most devastating injury of the season, losing the captain and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander to a season-ending torn ACL. Honestly, the Bucs defense until Sunday wasn’t very good WITH him, but how will it be without him?