Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- The two most important players to the Buccaneers offensive and defensive line returned to full practices on Thursday, Tristan Wirfs and Vita Vea.
- Texans RB Dameon Pierce and WR Robert Woods have yet to practice this week (as of Thursday).
- OT Laremy Tunsil returned to a limited sessions Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice.
- Nico Collins and Tank Dell are once again set up well in this spot.
- Both teams present a pass-funnel matchup as far as the on-paper matchups are concerned.
How tampa bay Will Try To Win ::
The Buccaneers have played with moderate pace (11th-ranked 28.1 seconds per play) and find themselves in the top half of the league in pass rate over expectation, averaging a slightly below average 61.1 plays per game and a slightly above average 35.3 pass attempts per game. The 3-4 Bucs have dropped three in a row to the Lions, Falcons, and Bills after starting the season 3-1 and have already had their bye, but play in one of the worst divisions in the league leaving them just a half game back from the Falcons and Saints for the division lead. During this three-game downturn, they have averaged just 12.33 points per game, placing them near the bottom of the league in scoring for the season at 17.3 points per game (27th). Expect a pass-balanced approach to start based on previous tendencies against an opponent that presents slight pass-funnel tendencies while utilizing zone coverages at a top 10 rate.
Rachaad White has become a true workhorse running back this season, handling the fifth highest snap share (77.5 percent) and 10th highest opportunity share (70.5 percent). His yards per carry stands a putrid 3.3 (53rd) while his yards per touch is a non-elite 4.4, so it hasn’t been pretty, but the volume has been there with 13.1 carries and 4.3 targets per game (similar workload to D’Andre Swift in Philadelphia). The matchup is far from ideal against a Texans defense holding opponents to 3.6 yards per carry and 1.20 yards before contact, so expect another game of muted efficiency and tough sledding on the ground. Chase Edmonds was active in Week 8 for the first time since Week 2 and immediately usurped Ke’Shawn Vaughn for the change of pace role, which likely speaks more to Vaughn’s inability to lock down the role than it does to Edmonds’ abilities on the field. What that should serve to do is strengthen White’s hold on the workhorse role.
The Buccaneers play almost exclusively from 11-personnel on offense, with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Cade Otton near every-down pass-catchers and rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer working his way into an 80 percent plus role. Deven Thompkins and Rakim Jarrett are on hand for situational roles, each primarily held to under 30 percent of the offensive snaps. The Texans are in zone coverages at the eighth highest rate this season, against which Evans and Godwin are the two primary contributors. Actually, those two are the two primary contributors against all coverages, with Evans leading the way with a 25.9 percent targets per route run rate, 23.3 percent team target market share, and a healthy 13.3 aDOT. Evans is ranked in the top 10 in fantasy points per route run against both man and zone this season, while Godwin ranks eighth in fantasy points per route run against man but 51st against zone. The matchup sets up well for Evans to once again be the clear and away top option. Palmer has a modest 9.3 percent targets per route run rate against zone coverages while Otton holds modest marks in target market share (12.3 percent), targets per route run rate (12.2 percent), and aDOT (5.8).