3 Things for the Titans to win
1. Bishop Sankey needs to run well. What’s the best thing a rookie QB can ask for? Answer is a solid running game. Sankey has underwhelmed thus far in his NFL career but gets a chance for redemption this season. The Titans now with Marcus Mariota at quarterback allows Sankey to run the ball in a familiar style of offense that he ran in college. A shotgun mesh point zone read option rushing style can give Sankey the confidence to get back to his old self and help the Titans win games.
2. Rattle the rookie QB. Jameis Winston in his young career has already showed the propensity to turn the ball over if he doesn’t get the proper protection up front. Therefore, the Titans defense led by newly acquired Brian Orapko must get to Winston who is playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league.
3. No turnovers for Marcus Mariota. The rookie quarterback had a great track record in college for not turning the football over but that was college. In the NFL guys are moving faster and defensive coordinators are better.
Mariota needs to play within the offense and make the right play for the Titans.
3 Things for the Buccaneers to win
1. The offensive line needs to protect the franchise. The Bucs offensive line was all sorts of bad last season causing them to draft and start two rookies along the line this season. Winston is really good at reading defenses and delivering the ball where it needs to be when giving time in the pocket. The absence of CB Jason McCourty and potential absence of the Titans’ other CB Perrish Cox will leave the team short handed. So the Bucs can find success throwing the ball in this one but first things first, protect Jameis.
2. Keep Mariota in the pocket. Mariota is very good when escaping the pocket and extending plays for his receivers. Stay in your pass rushing lanes and play with discipline. Mariota still has to prove on this level that he can beat teams within the pocket. Force him prove it to you.
3. Limit the turnovers Jameis. It’s very hard to beat an NFL team but it’s even harder when you turn the ball over. Winston needs to throw the ball away when the play isn’t there and to take a sack instead of throwing the ball up for grabs. Winston can’t play terrible in the first half and expect to bring your team back each week in the NFL like he did in college at Florida State.
What to watch for…
The turnover margin. Two rookie quarterbacks facing off against each other in this one. The quarterback who protects the ball the best should come away with their first NFL victory.
The Front Office Says…
Headley and Juice – Tennessee Titans win.
Strud – Tampa Bay Buccaneers win.