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2017 Pre-Season WK1 – Bucs vs. Bengals “What To Look For”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open the 2017 season with their first of four auditions. Who should we keep our eye on for the Bucs? Who are the Bengals biggest threats? Find out right here in WTLF!

The Numbers

Series: The Bucs are 9-4 against Cincinnati in the Pre-season. 2-1 on the road.

2016 Regular Season Rankings:

Tampa Bay – Offense (18th overall, 16th Passing, 24th Rushing), Defense (23rd overall, 22nd vs Pass, 22nd vs Run)

Cincinnati – Offense (13th overall,15th Passing, 13th Rushing ), Defense (17th overall, 11th vs Pass, 21st vs Run)

Betting Line: Bengals are favored by 2.

Bucs Player to Watch

Of course, Bucs fans are eager to see Jameis Winston and his new toys – Desean Jackson and first round pick O.J. Howard. For me though, I’m eager to see Chris Godwin. We’ve heard so many glowing reports from camp regarding this kid I want to see him do it in a ballgame. Is he a 3rd round gem or is he another Kenny Bell, who practiced like Tarzan but played like Jane?

Bengals Player to Watch

We won’t see much of the Bengals superstars A.J Green and his quarterback Andy Dalton. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap probably will play about a quarter. Rookie WR speedster John Ross is still nursing a shoulder injury so it’s unlikely we’ll see him either. For me, I’m fascinated to see Joe Mixon, the troubled running back from Oklahoma. Cincinnati took a chance on him when few other teams would.

When the Bucs Have the Ball

We may not get to see much of it in the pre-season opener, especially with starting center Ali Marpet out with an ankle injury, but I want to see Jameis connect on that deep ball. I also want to see what the Bucs have after Doug Martin. Everyone was wringing their hands regarding the RB situation but GM Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter seem to think there’s plenty of depth there. Can McWeapon learn his playbook enough to push Peyton Barber for that last spot? Can Charles Sims stay healthy? Can Jacquizz carry the load while Doug is out? Will any of them make Martin expendable?

When the Bengals Have the Ball

With Brent Grimes out with that laceration on his knee – who steps in? Can Ryan Smith live up to the hype on him during camp? Who will take Jude’s place at the nickel? Can J.J. Wilcox or Justin Evans push Conte or the Tandy-man out of a starting gig?

Weird Facts Only Important to Me

  • The Bucs have lost four straight Pre-Season season openers.
  • The Bucs have also lost in the first pre-season road trip four straight years.
J.C. De La Torre

J.C. De La Torre

JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site BucsNation.com where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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