TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Buffalo Bills At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Quarterback
E.J. Manuel has given the Bills reasonable hope that he is the team’s quarterback of the future. While he has made some rookie mistakes, he has also made some big plays and he has the size, athleticism and arm strength to take advantage of any mistake the Tampa Bay defense makes. Manuel is making progress and seems to become a more vital part of the Buffalo offense each week.
Winner Mike Glennon may have gotten the starting quarterback position under unusual circumstances – the Bucs basically fired previous quarterback Josh Freeman – but he has made the most of his opportunity. While he had a poor game in Week 13 against the Carolina Panthers, Glennon has been an accurate passer who reads defenses well and can hit the deep pass with some consistency.
Offense
Winner The Bills want to unleash a robust running attack every time they take the field because they know that Manuel needs help and he can’t do it by himself every game. Fred Jackson is a tough and hard-hitting running back, while C.J. Spiller is explosive and can break the long run. Stevie Johnson is a big-play receiver who lacks consistency. Tight end Scott Chandler is a decent third-down receiver.
The Bucs have been hurt badly by injuries to running backs Doug Martin and Mike James, but unheralded Bobby Rainey has been a find for head coach Greg Schiano. He gets every inch he can out of every rushing attempt he gets. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson is a star receiver who can carry the team on his back. Tight end Timothy Underwood has good hands and is improving.
Defense
The Bills don’t have overwhelming talent or athleticism on the defensive side of the ball, but they are playing hard each week. Rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso is the team’s best tackler and he is very good when the ball is in the air. Mario Williams can be a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line when he is on his game. Free safety Aaron Williams has excellent range and he plays with intelligence.
Winner The Bucs have been surprisingly effective on defense much of the year. While they have been hurt by mistakes, the effort Schiano has gotten has been excellent. Lavonte David is the defense’s leader and its best player. He will range sideline to sideline to make tackles. The Bucs will be hurt if cornerback Darrelle Revis (groin, chest) can’t play or is not at his best.
Special Teams
The Bills have been disappointed with their play in the return game. They have given up a punt return for a touchdown, but they don’t make big plays themselves. If the game comes down to a field goal, Dan Carpenter has a strong leg and does not get overwhelmed in clutch situations.
Winner The Bucs have done a solid job in covering kickoffs and punts, and they have gotten a lift from Eric Page, who has the quickness to give them an advantage on kickoff returns. Rian Lindell has been decent but not spectacular this season, and he tends to struggle on long field goal attempts.

The Winner Is

(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Winner Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3 out of 4

The Bucs have made progress in the second half of the season, but they were overpowered by a strong Carolina defense in Week 13 and they need to turn things around against a Buffalo team that has lost four of five road games.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Members of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. Recording artist Katy Perry performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show.
    Was Super Bowl XLIX Or Katy Perry’s Halftime Show More Exciting?

    I don’t usually watch Super Bowl halftime shows. But when I do, it has Katy Perry. How did her performance measure up to the game?

  2. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to the media during a press conference Sunset over water
    More Shocking, Bill Belichick Not Aware Of Deflated Footballs Or Sun Setting In West?

    The sun sets in the west every day. But is that more shocking than Bill Belichick claiming ignorance in Deflate-gate?

  3. Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Which Team Has The Super Bowl Edge? New England Patriots Vs. Seattle Seahawks

    The Patriots have managed to outsmart both the Ravens and Colts with trick plays in the postseason, and the Seahawks will have to be on high alert here.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,641 other followers