TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 10: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. San Diego Chargers

Buccaneers
Chargers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals
Quarterback
Winner Josh Freeman is one of the most improved players in the league and that’s helping the Bucs become one of the more explosive offensive teams in the league. Freeman has size, strength and the ability to throw the deep ball. He is an accurate and confident passer and that means opposing defenses must make stopping him their top priority.
Philip Rivers has had some painful moments this year in losses to the Saints and the Broncos, but he was on top of his game in the Week Nine win over the Chiefs in which he completed 18-of-20 passes and was able to put the game away in the second half. Rivers was decisive and accurate and his receivers did not let him down.
Offense
Winner The Bucs are starting to hit on all cylinders when they have the ball. Rookie running back Doug Martin is coming off one of the best games by a running back this season as he dominated the Oakland Raider defense with 251 yards and an eye-catching 4 TDs. However, no Bucs player will probably be as motivated to have a great game as former Charger Vincent Jackson. He would like to show his former team exactly what they are missing.
The Chargers are going to try to get the ball to tight end Antonio Gates and wide receiver Malcolm Floyd against the Bucs. They will have a much better chance of making big plays through the air if they can get consistent production from the running game. While Ryan Mathews and Jackie Battle are not big names, both run the ball with toughness and authority.
Defense
The Bucs are a hard hitting team that looks to force turnovers, but they give up big plays and big yards because the defense is often out of position. They gave up 414 passing yards to the Raiders and were never really able to put that game out of reach because the pass defense was a step behind for most of the game. Outside linebacker Lavonte David is an aggressive player who had 14 stops against Oakland.
Winner The Chargers have the defensive talent to slow down the Bucs significantly, if not shut them down. The Chargers rank 9th in defense overall and 4th against the run. Much of that comes from their solid tackling ability. Strong safety Atari Bigby leads the Chargers with 558 tackles this year while Donald Butler is right behind with 55 stops.
Special Teams
The Bucs may have a problem if this game comes down to special teams. Connor Barth missed both of his field goal attempts against the Raiders. Punter Michael Koenen has a net average of 37.3 yards on his punts and he lacks a strong leg.
Winner The Chargers parted company with veteran placekicker Nate Kaeding and turned the responsibilities over to Nick Novak. Novak is solid and dependable and he has made 8-of-9 field goal attempts. Mike Scifres has a strong leg and is a fine directional punter.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals

There is an air of pessimism that seems to follow head coach Norv Turner and Rivers. While both men are intelligent and creative, it seems like both know that things cannot possibly end well for the Chargers. This is the kind of game that will be very difficult for them since the Bucs have been so explosive offensively.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La\'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Philadelphia Eagles

    The two Pennsylvania teams have gotten off to 2-0 starts. Who will win the battle for interstate bragging rights?

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