TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 13: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Denver Broncos

Bucs
Broncos
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Denver Broncos 30 - San Diego Chargers 23
Quarterback
Josh Freeman has had a sensational season. After a miserable year in 2011, he has thrown the ball with velocity, accuracy and a quick release. Freeman has shown good judgment and has avoided throwing the ball into double-coverage. Freeman can buy time with his speed and athleticism. He did miss some open receivers in the Bucs’ Week 12 loss to the Falcons.
Winner Peyton Manning was not overly impressive against the Chiefs in Week 12 but he brought the Broncos their sixth consecutive win. Manning reads defenses expertly, puts the ball in a position where his receivers can catch the ball and defensive backs can’t and he has enough velocity on the ball after struggling in that area early in the season.
Offense
Doug Martin means business every time he steps onto the field. If opponents try to arm tackle him, he is going to bust through those tackles and make big plays. The reason the Bucs have turned things around is largely due to the outstanding production of Vincent Jackson, who has caught 47-959-7 this season. Jackson used to torment the Denver defensive backs when he played for the Chargers.
Winner Knowshon Moreno stepped in for Willis McGahee and ran for 85 yards in his absence. Demaryius Thomas has become an excellent deep threat (61-1,015-6) and a much more consistent receiver with Manning at quarterback. Eric Decker can make possession catches and go downfield, while Brandon Stokley is Manning’s security blanket.
Defense
The Bucs have one of the most vulnerable pass defenses in the league and they will have a tough time preventing Thomas from making one or two big catches. Outside linebacker Lavonte David is an honest football player who has given head coach Greg Schiano a team-high 98 tackles.
Winner Linebacker Von Miller continues to dominate as a pass rusher. He is leading Denver’s defense with 14 sacks. Outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard leads the team in tackles with 97 tackles and he also has four sacks. Cornerback Champ Bailey will probably have to cover Jackson and that could be a very challenging matchup.
Special Teams
Connor Barth has a strong leg and has made 4-of-7 attempts from 50 yards and beyond. His range could reach 60 yards in Denver. Barth has made 20-of-25 field goal attempts. Michael Koenen has good but not great leg strength. He is averaging 44.9 yards per punt.
Winner The Broncos have gotten a significant advantage from their special teams this season. Trindon Holliday is a very fast returner who has returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season. Placekicker Matt Prater has made16-of-20 field goal attempts this season, including 3-of-4 from 50 yards and beyond.

The Winner Is

Denver Broncos 30 - San Diego Chargers 23
Winner Broncos
4 out of 4

The Broncos did not play their best game last week, but they played well enough to get a road win over the lowly Chiefs. If they are going to push their winning streak to seven games, they are going to have to play much better. Look for Manning to have a sharp effort and the defense to put pressure on Freeman and the Broncos.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the second half of the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 27:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New England Patriots in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

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  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

    The Panthers travel to Seattle for a date with the Seahawks.

  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Week 13 Tale Of The Tape: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

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