Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers middle linebacker Mason Foster (59) reacts after he made an interception during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: The Keys to Beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive back Nickell Robey (37) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) during the second half of the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers travel east to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers’ are 4-9, but their record is deceiving. They have won four of their last five games after starting off losing eight straight games. The Buccaneers have a very talented roster that can hang with any team in the NFL, so the 49ers cannot take them lightly.

The Buccaneers’ entire roster has underacheived this year. Before the season, many people believed the Buccaneers had a shot at the NFC South crown this year. The Buccaneers have lost four games this year by three points or less. The worst thing any team can do is just brush them off as a non-threatening team.

The strength of this team is their defense. They’re 17th against the pass and in the top 10 against the run. They have an enormous amount of talent on that side of the ball. On the offense they are still dangerous, but they aren’t world beaters. They way to beat the Bucaneers is to play good defense and shut down their offense. Luckily for the 49ers, their strength is also the defense and they have shut down better offenses this year.

The defense can do its part, but the offense also needs to step up. The offense had a good showing last week against the Seahawks, and they will have another test this Sunday. They need to put up points while the defense tries to stop Tampa Bay’s offense. With a talented secondary that features Darelle Revis and former 49er Dashon Goldson, the offense will have its hands full.

On offense, the Buccaneers employ and good ground game despite having mutltiple running backs get injured this year. The 49ers’ defense have seen some good running backs this year, and this Sunday will be no different. The Buccaneers rank 21st on the ground and 31st in the air. Even with lackluster stats, the offense is still a threat. The 49ers need to shut down the running game and blanket Vincent Jackson. Jackson is a top receiver in the NFL and has proved that he needs lots of attention, and the 49ers are sure to give him plenty of attention. If they can do that, then the game can be won.

Overall, the 49ers must play this game like any other game. They cannot take plays off or hold back. They must win the same way they have won all year. Stifling defense coupled with a good running game and decent passing attack.

Tags: NFL San Francisco 49ers