Bucs face one of the NFL’s hottest teams in another road test


(WFLA photo)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WFLA) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put an end to their two-game losing streak last Monday with a convincing 30-10 win over the New York Giants.

This afternoon in Indianapolis, the challenge will be tougher.

The Colts enter the game with a 6-5 record, winners in five of their last six games.

Last Sunday, a stunning blowout of the Buffalo Bills made the AFC South take notice and put the Bucs on high alert for another road game, something the team has struggled with this season.

While going a perfect 5-0 at home, the Bucs have slipped to 2-3 on the road with sloppy play and penalties costing them momentum and scoring chances.

Against the Colts, the Bucs vaunted run defense will be put to the test by running back Jonathan Taylor, who ripped the Bills apart with 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Taylor also caught a touchdown pass.

“Big, big – he is great in the screen game, but he can go out and run routes,” Arians said describing Taylor. “He could be a wide receiver if he wanted to be – he’s got the size and speed. [He is a] tremendous athlete. He is dangerous anywhere in space.”

The Bucs defense will need to perform much better on the road, particularly in 3rd down situations.

Two weeks ago against the Washington Football Team, the Bucs allowed Washington to convert 11 of 19 3rd down attempts and 2 of 2 4th down attempts. Washington also held the football for a final 10:36 in the 4th quarter, not allowing the Bucs time to try to rally, two scores down.

Defensive lineman Vita Vea left the Washington game with an injured knee but escaped serious damage. He will be a game time decision against the Colts.

“He made steady progress,” Arians said. “We will see how he is in warm-ups.”

The Bucs offense recovered from its subpar day in Washington to put up big numbers against the Giants but its best aspect in the game was turnover margin.

Quarterback Tom Brady did throw one interception that was a deflected ball of wide receiver Mike Evans. The Giants took advantage of a short field to score a touchdown.

The offense answered on its next drive with a touchdown and played cleanly the rest of the game.

The Colts will challenge the ball carriers all day, leading the league in turnovers.

“They are really good at punching out the ball. We’ve got to have great ball security,” Arians said. “We’ve had issues on the road so far this year with turnovers. It’s a top priority for us to win the turnover battle in this game.”

Wide receiver Antonio Brown will miss yet another game with an ankle injury, however, Scotty Miller may have a chance to play as he marks his return from a turf toe injury.

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