TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “The practice had a different feel already,” said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Bruce Arians. “Tom is very very comfortable this week.”
After back to back losses and a welcomed bye week, the Buccaneers returned to the practice field on Tuesday.
“My body feels good coming fresh off of this bye week,” said Ronald Jones, the Buccaneers leading rusher. “I have to focus on this last four game stretch because one game can make a difference.”
The Buccaneers are preparing for the Minnesota Vikings, who will visit Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
“Minnesota is one game behind us,” said Arians, “so this is a huge game.”
The Vikings have an overall record of 6-6 but they have won five of their last six games. They currently occupy the seventh seed in the NFC.
Their running back, Dalvin Cook, has the second most rushing yards in the league despite missing one game with a groin injury. He is averaging nearly 115 yards per game.
However, the Buccaneers defense is only allowing an average of about 75 rushing yards per game.
“He is an elite back. He has been doing it for many years,” said Ndamukong Suh, a defensive lineman who will be in charge of controlling Cook. “I look forward to the challenge.”
The other challenge facing the Buccaneers defense is their ability to minimize the passing yards. They allowed 456 yards against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs one week ago and 376 yards against Jared Goff and the Rams two weeks ago, the most passing yards recorded by their opponents this season.
“One of the biggest keys for us is going back to our fundamentals, really getting back to the basics,” said Suh. “I think we are in a decent spot but I think we can always play better. We want to be able to get on a roll.”
They want to be able to get on a roll starting with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.