This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to get back on track against a lowly New York Giants team. Going into the game, there will be no QB controversy as head coach Dirk Koetter named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter earlier in the week.
Getting back on track
After putting up just three points last week, the Bucs will need to do a better job getting the ball in the end zone. In fact, the Bucs did an excellent job moving the ball as they put up 501 total yards on offense but were 0-5 in the red zone.
Looking at their schedule, this week against the Giants and next week against the 49ers are the Bucs most winnable games for the rest of the season according to Football Power Index.
The Giants have had one of the worst offensive lines in the league the entire season, and if the Bucs are unable to put pressure on Eli Manning, especially with Lavonte David potentially out, the defense is going to have a long day.
Fitzpatrick will need to do a better job protecting the ball if the Bucs are going to come away with the win. In the game against Washington last week, he amassed over 400 passing yards but no touchdowns, two interceptions and fumble on the opponents four-yard line.
Koetter noted that he believes Fitzpatrick still gives the team the best chance to win. If not for a Mike Evans dropped touchdown pass last week and a more effective defense, the Bucs could be in a different position heading into week 11.
Looking at the personnel
Perhaps one of the bigger story lines of the week is former Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul heading back to New York. JPP is a former All-Pro and helped the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2011. He has been the best pass-rusher for the Bucs this season and will look to take advantage of that shaky offensive line for the Giants.
Tampa Bay made a change at the kicker position replacing Chandler Catanzaro with Cairo Santos after Catanzaro missed two field goals last week. Santos will become the tenth different kicker to start a game for the Bucs since 2009, the most in the league since then.
How the team performs this week and the rest of the season will decide whether Koetter will keep his job or not. The inconsistency at quarterback and a lackluster defense has made his job difficult this year but nonetheless it still falls on him. A solid performance from Fitzpatrick and stronger showing from his defense could go a long way for Koetter.