Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Week 12 Bucs @ Ravens

by Staff Report on November 28, 2010

The Buccaneers and Ravens have had three meetings all-time, with Tampa Bay winning two of three contests (2001 and 2002). In their first-ever meet­ing, the Buccaneers prevailed 22-10 over the defending Super Bowl-champi­on Ravens before a national television audience on a special Saturday Night edition of ABC’s Monday Night Football on December 29, 2001. The late sea­son win moved Tampa Bay closer to the playoffs a day before reaching the postseason for the third consecutive year when Atlanta lost to Miami. The win marked the third straight year the Bucs defeated the defending Super Bowl champions. Tampa Bay won 25-0 in its first road game of 2002, which was the first victory for Jon Gruden as the Buccaneers head coach, and was the first of a franchise-record 12 regular season victories en route to the vic­tory in Super Bowl XXXVII. Four years later, Baltimore won for the first time ever over the Buccaneers with a 27-0 victory at Raymond James Stadium on Opening Day in 2006.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010
Kickoff: 4:15 p.m. ET
Site: M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 7-3, Baltimore 7-3
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Sam Rosen, Analyst: Tim Ryan, Sideline: Jaime Maggio
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay won at San Francisco, 21-0; Baltimore won at Carolina, 37-13

SERIES BY THE NUMBERS
Overall Regular Season Series:………………. Tampa Bay leads series, 2-1
Home Record vs. Baltimore Ravens:……………………………………….1-1
Road Record vs. Baltimore Ravens:………………………………………..1-0
Current Streak:………………………………………. Ravens, one game (2006)
Buccaneers Longest Streak:…………………………..Two games (2001-02)
Ravens Longest Streak:………………………………………One game (2006)
Regular Season Point Total:……………………. Buccaneers 47 – Ravens 37
Most Points, Buccaneers:………………………. 25, Buccaneers 25-0 (2002)
Most Points, Ravens:…………………………………. 27, Ravens 27-0 (2006)
Most Points, both teams:…………………….. 32, Buccaneers 22-10 (2001)
Fewest Points, Buccaneers:…………………………..0, Ravens 27-0 (2006)
Fewest Points, Ravens:…………………………… 0, Buccaneers 25-0 (2002)
Fewest Points, both teams:…………………… 25, Buccaneers 25-0 (2002)

Going Deep
After finishing the 2009 season ranked 20th with 40 pass completions of 20+ yards, five of which resulted in touchdowns, the Buccaneers, led by QB Josh Free­man already have 33 completions of 20+ yards in 2010 with six of those going for scores. The team currently has the 11th-most pass completions of 20+ yards and is tied for the 10-most 20+ yard touch­down passes in the NFL. From 2000-09, the Bucs averaged just 37 receptions of 20 or more yards per season and are on pace for 55 this season.

The Buccaneers are also one of five teams in the NFL, and one of two teams in the NFC, to have five different players catch a pass of 40+ yards (San Di­ego and Oakland have seven players and Cleveland and Seattle have five) this season.

Players To Watch
Legarrette Blount
Looking for a spark in the running game, the Buccaneers turned to undrafted rookie free agent RB LeGarrette Blount. Blount answered, providing an immediate impact, as he ranks among the league leaders in rushing for rookie running backs and has been nominated for Rookie of the Week twice.

He is currently tied for first in touchdowns (4), second in rushing yards (441), tied for second in yards per carry (4.4) and first in yards per game (63.0) among rookie running backs. He also has the longest rush (48 yards) of any rookie this season.

Since receiving the lions share of carries starting in week seven, Blount has amassed 411 rushing yards on 91 carries for an average of 4.52 per carry and three touchdowns for an a average of 82.2 yards per game.

Josh Freeman
This season, Freeman has been Mr. Third-Down, completing 56 of 85 pass attempts for 608 yards, three touchdowns and a completion percentage of 65.9% with one interception and a quarterback rating of 93.7%. Of those 56 completions 34 have resulted in the Bucs picking up a first down. Freeman also currently ranks seconds in the NFC in fourth quarter passer rating (96.1) with a minimum of 30 attempts. His five interceptions are tied for the third fewest by any quarterback with at least 150 pass attempts this season.

This season, Freeman has lead the team to convert at least 40.0 percent of their third-down attempts in eight of the first ten games, with five consecutive to start the season. It marked the first time in franchise history the team has had five consecutive games with at least a 40.0 percent third-down conversion rate.

On the year, he currently ranks fourth in the NFC and eighth in the NFL in third down passer rating and has thrown just one interception on a third down play. His legs have been just as productive on third downs, as 15 of Freeman’s 39 runs this year have come on third down, with 12 of those resulting in first downs. Seven of his 14 third down scrambles have come on third-and-nine or longer. In just 10 games, Freeman has already converted four third-and-fours, two third-and-11s, two third-and-nine’s, two third-and-one’s, a third-and-16 and a third-and-three by running.

Mike Williams
In this year’s draft, 12 wide receivers were taken ahead of 2010 fourth-round draft pick (101st overall) WR Mike Williams. Though Williams wasn’t drafted highly, his talent and production on the field is leading some experts to consider him the “steal of the draft” and a possible Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Through his first eight games as a pro, Williams has already been up for NFL Rookie of the Week five times, all but one after a Buccaneers victory.

Williams currently has the sixth-most receiving yards in the NFC and 18th most in the NFL. Among rookie receivers, Williams is currently second in receptions (43), first in receiving yards (681) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns (6). He is the only rookie in Buccaneers history to have 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards and 2+ touchdowns in first three games of career. He currently sits at number five for receptions by a Buccaneer rookie receiver, third in receiving yards, and in second place with six receiving touchdowns as a rookie.

Aqib Talib
Joining the Buccaneers with the lofty expectations that accompany the highest cornerback ever selected in the NFL Draft by the team (20th overall in 2008), CB Aqib Talib lived up to the hype in his rookie season and continued to have success in his first year as a full time starter last season.

In 2009, Talib finished tied for the most interceptions on the team and tied for the 12th most in the NFL with five. Through 10 games this season, Talib leads the team and is tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions.

In three seasons, Talib has 14 career interceptions, tied for the fifth-most in the NFL in that span and the most of any player entering the league in 2008.

INJURY REPORT
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Out
DE Kyle Moore (shoulder)
Probable
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
WR Sammie Stroughter (foot)
LB Quincy Black (ankle)
T Jeremy Trueblood (knee)

BALTIMORE RAVENS
Questionable
G Chris Chester (illness)
TE Ed Dickson (thigh)
DE Cory Redding (elbow)
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
Probable
S Ed Reed (illness)

ENEMY COACHES
Ravens Head Coach: John Harbaugh
Ravens Offensive Coordinator: Cam Cameron
Ravens Defensive Coordinator: Greg Mattison
Ravens Special Teams Coach: Jerry Rosburg

STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 23rd (325.0 ypg)
Rushing: 12th (117.8 ypg)
Passing: 22nd (207.2 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 14th (20)
Points Scored: 22nd (20.9 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 16th (337.3 ypg)
Rushing: 29th (136.5 ypg)
Passing: 6th (200.8 ypg)
Sacks: 30th (14)
Points Allowed: 10th (20.6 ppg)

BALTIMORE RAVENS OFFENSE
Overall: 12th (348.2 ypg)
Rushing: 13th (116.6 ypg)
Passing: 14th (231.6 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: 11th (19)
Points Scored: 16th (23.3 ppg)
BALTIMORE RAVENS DEFENSE
Overall: 8th (311.8 ypg)
Rushing: 8th (101.8 ypg)
Passing: 9th (210.0 ypg)
Sacks: 21st (19)
Points Allowed: 6th (17.8 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

BUCS 23
RAVENS 29

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