Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston #3 jumps to throw a touchdown pass over Los Angeles Rams Josh Forrest #59 during their NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    Trevor Siemian was named the starter for the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos before the start of the season in a move that raised eyebrows around the league. Siemian appeared to be a caretaker at the position until rookie Paxton Lynch was ready. Siemian is changing opinions rapidly after leading the Broncos to a key road win at Cincinnati and throwing four TD passes without an interception.
    Jameis Winston is one of the most physically talented quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is feeling the pressure of increased expectations in his second year at the helm of the Bucs. He has a powerful arm, senses the weakness in the defense and has the athletic ability to make big plays on the ground. However, the Bucs are off to a 1-2 start, and the heat is on to turn things around quickly.
  • Offense
    The Broncos appeared to be a team that would struggle on offense this season, but they are exceeding expectations through the first three games. C.J. Anderson has the speed to break big plays once he gets past the initial wave of tacklers. The WR duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders is powerful, and both receivers exceeded 100 yards vs. the Bengals in Week Three.
    The Bucs did not have Doug Martin in the lineup against the Rams in Week Three because of a hamstring injury and he is unlikely to play here. Charles Sims is a decent running back, but he does not have Martin’s finishing ability. Mike Evans is a legitimate big-play threat who caught 10-132-1 against the Rams.
  • Defense
    The Broncos remain one of the best defensive teams in the league, and the emergence of their offense makes life much easier for Von Miller & Co. Miller has game-changing ability and he usually picks up his sacks at the game’s most important moments. Fellow linebacker Brandon Marshall is a big-time hitter who had nine tackles in the win at Cincinnati.
    The Bucs have to pick it up defensively if they are going to have a chance at having a winning season this year. They allowed Los Angeles quarterback Case Keenum to look like a competent professional, and that’s an issue. Linebacker Lavonte David is a smart and solid player who had eight tackles against the Rams, but this team lacks cohesiveness and playmaking ability.
  • Special Teams
    The Broncos may be exceeding expectations on offense and dominating on defense, but they are just ordinary when it comes to special teams play. Brandon McManus is a decent placekicker, but you don’t get the feeling that he is truly dependable when the game is on the line.
    The Bucs are going to struggle with their coverage teams this year as they don’t have the playmakers to keep opponents from making plays in the return game. Roberto Aguayo is an unproven placekicker who is not making a good early impression.
The Bucs have the offensive talent to challenge the powerful Denver defense, but they are not going to win the battle. On the other hand, the Bucs defense will not be able to stand up to the surprising Denver offense.