In the third of four preseason games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will welcome into town one of the NFL’s rising teams in the Cleveland Browns, whom head into the 2019 campaign under the direction of Freddie Kitchens, a first-year head coach and Bruce Arians’ disciple.
Tonight’s game will likely be the most playing time starters generally see throughout the preseason, which means the Buccaneers’ fans will get a little bit longer look at both the starting offensive and defensive units.
All eyes will of course be glued to the play of fifth-year quarterback Jameis Winston, whom has played well in his first two outings in limited action. The continued improvement from the backfield duo of Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones III will be something else to keep an eye out for, as both are battling for the starting nod for September 8th when Tampa Bay hosts the San Francisco 49ers.
Tampa Bay’s defense will be the group tested the most when they face off against an extremely talented Cleveland offense that features second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. The Buccaneers’ secondary has been a group under scrutiny in the past, but Arians will get one last look before the final preseason warm up.
One area that looks to have been locked up is the kicking battle between veteran Cairo Santos and rookie Matt Gay, who knocked home the game-winning 48-yard attempt last Friday in the win against the Miami Dolphins. With a likely winner in that category, Tampa Bay hopes to end their kicking woes of the last few years.
The Buccaneers will still be without some big names going into tonight’s preseason matchup, with linebacker Lavonte David, defensive tackle Vita Vea both still out. Tonight’s preseason game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium and can be watched on the NFL Network.
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