Now that things have settled down a bit after the draft, let’s get back to looking ahead at the Broncos 2012 schedule. We will continue to take a game-by-game look at the season that the team has in front of them.
The Broncos return to Sports Authority Field at Mile High after playing at Arrowhead the week before. They take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who will be coming off of a home game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Bucs finished the 2011 season 4-12, and they lost the last 10 games of the season. This came as a bit of a surprise since the year before they went 10-6.
The last time the Broncos and Bucs met in the regular season was in October of 2008 in Denver. The Broncos pulled out a 16-13 win, but we’re looking at two very different rosters here.
In 2011, the Bucs were 27th on offense, putting up 17.9 points per game. They were 30th in rushing and 16th in passing. Defensively, they were dead last in the league allowing 30.9 points per game. Their rush defense was 32nd and their pass defense was 21st.
The Bucs did a solid job in free agency picking up the all too familiar Vincent Jackson. They also signed guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright. They didn’t, however, address their need at running back or offensive tackle before the draft.
The Bucs walked away from the draft big winners. With their first pick, they went after safety Mark Barron from Alabama (7th overall pick). Then, they addressed their need for a running back when they selected Doug Martin out of Boise State with the 31st pick (They moved into that spot thanks to Broncos). The Bucs got good value from all across the draft board.
Expect a much better record than 4-12 from the Bucs this year.
Early Prediction: Broncos – 27 Buccaneers – 14.
Buccaneers Leaders in 2011:
Josh Freeman– 346-for-551 (62.8%), 3,592 passing yards, 16 TDs, 22 INTs, 5 fumbles
LeGarrette Blount – 781 yards (55.8 per game), 5 TDs, 5 fumbles
Mike Williams – 65 receptions, 771 yards, 3 TDs
Sean Jones – 92 tackles
Ronde Barber – 3 INTs, 79 tackles
Adrian Clayborn – 7.5 sacks