Originally posted on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/3/12

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to get to a .500 record Sunday as they head into Oakland to face the Raiders. The Bucs had an October filled with good defense and great offense and look to continue their strong play in week nine.  Josh Freeman needs to continue impressing Since the bye week, Josh Freeman has had three straight games with three touchdowns. In that span, he has thrown for 1,010 yards with a quarterback rating of 113.9. Oakland’s pass defense has struggled this season allowing quarterbacks to throw for a completion percentage of 67.3 and giving up 246.4 yards per game. Special teams has to get going The Buccaneers have struggled with kickoff and punt returns. A category head coach Greg Schiano harps on has not played out well this season so far for the Bucs. They are averaging just 20 yards per kickoff return and are dead last in the NFL in punt return average at 5.5 yards. However, Roscoe Parrish can bring that average up this Sunday as the Raiders are giving up 11 yards per punt return. Don’t sleep on Carson Palmer The Buccaneers need to find a solution to defend the pass. Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer has played as good as he could given what he has in Oakland. In fact, the Raiders could have handed the Atlanta Falcons their first loss back in week five if it wasn’t for a pass by Palmer that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. If the Bucs secondary does not tighten up, Palmer will look like his good old days from Cincinnati. Ignore the possible distractions The Bucs were part of three major stories this week: Possible 4-game suspension for Eric Wright, Carl Nicks placed on I.R., and Aqib Talib traded. The coaching staff has done a great job preparing the team mentally for games. They responded well to the Talib suspension three weeks ago, but they’ll be tested now knowing Nicks and Talib will not suit up for them the rest of the season. (Photo Credit: AP) The post Bucs game day: Keys to the game against Oakland appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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