Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/22/12

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  The Bucs came off a ridiculous and ultimately heart-breaking come from behind loss to the Giants in Week 2.  For one half the Bucs actually looked good on both offense and defense, capitalizing and Eli Manning miscues and taking a commanding lead.  Then of course, Manning came storming back, took the lead, and then we had “Kneel Down-Gate” at the end.  Bucs coach Greg Schiano had his defense storm the kneel down play and knock Manning to the ground in an effort to get the ball back. 

Pundits for most part have called this classless, while Schiano said he tells his guys to “play hard through the final whistle”.  Hmm… well coach, if your guys had played as hard during the final 15 minutes when they were letting Manning throw for half a thousand yards, they might not have had to storm a Giants’ kneel down.  Just sayin’… but I digress.

The Bucs will face a Cowboys team that is usually much tougher at home than they are on the road, which isn’t very fortunate for Josh Freeman and company.  Freeman has passed for decent yardage the last couple of weeks, mostly because he’s positively giddy about having a deep threat like Vincent Jackson on the roster.  It’s obvious that Jackson is Freeman’s favorite target after two weeks, and that will continue in Week 3.

Doug Martin has essentially taken the bell cow role and he has been pretty competent in the role.  He hasn’t shown to be as explosive as Richardson has shown so far, and with the Cowboys defense at home and mad about losing on the road to Seattle, don’t expect a lot of room for Martin to roam, but he could very well score from up close.

Good Start:  RB Doug Martin, WR Vincent Jackson

Middle of the Road:  QB Josh Freeman

Bad Start:  RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Mike Williams, TE Dallas Clark


Dallas Cowboys:  Once again, the Cowboys have proven they can look like world beaters one week, especially at home, then go on the road and look listless, disinterested, and undisciplined.  Usually this happens when the Cowboys face a team that’s physical and plays a “punch-you-in-the-mouth” style of defense, supported by a good running game.  They ran into such a team in Week 2 in Seattle, and the Bucs are trying to follow a similar blueprint this season.  Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Bucs aren’t as far along in that plan, and they just don’t have the horses to keep up with Dallas.

Tony Romo should have a big bounce back game, as should DeMarco Murray.  I’d even look for Dez Bryant to even show up in this one, as he decided Week 2 was a good week to just disappear.  Both Miles Austin and Jason Witten are still trying to get healthy, and it’s very likely this will be both players’ best game yet of this young season.  This is a game that if you have some Cowboys players on your roster, you might as well start them and hope for them to follow the Giants’ plan of offensive attack.

Good Start:  QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray, WR Dez Bryant, WR Miles Austin, TE Jason Witten

Middle of the Road:  WR Kevin Ogletree

Bad Start:  RB Felix Jones

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