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LA Chargers 2020 opponent preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots runs towards the bench before the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots runs towards the bench before the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

How the LA Chargers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Implement a more pass-heavy offense

The LA Chargers seem to be on the path of implementing a more run-heavy offense moving forward that shifts from the gunslinging offense with Philip Rivers and instead capitalizes on what Tyrod Taylor, and eventually Justin Herbert, can do with their legs.

However, in this game, the Chargers need to call on the passing game more often and get one of Taylor’s better passing performances of the season. That is going to be the only way that the Chargers beat the Bucs, barring a collapse from Tampa Bay, of course.

The obvious playbook on the defensive side of the ball is to get pressure on Tom Brady but I do not think that will be easy as some Charger fans think. While they will get pressure on Brady, we have seen time and time again that Brady can handle that outside pressure better than pressure up the middle and step up in the pocket.

The Chargers do not have as great of a pass-rush in the interior and according to Pro Football Focus, the Bucs’ guard and centers last season had the second-best pass-blocking rating in the NFL.

The cover 3 defense will have some success against the Bucs and I definitely do think the Chargers are going to be able to limit the Bucs from having a big game, that is not the concern at all. The concern is turning the opportunities into points on offense.

I really like the Bucs’ defensive line and, in particular, their linebacker group. They have one of the best (and most overlooked) linebacker group in football and that is why they allowed the fewest rushing yards per game last season.

However, they also have a very suspect secondary. They ranked 19th PFF’s secondary ranking last season and don’t really have the guys (or depth) that is going to be able to stop a passing game with as many weapons as the Chargers have.

Next. Opponent preview: Carolina Panthers

This should be a passing clinic for Tyrod Taylor, implementing the run only to open the passing game. I would expect a big game from both Austin Ekeler (receiving) and Keenan Allen.

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