Will Fitzpatrick lead the Bucs to victory

Buccaneers To Continue Bright Start With Steelers Win

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be aiming to build on their impressive start to the season to move to 3-0 by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on home soil on Monday.

Dirk Koetter’s men have been the surprise package of the opening two weeks of the term. The Buccaneers thrashed the New Orleans Saints in their first game before inflicting a loss on the reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles last time out.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been outstanding thus far, throwing four touchdowns in both games to guide his side to convincing victories. The 35-year-old was pressed into action in relief of Jameis Winston as a result of his suspension, and he may not relinquish the starting duties on the basis of displays.

On the other side, the Steelers are a mess in the early stages of the term. Le’Veon Bell has still resolved his dispute with the club, with the running back remaining away from the team. James Conner has picked up the slack, although Pittsburgh are not the same team without Bell.

Antonio Brown added to the drama by failing to turn up to practice earlier this week. The Steelers cannot afford to fall apart by dropping another match on the road. Ben Roethlisberger displayed his best form against the Kansas City Chiefs, although his four touchdowns were not enough.

Pittsburgh’s defense has to improve otherwise the burden on Roethlisberger and the offense will once again be too great to overcome.

Will Fitzpatrick lead the Bucs to victory

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fitzpatrick has been a pleasant surprise at the start of the season. The 35-year-old has always been an up-and-down player at the quarterback position. He has produced good seasons during his NFL career notably at the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. However, Fitzpatrick has struggled to become a consistent player, resulting in his journeyman status across the league.

Tampa Bay have seen the quality side to his play in the opening matches of the season. It is reminiscent of his 2015 campaign with the Jets when the quarterback had a number of talented receivers at his disposal. He has used them to devastating effect, connecting downfield for eight touchdowns this term to just one interception. Only Patrick Mahomes has thrown more strikes than the veteran after two games.

Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard have enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign. Evans and Jackson have been top-quality wideouts throughout their respective careers, but Godwin and Howard are beginning to rise to the occasion.

Both are young players only in their second terms in the NFL. However, they’re starting to realise their potential. The depth and talent of the Bucs’ passing game makes them an incredibly hard outfit to defend as the Saints and the Eagles have discovered. Pittsburgh were carved open by the Chiefs last week and will find life just as tough on Monday in Tampa Bay.

Defensively the Buccaneers have been suspect, although the teams that they faced have been in desperate mode attempting to keep pace with their offense. However, they managed to limit the Saints and Eagles enough to secure victories. Brent Grimes’ return from injury will bolster the secondary, while first-round draft pick Vita Vea will add strength to the defensive line. Tampa Bay’s defense may only need to stifle the Steelers for a short period to allow their offense to control proceedings.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have endured a terrible start to the term. They almost lost to the Cleveland Browns in their opener and were hammered by the Chiefs last time out. Roethlisberger had issues against the Browns, and although he bounced back against the Chiefs, it was the defense that cost Mike Tomlin’s men. Pittsburgh are not playing complementary football and the harmony of the franchise is very close to breaking point. Bell remains away from the club after his refusal to play under the franchise tag.

Brown opted not to turn up to practice on Tuesday, although his agent claimed it was for a personal matter. The All-Pro also got into a Twitter debate with a former employee of the club, suggesting that his head is not a good place at the moment. Brown insisted that his happiness was due to the club’s start to the term.

Never has a team needed a win more than the Steelers this week. Roethlisberger continued to display his talent at the quarterback position. However, at the age of 36, he cannot be expected to keep carrying the offense. Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards against the Chiefs and still wasn’t enough.

There is a lot of pressure on the defense to respond from their awful outing against the Chiefs. TJ Watt had a three-sack performance against the Browns, but was invisible against Kansas City. Bud Dupree and Vince Williams have also had their issues in the linebacking corps.

Their problems pale into insignificance compared to the secondary. Pittsburgh have had issues with their cornerbacks and safeties since the retirements of Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu. Artie Burns has failed to live up to his draft billing after being selected in the first round in 2016. Sean Davis has endured a tough time as well. They face a huge challenge to contain the Buccaneers’ passing game, one which could well be beyond them once again.

Betting Options

The Buccaneers are on a high entering the game and have the talent to expose Pittsburgh’s deficiencies on defense. Their offense could be one of the best in the NFL, although their success against the Steelers will hinge on which version of Fitzpatrick appears at Raymond James Stadium. Should the Fitzpatrick that appeared in the opening two matches of the campaign fire once again then the Bucs should be able to clinch their third win on the term.

On home soil Tampa Bay should have enough to see out the victory at odds of +105   with TopBet, while take the Buccaneers on a -3 spread at odds of +145   with 888Sport. The over/under line has been set at 53.5 points, take the over at odds of -110   with BetOnline.

Jackson has found the endzone three times this season. Take him to find it again at odds of +160   anytime, while Jesse James will also score a touchdown at +200   with 888Sport.

Fitzpatrick should be in line for another big performance, take him to record over 281 passing yards at -118 , while Roethlisberger will have to match him for over 291 yards at -118   with 888Sport.Take Fitzpatrick to outduel his rival at +150   to throw the most touchdowns in the contest.

Evans should dominate the Steelers’ secondary to record over 84 receiving yards at -118 , while Brown could be on course for a big day with over 103 receiving yards at -118   with 888Sport. Take Conner to record under 84.5 rushing yards at 888Sport at odds of -125 .

Tips Summary

Tampa Bay Buccaneers To Beat Pittsburgh Steelers
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: +105

Take Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 Spread
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: +145

Over 54 Total Points To Be Scored
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -110

DeSean Jackson To Score Touchdown Anytime
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: +160

Jesse James To Score Touchdown Anytime
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: +200

Ryan Fitzpatrick To Record Over 281 Passing Yards
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -118

Ben Roethlisberger To Record Over 291 Passing Yards
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -118

Ryan Fitzpatrick To Throw More Touchdowns Than Ben Roethlisberger
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: +150

Mike Evans To Record Over 84 Receiving Yards
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -118

Antonio Brown To Record Over 103 Receiving Yards
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -118

James Conner To Record Under 84.5 Rushing Yards
Monday 24th September 2018 20:20 ET (Tuesday 25th September 01:20 BST)
Odds: -125

Share this article: