August 19, 2022

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Is Scotty Miller the important thing to a Bucs’ victory tomorrow?

Helps to catch it.
Image: Getty Images

Rams-Bucs is the largest sport of Week 3 of the NFL. On one hand, we’ve got the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, and on the opposite lies arguably essentially the most proficient staff within the NFC. These groups met final 12 months in Week 11 of final season with the Rams taking the victory by a rating of 27-24. Tom Brady struggled in that sport, finishing simply 54.2 p.c of his passes for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks. Jared Goff, in the meantime, threw for 376 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks, whereas finishing 76.5 p.c of his passes. Obviously, loads can occur on any given Sunday and this sport from final season shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of an indicator for predicting how this weekend will unfold. What must be extra fastidiously checked out although is the absence of Antonio Brown for this sport.

Antonio Brown joined the Bucs throughout Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season. The sport in opposition to the Rams was his third sport with Tampa. In that sport, Brown paced the Buccaneers in targets, receptions, and yards as Brady’s principal weapon out of the slot, and it’s very doable that weapon is not going to be accessible on Sunday as a consequence of COVID concerns.

Slot receivers have been a relentless ache within the facet of the Los Angeles Rams. Despite the Rams being among the best groups at sustaining high-level performance out of the slot receiver place, they don’t appear to defend it very properly. Loads of that in all probability has to do with the presence of Jalen Ramsey on the skin. Most groups line up their greatest receiver on the skin, not in tight on the slot place. Jalen Ramsey tends to shadow opposing groups’ greatest receivers. In the sport in opposition to Tampa Bay final 12 months, Ramsey was lined up throughout Mike Evans on nearly each single play. Ramsey’s presence forces opposing quarterbacks to take a look at their different receivers and that might be an enormous purpose why slot receivers have a tendency to take action properly in opposition to the Rams, simply sheer quantity from the shortage of passes thrown to their high receivers. However, there’s sure to be one thing larger at play as properly, proper?

Whether it’s a decent finish or receiver lining up within the slot, the Rams appear to wrestle in opposition to receivers within the center. Since the beginning of 2020, Rams opponents have seen both their tight finish or main slot receiver lead their staff in receptions and/or receiving yards in 40 p.c of their video games. That might not sound like an enormous quantity, however needless to say the Rams are in the identical division because the Cardinals and Seahawks — two groups that nearly by no means use their tight ends and whose greatest threats all line up on the skin. Normally, in opposition to the Rams it’s guys like Cole Beasley, Jamison Crowder, and tight ends like George Kittle who do critical injury.

In this Buccaneers offense, Brown is among the most harmful slot receivers within the NFL. His possible absence on Sunday goes to make it all of the tougher for Tampa Bay to benefit from the Rams’ shortcomings. If solely there was somebody able to stepping in for Brown! A slot receiver able to being a critical risk who hasn’t been used practically as a lot as he ought to due to how deep this Tampa Bay extensive receiver corps is.


Scotty Miller is quick, not blazing, however quick. He ran an unofficial 4.36 40-yard sprint whereas at Bowling Green. Still, Miller was assured sufficient to challenge Tyreek Hill to a race final season. He’s an excellent receiver too, when given the prospect. In 2020, Miller had a catch price of 62.5 p.c and an average depth of target practically 16 yards downfield. What which means is that Miller is a deep risk. On simply 33 receptions in 2020, Miller accrued over 500 yards by means of the air, and he did all of it out of the slot.

While it’s straightforward to assume that Brown’s absence ought to imply extra targets for the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Gronk doesn’t line up in the slot very often on this Tampa Bay offense. He’s getting used extra as a checkdown possibility and somebody who can exit for brief routes after a chip block on an edge rusher. This leaves the door extensive open for Miller to take an enormous leap this week.

Miller did have “breakout” kind video games in 2020 just like what I’m anticipating. In Week 4, in opposition to the Chargers, Miller went for 5 receptions, 83 yards, and a landing, and in Week 7 in opposition to the Raiders, Miller crossed the century mark, accruing 109 yards on six catches and one rating. So, an enormous sport in opposition to LA isn’t absurd to assume, and I’m definitely not the first person to level out Miller’s significance within the absence of AB, however it’s value noting simply how essential a powerful inside possibility is in opposition to LA. Scotty Miller is definitely no family title, however he’s confirmed that he can come up clutch when his staff wants him to.

The Rams are one of the crucial full rosters within the NFL, however so is Tampa Bay. The Bucs’ protection isn’t as stout because it was final 12 months although. Sure, they’ve been phenomenal in opposition to the run, however they’ve allowed enormous video games from each Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan to start out the season. Matt Stafford has one of the best supporting forged to place up an excellent battle in opposition to Tampa, so the Bucs might want to pull out all of the stops so as to stay undefeated. Miller might be the final word ace up their sleeve.

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