Fabian dips his toes into the Team Totals market for the weekend ahead!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Over 27.5
We are still unsure whether Antonio Brown will play or not as he’s going through COVID protocols and needs back-to-back negative tests to play in Los Angeles.
The Bucs still have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski to score points against the Rams’ defense even if he’s out.
This is a different unit than Brandon Staley’s from 2020.
We are dealing with small sample sizes after week two, but the Rams defense didn’t look stellar against Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz on one leg.
They allowed 0.20 EPA/dropback on early downs, which ranks below average. Likely, the star power from Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald isn’t enough this time.
Enter the Bucs, who have scored 31 points against the Cowboys despite turning the ball over three times, and 35 against the Falcons – with ease.
Tom Brady is by far the highest-graded passer by Pro Football Focus thus far.
Byron Leftwich is calling the highest pass rate on early downs in the league, and they use motion roughly 60% of the time. And until now, they haven’t even created many big plays as their EPA/play value (14th) is lagging their success rate (5th).
Here are the updated 2021 PFF offensive grades vs EPA per play for every team's QB1 (using Heinicke, not Fitzpatrick for WFT) pic.twitter.com/iR5FBcSj8e
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) September 22, 2021
There’s still a gap between Tom Brady’s passing grade and the production output.
Antonio Brown or not, we should expect the Bucs to put up points, and 27.5 seems to be a tad low.
Miami Dolphins Under 20.5
Defensive performance is not highly predictive from week to week.
But with a certain degree of confidence, we can say that the Las Vegas defense is improved over last year and has at least a decent edge rush.
Even their coverage looks improved.
After two weeks, Maxx Crosby is PFF’s number one graded edge player, Yannick Ngakoue comes in at 8th.
As a unit, the Raiders defense ranks 1st in pass-rushing grade.
Granted, they’ve faced the Ravens’ and Steelers’ offensive lines. Baltimore struggled mightily at the tackle position, and the Steelers have a much worse unit than last year. However, they will face Miami this week.
The Dolphins’ offensive line entered the year as the 32nd-ranked unit among consensus, and they haven’t shown anything to adjust that prior after two weeks.
They have had two brutal outings so far. Their tackles Austin Jackson and Jesse Davis, didn’t stand any chance against the Bills’Bills’ edge rush.
You recognized a lot of blown assignments and free rushers entering Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett. It felt like they had no clue how to adjust their protection against particular looks.
After missing almost the entire 2020 season, guard Michael Deiter is currently playing at the center position and doesn’t look good at all.
Rookie tackle Liam Eichenberg – whom draft experts want to see at his natural position – will most likely replace Salomon Kindley at left guard.
There will not be much room for backup QB Jacoby Brissett to operate as both tackles should get crushed by Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby all game long.
Remember: Brissett played behind a top-notch offensive line under Frank Reich in 2019 and the Colts offense finished 23rd in EPA/dropback.
Raiders DC Gus Bradley hasn’t called many blitzes this season, and he doesn’t need to so far.
Ngakoue and Crosby will get after Brissett, and the seven other guys will play sound coverage behind it and try to contain any yards after the catch. I am having a hard time seeing Jacoby Brissett getting many scoring drives going.
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