The Tom Brady-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Tennessee Titans during Week 2 of the NFL preseason. Even without the seven-time Super Bowl champion on the field, there’s a lot to look at here. Below, we preview this Buccaneers vs Titans matchup.
Buccaneers vs Titans: What you need to know
- The Buccaneers host Tennessee at Raymond James Stadium on Aug. 21 at 7:30 PM ET.
- Sportsnaut forecasts the Tennessee Titans will defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-21.
- Odds: The Buccaneers are one-point favorites with the over/under set at 35.0.
Ryan Griffin vs Kyle Trask
It’s already a foregone conclusion that Blaine Gabbert will be Brady’s primary backup this coming season. With Brady sitting out, we’re also expecting to see a lot from these two quarterbacks who are at vastly different points in their careers.
- Ryan Griffin’s struggles: Teams generally keep only three quarterbacks on their active roster. Following a disastrous two-interception performance in the opener, the onus is on Griffin to prove that he shouldn’t get his walking papers ahead of final cuts. The former Tulane quarterback seems to be very much on the roster bubble.
- Kyle Trask’s accuracy issues: On the other hand, Trask completed a mere 4-of-15 passes for 35 yards in his NFL preseason debut. The rookie second-round pick from Florida is guaranteed a roster spot. He now needs to show Bruce Arians and Co. he can be relied on as a No. 2 should something happen to either Brady or Gabbert.
Jaelon Darden vs young Tennessee Titans cornerbacks
This smallish rookie fourth-round pick from North Texas has been impressive during Buccaneers training camp. That didn’t necessarily translate over to live-game action with Darden catching just 2-of-6 targets last week.
Kristian Fulton, Caleb Farley and Elijah Molden represent three big-name youngsters in a revamped Titans secondary. Unfortunately, neither Farley nor Molden played in the preseason opener. Head coach Mike Vrabel wants both of them to see more work.
- A standout at Buccaneers camp: Darden has impressed coaches with his route-running and hands thus far this summer. The small-school product always seemed to be a good fit in Byron Leftwich’s offense. We’ll see soon enough whether he’s able to ascend a pretty loaded Buccaneers depth chart at wide receiver.
- Young Titans need to play: A first-round pick this past April, it’s unknown whether Farley will see action in the preseason after recently being activated off the non-football injured list. However, the Titans need to see what they have in Fulton after he was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s been switching between outside and the slot during camp.
Dillon Radunz vs Joe Tryon
Despite not putting up any concrete stats in his NFL preseason debut, Tryon was described as a “disruptive” force by head coach Bruce Arians.
The rookie first-round pick and edge rusher will be asked to contribute during the regular season. He should have a good test against a fellow early-round rookie in Radunz who is battling for a spot himself.
- Titans might have struck gold: A small-school product from North Dakota State, Radunz has performed exceptionally well this summer. So much so that he’s now in competition with three veterans for the starting right tackle spot in front of Ryan Tannehill.
- Tryon hard to earn a spot: A surprise first-round pick out of Washington, there’s a decent chance that Tryon could back up both Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul at both outside linebacker spots. He should see a ton of action against Radunz in this one. It’s going to be one heck of a matchup between the two rookies.
Bottom line: This Buccaneers vs Titans matchup will lack star power with the defending champs already noting that they plan to rest all of their starters. But as noted throughout this preview, there’s a ton of youngsters looking to make an impact. It should lead to a fun game between these two Super Bowl contenders.