1. How does Tampa Bay -- both the city and franchise -- feel about Jamies Winston? I have to admit that I underestimated him (rookie QB, subpar coaching, mediocre team around him) and while he's been inconsistent this year, I think he has a lot of potential. What about you?
I think the people who didn't like Jameis Winston don't like him, and those who already liked him still do. There's something in his play for everyone: he's made a lot of big throws and has largely looked comfortable in the pocket, but he's also obviously turned over the ball too often and the overall results haven't been good. There's something in there for everyone!
Personally, I'm pretty satisfied with his play so far. He's looked like a rookie at times, but well, he is a rookie. He's also shown enough positives where I think we can say he has a good chance of turning into a quality starter. He looks like he belongs in the NFL.
2. What's the greatest deficiency on the Buccaneers defense? How should an opposing offensive coordinator game plan against it?
I'd say the Bucs' biggest problem on defense is a lack of consistency. There are individual problems -- Mike Jenkins gets beat too often in man coverage, the safeties are slow, there's no consistent edge rush -- but the biggest problem by far has been players taking turns to screw up their responsibilities. Everyone has done this at one point or another, and most of the big plays the Bucs have given up have happened because of simple mistakes. That said, when everyone on defense does do their job the Bucs look pretty good overall. They just need to find a way to do that consistently.
As for how I'd attack the defense -- I'd probably just run the ball a lot, and hope the defense continues to make the simple gap mistakes they've made over the past few weeks. I'd specifically try to run the ball at Jacquies Smith, who usually lines up at defensive end on the offense's right. As for the passing game, opponents have had a lot of success attacking cornerbacks with quick slants and quick out routes. The defensive backs simply haven't been any good at taking away those options.
3. Besides Vincent Jackson, who among the Buccaneers receiving corps (and tight ends) do Jaguars fans need to worry about most?
The obvious and only answer is Mike Evans. He's been strangely inconsistent this year, struggling to catch the ball at times, but he's as explosive and dangerous down the field as ever. Jameis Winston isn't afraid to pull the trigger on risky throws and Evans has the ability to consistently come down with contested passes. That makes it really difficult to stop him: even quality coverage isn't necessarily good enough to prevent big plays.
4. Is there a Jaguars player on either side of the ball that you say, "If the Buccaneers don't stop him, we're in trouble"?
The answer has to be Allen Robinson, right? He was a major factor in the Jaguars' only win this year and the Bucs have struggled to stop number one receivers all year long. Tim Jennings is not the player he used to be, and Mike Jenkins is a liability in coverage. That means any explosive receiver is going to present problems for the Bucs, and if they don't find ways to slow Robinson down the defense is going to be in trouble.
5. What's your prediction for Sunday? Can the Jaguars get out of their tailspin and put together a win? Or will Jameis Winston take the game over?
Somehow, I can't quite see the Bucs losing this game. But then I said the same thing back in 2011, when the Jaguars pounded the Bucs into the turf. Yes, the Blaine Gabbert-led Jaguars did that. Still, I think the Bucs are overall the better team and the Jaguars simply don't have the offensive weapons to take advantage of the Bucs' inconsistency on defense, or Jameis Winston's turnovers. It might still be close and it probably won't be very high-scoring, but I could see a 19-17 win for the Bucs.