The Chess Match Between Todd Bowles And Kellen Moore

January 14th, 2023

“Jamel, can you cover CeeDee Lamb?”

One thing Joe learned listening to former NFL suit Michael Lombardi is that in the playoffs, it’s not so much about this player vs. that player or head coach vs. head coach.

Instead, it’s coordinator vs. coordinator.

And it seems from reading Derrik Klassen of Football Outsiders, there is a wonderful chess match brewing between Bucs coach Todd Bowles (who still runs the defense) and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Now everyone may think Bucs corner Carlton Davis will be matched up on CeeDee Lamb. Davis has a knack for taking out other teams’ No. 1 receivers and Lamb is clearly the best Cowboys receiver.

Dallas has a decent No. 2 receiver in Michael Gallup. But, as Klassen points out, Gallup is easily shut down by physical corners. Davis is a physical corner.

The Bucs should aim to do something similar to Gallup. Cornerback Carlton Davis, though less than 100% as he comes off a shoulder injury, is a press savant. He’s a long, physical player built perfectly for this moment against this receiver. Tampa Bay’s other cornerbacks are chippy, too. It will be tough for Gallup to escape tight coverage no matter whom he gets matched up against.

The other Bucs starting corner, Jamel Dean, has had a very nice season, his best since being drafted in 2019. Has Dean had a good enough season that Bowles can trust him to man-up on Lamb? Joe doesn’t know the answer to that.

If the Bucs think Dean is up to the task, then Bowles could put Davis on Gallup and take him out.

It’s hard to score points in the NFL when you have only one receiver.

21 Responses to “The Chess Match Between Todd Bowles And Kellen Moore”

  1. Whoolio? Says:

    Don’t sleep on Hilton.

  2. David Says:

    I’d put CD on CeeDee. He’s shut him down before. Dean can handle Gallup.
    Need to watch Pollard out of the backfield.

  3. Jack Blood Says:

    Just do what WA did. Sit on routes and wait for Dak to throw it to you. Pressure up the middle w 4 to make him panic. Bowles has this.

  4. unbelievable Says:

    “Pressure up the middle w 4 to make him panic.”

    Can the Bucs front 4 do that consistently though?

  5. Cardiac kidz Says:

    We will man handle their o-line this week. Nassib and Nelson are going to have HUGE games this week. Hicks and Vea are going to BLOWUP the pocket. White is going to have to spy Pollard as he’s Dak’s safe outlet.

    I would play mix and match with CD and Dean on Lamb. Press him on the line with CD and knock off his timing routes. I can see 4 sacks and 2 picks happening this week.

  6. FrontFour Says:

    Davis on CeeDee, Dean on Gallup, D White and LVD on Pollard out of the backfield.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs need to cover Schultz – he had 7 catches 1st game vs Bucs .

  8. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    I just hope the refs don’t come in and set the tone early with several horribly bad calls at critical times, and throw the Bucs in a funk. I’ve seen this done in playoff games before… to many times… just sayin.
    Remember the Bert Emanuel ‘catch’ that wasn’t?

  9. Brian Says:

    We will win but I still have to work on Tuesday

  10. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Alanbucsfan Says:
    January 14th, 2023 at 5:30 am
    Bucs need to cover Schultz – he had 7 catches 1st game vs Bucs .


  11. adam from ny Says:

    coach bowles and his defense are gonna have to show up big time for a win on monday night…

    tommy b is looking kinda gaunt at the recent presser…

    it’s bowles time

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I expect our defense to do quite well vs Cowboys…..still concerned about our inability to run… something, Byron!!!

  13. NEfan Says:

    Soft zone, and hope you stop them in the red zone. Rinse repeat Bowels D.

  14. NEfan Says:

    I hate all the negative press toward Dallas, Brady is 7-0, 3-0 against Dak, Dallas has 8 straight PO losses etc. Either Vegas is trying to move the line or the media is trying to really piss Dallas off. They are totally discounting their 12-5 record.

  15. Goatfarmer Says:

    Double Lamb with Dean and a helper. Put Davis on Gallup.

    Todd won’t do that.

    Todd will over-complexify it, I can smell it coming.

  16. NEfan Says:

    Lamb is best at deep & intermediate pass routes, Hilton underneath could be a problem, LVD can handle Shultz. Pressure Dak takes Lamb out of the game. Daks backup actually played better than Dak, he beat Cincy, Giants & Eagles. Dak beat Eagles when Minshew played.

  17. Buccos Says:

    Don’t get cute. Best corner on best receiver, all day. Cee Dee will have a long day with Davis draped all over him. Gallup can’t beat Dean. Bunting on Hilton.

  18. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Dean can’t cover Lamb. Dean sucks laterally. He’s stiff. He’s good in vertical coverage. Davis matches up best with Lamb. Shultz could be a problem.

  19. ChiBuc Says:

    I’m more concerned with Lefty playing checkers while Quinn plays chess

  20. NEfan Says:

    More like titilie winks

  21. alton d green Says:

    what did i say just this morning?????? “Todd here is some advice. double SeeDee Lamm starting when he comes out of the tunnel” SO when i see Todd in that picture asking Jamel if he can cover Lamb. Here’s some more advice from Bilichick; DO YOUR DAMN JOB, You’re the freak’n head coach. Is it going to be anorher CHEETAH when he had 200 yds in the 1st qtr belore you made any adjustments. AGAIN, DOUBLE CEEDEE. It wouldn’t hurt to bump the tight end just enuff to disrupt their timing. I’m tired of asking you to do your job!!!!