Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
4. Matt Forte vs Lovie Smith
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The Lovie Smith component that will pose a challenge for running back Matt Forte is weak side linebacker Lavonte David. David plays the Lance Briggs role in Lovie’s Tampa-2 defense. But don’t think Double Nickel, slow and old Lance Briggs. Think in his prime, Briggs was all over the field and that’s where David is in his career.
The Cover-2 defense is designed to give the Will linebacker plenty of opportunities to make tackles. Derrick Brooks made the position famous in Tampa and David is doing his best to keep up the proud tradition. In his third season, David has already piled up 116 tackles this year to go along with a pair of forced fumbles. Despite David’s success, the Bucs run defense is a far cry from where Lovie Smith would like it to be. There will be opportunities for Matt Forte to rack up some yardage against a defense that’s giving up about 118 yards per game.