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Lunchbreak: Vikings Can Expect Downfield Passing Game by Bucs

There's a reason Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in each of his first two pro seasons.

Tampa Bay has a dynamic offense, one that features multiple options in the downfield passing game.

Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com took a deeper look at the Buccaneers offensive system and noted that Tampa Bay likes to move the ball by taking deep shots with Winston at the helm.

Coller wrote:

The Bucs Air Coryell-style offense calls upon quarterback Jameis Winston to throw a high percentage of vertical routes. It calls for the Bucs offensive line to give time for Winston to throw and requires him to have pocket presence and be accurate downfield. The former No. 1 overall pick certainly has the arm strength to throw deep and into tight windows.

"He's a very talented guy, very strong arm, moves well in the pocket, gets out of the pocket and he makes big plays, he's looking to throw the ball down the field," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "He's got two excellent receivers, actually he's got a few guys. I think he believes he can make every throw, and sometimes he's going to take his opportunities to throw it."

Mike Evans is returning for his fourth pro season and has been joined by veteran DeSean Jackson, a deep threat who signed this offseason. Evans and Jackson have eight 1,000-yard seasons between them and are teaming for the first time.

Evans and Jackson are key to the success of the deep passing offense. One of the must-haves is receivers who can win battles for the ball. Evans, who is 6-foot-5, caught 96 passes last season and has cleared 1,000 yards for three straight years. And Jackson is one of the league's premier deep receivers over the past decade.

Winston has thrown for 8,336 yards and 51 touchdowns in his first 33 games in the NFL. He is 16-17 as a starter.

Brandt: Cook could finish among NFL's top rushers

Dalvin Cook current ranks third in the NFL with 191 rushing yards through the first two weeks of the season.

But even with most of the season left to go, Gil Brandt of NFL.com thinks the Vikings rookie running back has a chance to be among the league leaders.

Brandt recently ranked the running backs he thinks will finish in the top five in rushing at the end of 2017. While Cook wasn't on the initial list, Brandt had him down as a player to watch.

If the Vikings offense remains healthy as a whole, Brandt wrote, Cook could be up in the top group.

Brandt wrote:

The No. 5 spot above is something of a toss-up at this point. If I could guarantee that quarterback Sam Bradford will be healthy and on the field for the bulk of the season, I'd put Cook down for 1,100-plus yards and slide him into Hyde's position. But that remains a question mark. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer likes to run the ball, and the team has improved its offensive line. With a fully functioning offense, Cook could pick up 75 yards per game. But if Bradford misses a chunk of time and leaves the passing game stuck in the mud, it'll be too easy for opponents to key on Cook and slow him down.* *

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