The game will be presented to your face by the local CBS affiliate at 1 p.m. EST.
The Game: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills (-3)
Like many cross-conference match ups we’re seeing this season, there’s not a lengthy history between the Bills and the Buccaneers. The two teams have played 10 times with the Bucs holding a 7-3 advantage since their first game on September 26, 1976.
The two teams last faced off on December 8, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bills, led by E.J. Manuel, lost to Tampa Bay 27-6. Manuel finished 18 of 33 for 184 yards and four interceptions. Hard to believe they let that guy go. The Bucs were taken into battle by Mike Glennon, who finished 9-of-25 for 90 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Needless to say, this one isn’t sitting inside a golden, velvet lined case at NFL Films’ vaults.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-3)
The Buccaneers come in on the ropes after a 38-33 defeat at the hands of the hapless Arizona Cardinals. Starting quarterback Jameis Winston was knocked out of that game in the first quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick came in and spent two periods with his head up his ass, but led a solid comeback attempt in the second half, including a 27 point fourth quarter.
Winston is officially listed as questionable on the injury report, but he’s practiced all week. He says he won’t miss the game and I believe him. Fitzpatrick wasn’t terrible in relief stat wise. He was 22 of 32 for 290 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
What should really concern the Buccaneers is their defensive performance. They allowed Carson Palmer all day to throw the ball. He finished 18 of 22 for 283 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. Adrian Peterson, who wasn’t even averaging two yards a carry before that game, rushed 26 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 balls for 138 yards and a TD. The Bucs literally did not stop any facet of Arizona’s game. The only sacked Palmer twice, though they did record seven tackles for a loss.
The only real contributor guaranteed to miss the game is defensive end Noah Spence. He’s listed as out. Robert Ayers, Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David and T.J. Ward are all listed as questionable, but practiced all week and were full participants Friday.
BUFFALO BILLS (3-2)
After two consecutive solid upsets, the Bills fell back to earth two weeks ago with a 20-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. Buffalo had no answer for A.J. Green who caught seven passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. They did manage to pick off Andy Dalton twice, even though he still completed 22 of 36 for 328 yards and a touchdown. The Bills sacked Dalton just once and managed just four stops in the backfield. That’s got to be worrisome facing off against Mike Evans and Winston.
As much as guys like Phil Simms want to blow smoke up Tyrod Taylor’s anal cavity, the dude is just not an NFL starting quarterback. Even with the Bills’ 3-2 record, Taylor is much more a detriment than a bonus when he drops back. Against the Bengals, Taylor was 20 of 37 for 166 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
With Taylor not scaring anyone, LeSean McCoy’s effectiveness slows. Against Cincinnati he carried the ball 19 times for 63 yards. As an entire team, the Bills managed just 82 rushing yards and that’s with a solid offensive line.
Taylor’s favorite target will miss the game. Charles Clay is still being hobbled by a knee. Jordan Matthews and E.J. Gaines are questionable, but should play.
When I first looked at this game, I was thinking Buffalo the whole way. By the time I got here, I had completely changed my mind. Even with Winston banged up, I see no answer for the Bills for Evans and Jackson in the passing game. Doug Martin should have a nice day too as Dirk Koetter tries to keep the pass rush, however little the Bills can manage, off Winston. Buccaneers 27, Bills 16
Straight up: 0-1
Against the spread: 0-1
Straight up: 5-9
Against the spread: 5-9
Straight up: 48-43
Against the spread: 43-48
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