Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Minnesota Vikings Preview and Predictions


Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) prepares to throw the ball as Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) defends during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like a very long time since our Buccaneers last took the field and got absolutely torched by the Baltimore Ravens.

That, undoubtedly, is a good thing.

You see, there have been plenty of newsworthy notes coming out of One Buc Place since that meltdown at home against Baltimore that have gotten the media’s attention. You have the signing of Trindon Holliday, a kick return specialist who will most likely get some action immediately, as the team has released Solomon Patton.

Then there was the reports of Josh McCown getting healthy again, and a debate on whether or not he will reassume his position as the starting quarterback. (Spoiler Alert! He won’t. There is absolutely no way Lovie Smith can allow that to happen.)

Next were the unsettling rumors that Vincent Jackson was being shopped around the league. That turned out to be a few front offices calling the Bucs to see if they were interested, and then leaking the information to the media that he was “actively” being shopped for a trade by Tampa Bay, which was false according to Ian Rapoport.

And finally, the last bit of news was a good one: Gerald McCoy just might be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer for life. He signed a 7-year contract that will pay him $98 million, making him the highest paid DT in the NFL. People say the Bucs have no leadership, but I will be the first to point you to McCoy and say he is the unquestioned leader of this football team.

So with the media focused on all of those stories, it might have been easy to forget that there was a football game today, and the Buccaneers have had an extra week to prepare for (let’s face it) a bad football team in the Minnesota Vikings. This is a game the Buccaneers should win, and they have to to stay in the race for the NFC South. Despite their 1-5 record, the Bucs are only two games back from the division lead.

Both teams would like to come out and establish the running game, which may be difficult for both sides. For the Vikings, running back Matt Asiata saw some success early in the season, but it has been tough sledding ever since. Tampa Bay hasn’t had much success either, with Doug Martin in a slump that has lasted one full year, Bobby Rainey not being as consistent as fans would like him to be, and Mike James being injured much of the time.

Despite all talk of wanting to do otherwise, I truly expect the Buccaneers to use the passing game to set up the run this week. With the rumors of his possible trade, I think Vincent Jackson has an incredible day in an effort to show fans what they would be missing. He and Mike Evans haven’t really provided the threat that we expected they would. They only time in which they did was Tampa Bay’s lone win on the season against Pittsburgh.

Someone else playing inspired just might be Lavonte David. His teammate, Gerald McCoy, just got a long-term deal with the team, and if David wants to resign for a big deal, you bet your bottom dollar that he’s going to continue to rack up the tackles and forced turnovers. This is a fantastic matchup for David, as he goes against a running game that is struggling to get off the ground, and a passing game that is inconsistent at best. Look for him to capitalize on the bad decision making of the Vikes.

Oh yeah, and what kind of preview would this be if I didn’t mention starting quarterback Mike Glennon? I’ll be shocked if McCown sees the field today, and that’s because this kid is the guy for the rest of the season. There is no doubt in my mind about that. With two full weeks of preparation, I believe we see Mike Glennon at his best today. Quick, decisive throws, accurate shots downfield, and maneuvering in the pocket to avoid the pass rush. My outlandish prediction of the day is that Glennon has his best career day so far, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Not likely, but hey, a man can dream on his birthday, right?


Two weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t prepared to play a football game, and it showed. They let the Baltimore Ravens come into Ray Jay and walk all over them.

This week, I think we’ll see a completely different Bucs team.

Part of that will be due to the Buccaneers playing a bad football team in the Minnesota Vikings, but another will be because of their focus and preparation during the bye week. This is a team that had its leadership questioned in the media all week long, with rumors swirling about the team’s veteran receiver being traded, and Gerald McCoy not being mean enough.

I don’t think that bodes well for the Vikings today. I think the Buccaneers will get mean today, and take weeks and weeks of frustration out on Minnesota. It’s now or never for this Bucs team to get things headed in the right direction, so why not now?

Final Score: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38, Minnesota Vikings 20.