Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
This week features a lot of key games for the playoff race and will officially (and unofficially) eliminate many teams with losses. I will give the prediction of who will win the game, the score of the game, and how it effects the Buccaneers in the race for the NFL Wild Card spot. Here we go!
TEXANS vs. BILLS
This game will have no effect on the Bucs Wildcard race due to both teams being part of the AFC. Deandre Hopkins will catch both TD’s in route to a Houston win.
BENGALS vs. BROWNS
I don’t see this being much of a game with the Browns having nothing to play for and in a flux. Bengals will look to get back to the team they were at the beginning of the season by having some fun blowing out Johnny Football’s (or shall I say Austin Davis) team in Cleveland. Once again both AFC teams so this game doesn’t matter for Bucs fans.
FALCONS vs. BUCCANEERS
Basically elimination game for the Bucs and Falcons. I expect both teams to come out fired up but I think the Bucs finally get that home field advantage that everyone has been waiting for. I think the key to this win will have to be Doug Martin and the offensive line. Although the Falcons have one of the stronger run defenses in the league (#10 in YPG allowed) I think the Bucs could make some holes with Ali Marpet returning from injury. As long as the Bucs can keep the football in their hands for most of the game and move the chains I could see them pulling this one out in a close one.
SEAHAWKS vs. VIKINGS
Since Minnesota has found out that leaning on the ground game with Adrian Peterson was the recipe for success they have really started getting on a hot streak. Everything is clicking for this team right now to include one of the most underrated defenses in the NFL. I think this is shaping up to be a defensive ground and pound type of game that stays close and doesn’t light up the scoreboard by any means. AP should end up carrying the Vikings to victory with about 125 yards on the ground. This would be great to for Bucs fans as Seattle only has two more tough matchups on their schedule and this is one of them (the other being against Arizona the last week of the season) and if the Bucs want any shot at going to the playoffs they need Seattle to lose both of them.
BEARS vs. 49ers
This game is going to get out of hand early with the Bears showing a good balance with a two headed monster in the backfield with Forte and Langford while also working the play action and finding Alshon Jeffery. I think this is going to be the offensive explosion Bears fans have been waiting for. Bucs fans should be cheering for the 49ers this game.
RAVENS vs. DOLPHINS
I see this being one of those horrible games to watch with both teams being depleted and not having much to play for. Dolphins have more talent then what’s left of the Ravens. Both AFC teams so doesn’t matter for Bucs.
JETS vs. GIANTS
No Revis for Jets equals no one to cover Odell Beckham Jr. This will be a good game to watch in the fight of New York and both teams playing for playoff spots in their respected conferences. I just see Odell having a career game this Sunday. Lets say 225 yards in the air receiving with 2 TDs. Bucs fans, we want the G-Men to lose!
CARDINALS vs. RAMS
Is it just me or are the Cardinals not getting enough respect? I think this team could line up with any squad in the NFL and take them down. This secondary is scary and if Palmer can keep up his great play then there is no reason this team can’t be super bowl contenders. Bucs might as well cheer for the Cardinals to knock the Rams away from any hope of a playoff spot.
JAGUARS vs. TITANS
Titans aren’t a very good football team and the Jaguars aren’t much better so this won’t be much of a game. I think Mariota is still not being asked to do enough with this offense and they are babying him along instead of throwing him in the fire like Jameis. I like the approach with Winston far more than I like Mariota’s situation. That being said, Mariota is still a good QB and should be able to do well against the Jaguars. Both AFC so doesn’t matter for Bucs.
CHIEFS vs. RAIDERS
Don’t see Alex Smith losing this one the way the Chiefs defense has played as of late. 17 points should be plenty to beat the Raiders. Both AFC so..well you know.
BRONCOS vs. CHARGERS
Chargers are out of it and Brock Osweiler is for real after watching Peyton for a while. Could this be a similar situation that we saw from Aaron Rodgers after sitting behind Brett Favre for so long? I don’t think so but he will be just fine.
EAGLES vs. PATRIOTS
Eagles can’t get out of their own way and I don’t care if Tom Brady doesn’t have Gronk and is throwing to tackling dummies he is going to tear up this Eagles defense that has looked just as bad as the Saints lately.
PANTHERS vs. SAINTS
Yea I said it! Panthers lose for the first time in over a year this Sunday. Saints are just one of those teams that when they want to come out and play (been a while since they wanted to) they can hang with anybody. I don’t know how this is going to play out but I just feel a huge upset!
COLTS vs. STEELERS
Hassleback’s resurgence comes to an end this week with the Steelers hosting the Colts. He is playing great don’t get me wrong but he is not beating Big Ben and Antonio Brown.
COWBOYS vs. REDSKINS
The difference of this game is going to be the Redskins have something to play for and the Cowboys don’t. It being a Monday Night Game I am sure it will end with Kirk Cousins being the one to score on a 16 pitch lateral to win it!
Alright that’s it folks. Let me know what you think about my predictions in the comments below! Cant wait for another Sunday where the Bucs are still alive!