Week 14: vs Detroit Lions, 1:00 PM
The Bucs will host the Detroit Lions after back to back losses in hopes of bouncing back. The Lions defeated the Bucs in the previous matchup, 34-17 in the 2014 season. The Lions are coming off a 9-7 season in which they clinched a wild card berth. Detroit edged the Bucs out for the last playoff spot on a tiebreaker way down the line.
The Lions are much more difficult to plan for now than in the past. In the past, all eyes centered on Calvin Johnson. Now that he is out of the league, the Lions are much more well-rounded on offense. The defense doesn’t know who to focus on, and Matthew Stafford will complete a pass to anyone at anytime. He has a bit of Brett Favre “gunslinger” in him, but he makes it work because his receivers make plays for him.
This game between two perennial playoff contenders should be close, but I believe the Bucs will run away with it. Tampa Bay will be frustrated after dropping two straight and to avoid falling into old habits they will come out and light up Detroit. The score will show it being a closer game than it really was, but the Bucs will be in control the entire time. This prediction is not a knock on the Lions, as they are a talented team that will compete for a playoff spot, but it is an indication of the Bucs growth as a team.