With Dallas beating the Bears Thursday night, Detroit faces another must win game this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They need to win in order to stay alive in the playoff race. Lucky for them, Tampa has not played well this year. Detroit showed last week that it is more than capable of beating the bad teams so hopefully they keep the win streak alive this week.
- Detroit Lions Offensive Line vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Line – The Buccaneers have 26 sacks on the season as a team. Gerald McCoy has 8.5 of them by himself. The Detroit Lions offensive line has struggled all season. They played well last week and get a healthy Riley Reiff and Larry Warford back this week. Still though, I see them struggling to contain McCoy and allowing their average of 2-3 sacks. Edge Bucs
- Detroit Lions Tight Ends vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Linebackers – Is this the week that Eric Ebron breaks out? The Bucs do not have the best linebackers as a group and Ebron has been more involved each week since his injury. If the Bucs focus on Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate like they are expected to, Ebron could get open quite a bit. Until that happens, I am not giving anyone the edge Edge None
- Detroit Lions Wide Receivers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Secondary – The Bucs have some talent in their secondary but it is not going to be enough to slow down the Lions receivers. Both Tate and Johnson played well against the Bears and I expect that to continue against Tampa. Add to that Corey Fuller and Jeremy Ross having the ability to get open on occasions and this has the makings of another good offensive game for the Detroit Lions Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Running Backs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Run Defense – Tampa Bay is allowing 116 rush yards per game. Joique Bell ran for 91 last week without Reggie Bush. This week, Reggie Bush is expected to play, adding to the versatility of the running game. Still though, I do not see enough evidence that the Lions will magically have a run game. With them nearing 100, I cannot give this to Tampa, but with them under 100 I cannot give it to Detroit. Edge None
- Detroit Lions Quarterbacks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pass Defense – Statistically, Tampa’s pass defense is better than New England’s and better than Arizona’s. The reason that does not matter is that Miami’s is second overall and Detroit moved the ball quite well against the Dolphins. Detroit will be able to throw on Tampa. Stafford got it going last week and momentum will keep him hot against the Bucs. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Defensive Line vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Line – The Bucs have a pair of good linemen in Logan Mankins and Evan Dietrich-Smith. Unfortunately for them, Detroit has a stout defensive line that got back to business last week in getting after the quarterback. While the duo should be able to handle CJ Mosely or Andre Fluellen, they will not be commonly matched up against Ndamukong Suh or Ezekiel Ansah. I do not think Detroit will have a big game rushing the passer, but they will be productive. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Linebackers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight Ends – Austin Seferian-Jenkins is having a good year thus far in comparison to his rookie counterpart Eric Ebron. Still though, he is not the threat the Lions have faced before in Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. I think DeAndre Levy can handle the rookie in this one. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Secondary vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receivers – Tampa Bay has some quality receivers in Vincent Jackson and the rookie Mike Evans. Evans has shown promise in his rookie season, but Detroit’s secondary has handled every receier corps they have faced thus far. They may have allowed more than 300 yards passing a few times but they contain receiver to make sure they earn their yards. Big plays against this defense just are not common. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Run Defense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Backs – Their best back this season, Bobby Rainey, has about as many rush yards as Joique Bell does. While his average is better, Detroit has shut down big time rushing attacks this season. Handling Rainey should be no problem for them.. Edge Lions
- Detroit Lions Pass Defense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterbacks – This match up right here is the big one for Detroit. Josh McCown has struggled this season and is turnover prone. Detroit’s defense has gotten their share of turnovers. If they can force a couple, this game could get sealed up real quick. Edge Lions
- Neither team has any special teams players to be weary of. Jeremy Ross has had a down year. and Tampa Bay had tried multiple return men with no luck. Edge None
Lions 7 Buccaneers 1
The Detroit Lions have a huge advantage in this game. Their defense is still number one in points allowed and rush defense. While they have dropped off in total yards and pass defense, they are still the driving force behind Detroit’s success this season. Stafford and the Lions offense got it going last week against the Bears, scoring touchdowns on 3 consecutive drives in the second quarter. McCown is not the quarterback Jay Cutler is so this game should go in the Lions favor, provided they do not overlook the Buccaneers.
Detroit Lions 31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13