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Florida Football Friday: Bucs Host Struggling Bills

by Mike Ferguson

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buffalo Bills have never fared very well against Bill Belichick or Tom Brady.

After losing to Belichick and the New England Patriots on Monday night, Buffalo heads south to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The reigning AFC East champions, Buffalo will arrive with a record of 7-5 and as losers of four of its last seven. Tampa Bay has won three straight games and comes in with a record of 9-3.

Despite having wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Evans suspended, Brady passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s 30-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons last week. Brady leads the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns. With a shorthanded corps of pass catchers, expect another big game from Chris Godwin, who caught 15 passes for 143 yards last week.

Defensively, Tampa Bay is in the top 10 in total defense. Linebacker Devin White has hit the 100-tackle mark for the second straight season. Shaquil Barrett is the team’s best pass rusher with 7.5 sacks.

When it comes to defense, no one allows fewer yards per game than the Buffalo Bills and only the Patriots give up fewer points. Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are two dynamic safeties for the Buffalo defense. New England however, had its way running the ball against the Bills on Monday night. It will be interesting to see if Tampa Bay looks to establish running back Leonard Fournette on Sunday.

The recent struggles for Buffalo can be attributed to the offense. In their last three losses, the Bills have been held to 15 points or below in each game. Quarterback Josh Allen can beat defenses with his arm or legs and has a nice group of pass catchers to include Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders.

Sunday’s contest at Raymond James Stadium will be the first meeting between the teams since 2017. The Bills won that one 30-27, thanks to a late field goal. This week’s contest begins at 4:25 p.m. ET and airs regionally on CBS.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 27, Buffalo 20

Other Games Across the State


Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) at Tennessee Titans (8-4)
Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Tennessee Titans will try to end a 2-game losing streak by completing the season sweep of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville has lost four straight games and has yet to win a road contest this season. The Titans have won four straight meetings.
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Jacksonville 13

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.