It’s GAME DAY at Glory Days Grill – Come watch football all season long!
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Bucs game day is approaching, and it’s time for the PewterReport.com staff to offer up its weekly game predictions.
Let us know what you think in the article comments section and add your prediction, too.
BUCCANEERS vs. BILLS
WHEN: Sunday, December 12, 2021 | WHERE: Raymond James Stadium | KICKOFF: 4:25 p.m. ET | TV: CBS
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Jim Nantz |ANALYST: Tony Romo | SIDELINE: Tracy Wolfson
RADIO: 98 ROCK 97.9 FM | PLAY-BY-PLAY: Gene Deckerhoff | ANALYST: Dave Moore | SIDELINE: T.J. Rives
SPANISH RADIO: 96.1 FM | PLAY-BY-PLAY: Carlos Bohorquez | ANALYST: Martin Gramatica
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live game day chat, starting at noon ET on Sunday all the way through to the final whistle.
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– Game Days At Glory Days Grill –
The perfect drink for the holidays! Stop by Glory Days Grill and enjoy a Ben’s Smoked Old Fashioned. Woodford Reserve Bourbon, bitters, cherry and orange peel garnish served in a smoked glass. Cheers!
Brandon | Brooksville | Carrollwood | Fort Myers | Lakeland | New Tampa | Odessa/Lutz | Palm Harbor | Riverview | Sarasota | St. Petersburg | Tallahassee | Tyrone | Wesley Chapel
Scott Reynolds: Bucs Win A Shootout vs. Bills At The End
I don’t want the Bucs to fall victim to running the ball against Buffalo. They need to do what they do best and throw the ball. I don’t like when teams don’t play to their strength. For the Bucs that’s Brady and the passing game. I’m all for attacking weaknesses, but Buffalo isn’t terrible against the run despite what happened in games against Indianapolis and New England. Any team’s run defense can get worn down by a running game if it commits to it with 30-plus carries like the Colts and Patriots did. It’s just physical attrition at that point.
Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today
I think the Bucs should keep the Bills off balance by throwing the ball on first down when they are expecting a run, and running it on second down when Buffalo might be expecting the pass. Then mix in a healthy dose of play-action to really mess with Buffalo’s linebackers and safeties and get them to play on their heels and off their landmarks in zone defense. I could see Mike Evans having a big day outside and Rob Gronkowski having a clutch game down the seam where he towers over smaller Bills linebackers and safeties.
Keeping Josh Allen in the pocket – and sacking him – will be huge for Tampa Bay. Allen is best as a passer outside of the pocket, and he’s always a threat to pick up first downs or score touchdowns due to his speed and athleticism. The Bucs must maintain contain on the edges and be disciplined in the interior rush lanes to collapse the pocket. Tampa Bay will need the speed of Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to track Allen down. The Bucs win this one with a last-second field goal from Ryan Succop.
I trust the Bucs offense to put up points, even against arguably the best defense in the NFL. Buffalo doesn’t have a great 4-man pass rush or top-tier cornerbacks, but they’re extremely well-coached in both areas. We haven’t seen their secondary without Tre White, but Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer might be the best safety tandem in the NFL. Buffalo’s defensive versatility, especially in the middle of the field with Hyde, Poyer, nickel cornerback Taron Johnson and linebackers Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds, is a strength.
Bills S Jordan Poyer and CB Tre’davious White – Photo by: USA Today
That strength could help them counteract Tom Brady’s desire to work between the numbers just enough to get Tampa Bay’s offense off-balance for a bit. That’s where my distrust of Tampa’s defense comes in. If this unit struggled against Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Trevor Siemian and Jacoby Brissett, why should I trust them against Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs? Yes, the return of Carlton Davis helps, but there are plenty of other favorable matchups for the Bills offense.
Buffalo has run the ball better than given credit for all season. They aren’t elite in pass protection, which means the Bucs will have to win up front as a rush group. Can they do that consistently and finish sacks on Allen? They’ve struggled to get quarterbacks on the ground this year, and Allen is excellent outside of structure. I think the Bills present the biggest or second-biggest challenge (Rams) to the Bucs defense this season. They’ll put up some points, but the Tampa Bay defense can’t be the weakest unit on the field on Sunday. Right now, it looks like it is.
Matt Matera: Bucs Get Home Streak Finished By The Bills
This is the last game on the schedule for the Bucs to test themselves before the playoffs, no disrespect to the Saints, Panthers and Jets. I do think there’s an element to the Bucs picking up their game when they play against better competition, but I’m not exactly buying the idea either.
Bucs RB Leonard Fournette – Photo by: USA Today
There’s not really much you can take from the Bills’ last game on Monday Night Football where running the ball was the game plan, but you can understand that they’re not too happy with their result. The Bucs haven’t played against a top tier quarterback since Dak Prescott in Week 1 or Matt Stafford in Week 3, depending on your preference. Stopping the opponent on third down has been an issue for the Bucs, and I’m not really sure how it’ll be corrected in a week.
Even though the Bills have allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league, there’s no team better at scoring with their offense than the Bucs. Tampa Bay is at it’s best in the passing game, and they’ll be able to get the points when they’re needed. I don’t trust their defense, though, who I’d predict to play soft coverage as the Bills get down the field to win the game.
JC Allen: Bucs Survive In Back And Forth Game With Bills
After two thrilling road wins, the Bucs come back to Tampa to take on one of the toughest opponents left on their schedule.Tom Brady called their upcoming game against the Bills the most important game of the season. It’s a thought echoed by many of his teammates and coaches, including Rob Gronkowski.
Bucs QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today
Brady and Gronk have an extensive history playing against Buffalo. Brady’s all time record against the Bills is a whopping 32-3. He’s thrown 70 touchdowns, with Gronk being on the receiving end for 12 of them.
It won’t be easy as the Bills boast the NFL’s number one ranked defense. That included the top pass defense unit, even without corner Tre’Davious White. If the Bucs can get the passing attack rolling early, it will help them churn out yards on the ground where Buffalo is ranked in the middle of the pack. The intensity has been dialed up in practice this week. With several starters banged up, it’s going to take a complete team effort to beat a Bills squad that is looking to prove that last week wasn’t an indication of their season’s trajectory.
This is the game. The one that tells us if the Bucs are still a work-in-progress, or if they’re approaching Super Bowl form – as they did to end the 2020 regular season. The Bills are 7-5, but they lead the NFL in point differential per game. And the latter is more predictive of future performance than the former.
Bills QB Josh Allen – Photo by: USA Today
Buffalo’s offense against Tampa Bay’s defense will be a fascinating matchup. The Bucs – often matching three receiver sets with base personnel and bear fronts on early downs – want to stop the run first. Everyone throws early and often against the Bucs, but the Bills might take that to the extreme. They already drop back on 64 percent of early downs – the highest mark in the league. With all the blitzes and soft coverages, the Bucs challenge opponents to have a good quick game. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Bills have the league’s fourth most efficient quick passing attack (i.e. passes with zero-to-three step dropbacks and RPOs). I expect Brian Daboll to have a smart gameplan that presses all the right buttons.
The Bills are another quarters-heavy defense that likes showing two-high shells pre-snap and spinning down when necessary. They currently have the best defensive EPA per play in the NFL. But here’s the big caveat: they’ve played plenty of bad offenses, and this Bucs unit is anything but. Tampa Bay can beat teams in any way. The only thing a defense can do is show light boxes and hope that the Bucs take the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. And while that’s the best option in a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t scenario, Leonard Fournette and the Bucs’ offensive line have been on a tear. It seems like the only time the Bucs don’t score is when they turn the ball over, with each interception and fumble being more ridiculous than the last. For the Bucs to win, their offense will have to play their cleanest game yet.
Will the path to 10-3 be more attainable than expected? The Bills are coming off of a crushing 14-10 loss against the Patriots, looking for redemption. Yet, the Patriots, amongst the Colts and Titans, have exploited the No. 7 ranked team in the AFC, who have allowed 136 rushing yards per game. Immediately, we all think Leonard Fournette will be the answer, but let’s not get carried away. The Bills will be prepared for him. Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady will need to have some tricks up their sleeves. Utilizing their offensive threats and decoys in unorthodox ways against Bills’ Jordan Poyer, Dane Jackson, and Micah Hyde will be imperative.
Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There is limited success running the ball against the Bucs. Tampa’s defense has stepped up in the last few games, but the secondary is still a work in progress. Jordan Whitehead remains out for Sunday’s game, but Richard Sherman and Jamal Dean appear hopeful to return. Due to the secondary’s issues, it is safe to presume that Josh Allen will attack through the air before using his legs. Receivers like Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Cole Beasley will be quality matchups. Heading into Sunday, the Bucs have forced nine turnovers and nine sacks over their previous three games. If they can bring that energy against the Bills and keep Allen’s jersey dirty, they will put the team in prime position to win.
If the Bucs defense really shows up, I say Raymond James remains intact and the Bucs continue to protect their home turf. Expect a tight game, but Tom Brady and company have been heading in the right direction – healing and rebuilding, week-by-week. Brady will maintain his ownership over the Bills and turn the page to Week 15.