Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are coming off a two-game stretch where they lost to teams with a single win to their name. Tampa Bay is playing some truly awful football, and now with a short week and the injuries piling up, it has to face an actually relatively competent NFL team.
This is not to say the Ravens don’t have their own litany of issues; they’re 4-3 but have blown some big leads at the end of games against the Dolphins and Bills.
The Bucs are not the Dolphins or the Bills. They don’t have potential MVP Josh Allen under center, they have 45-year-old Tom Brady who has thrown a single touchdown over the past two weeks.
Tampa Bay doesn’t have Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, it have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who are just as likely to sprout wings and fly off the football field in the first quarter as they are to catch a touchdown pass.
So while the Bucs are at home and favored to win this game, I think with the long list of inactive players expected for Thursday—and the continued offensive struggles—means a 38-10 loss to the Baltimore Raven.
The Ravens still have Lamar Jackson, who has managed the remarkable feat of being a quarterback who is top-5 in the NFL in rushing. They too have a long list of injuries, but with Lamar healthy and an offensive line that’s (mostly) intact, I wouldn’t look for the Bucs to be able to put up much of a fight.
I mean, the Steelers had almost half their defense out, including both starting corners, and the Bucs put up a single TD. There’s absolutely no reason to think that in a shortened week they’ve made any major improvements to their offensive game plan to increase production. They were even given a full week between the Steelers game and the Panthers game, and they got worse, failing to reach the end zone and putting up three whole points.
Is my prediction harsh and unlikely to fruition due to the massive blowout that would have to occur? Yeah, but with this collection of has-beens losing to teams like the Panthers and Steelers in consecutive weeks I can’t in good conscious predict that the Bucs will be able to keep up with a team that leads a real NFL division (unlike the Bucs, who manage to lead the NFL version of the Sun Belt Conference despite playing like horse shit).
Prepare for another rough game. I’m just glad the NBA is back.