Buffalo would be lucky to even win its division, with TB12’s former team the Patriots holding a solid lead in the AFC East and the Bills losing three of their last five, including an inexcusable 9-6 loss to the Jaguars in Week 9.
The Bucs meanwhile have bounced back from their two-game losing streak by beating the Colts and Falcons on the road in back-to-back weeks.
Still, this is going to be a close game.
The Bills have the best defense in the league yardage wise (both overall and in pass yardage) and an elite quarterback in Josh Allen—but it won’t be enough. The Bucs should continue their win streak at home Sunday afternoon with a 34-31 victory.
Buffalo’s star corner Tre’Davious White went down with an ACL injury in a Thanksgiving matchup with the Saints, and he’s out for the season leaving the Bill’s secondary a bit exposed. While Buffalo’s safety combination of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde is one of the best in football, Brady—named SI’s Sportsman of the Year—and the best pass offense in the NFL should have no problem dicing up the Bills’ corners and coasting to an easy game.
The real trouble, as has been the case all year, will be the Bucs’ own secondary.
The Bills’ Stefon Diggs, Dawson Knox, Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley make for one of the few receiving groups that comes close to rivaling the type of firepower the Bucs possess, and Allen certainly knows how to use the weapons he’s got.
A few of those guys (Diggs especially) might end up having career games against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Not even a healthy Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting will be able to contain the Bills, especially with Allen’s ability to use his legs.
Hopefully the Bucs won’t make it as close as I’m anticipating. They still have an elite pass rush on paper, and with the Bills’ offensive line lacking the experience and talent that the rest of the offense brings to the table, the Bucs should be able to take advantage.
Injury wise, this week had a bit of a surprise on the injury report, with Bucs center Ryan Jensen being held out of practices this week due to an ankle injury. His status for Sunday is very much up in the air, but the good news is that even if he’s not able to go, the Bills’ main source of interior pressure comes from defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who is also questionable for Sunday’s matchup with a chest injury.
We’ll see how this game plays out Sunday afternoon at RayJay. It should be a good one.
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