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Raiders vs. Buccaneers predictions

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Oakland Raiders in just under half an hour, which means it’s prediction time. We know who will play, we know what these teams look like, we don’t know who will win. So: who will win?

Me, I’m going with the Bucs. Not just because I’d like to see them get a winning record this late in the season for the first time since 2012. Not just because they’ve won two games in a row, albeit against bad opponents, and they get another key player back from injury in Robert Ayers. And not just because I’m tired of the Bucs as losers.

Mostly, because the Bucs actually have a good chance of winning this game. The Raiders may be 5-2, they are far from a great team. Their defense is universally awful, really, but their offense is genuinely scary. Thankfully, the Bucs defense has been playing better every game, and getting Robert Ayers back should help in that department as well.

What should also help: Jacquizz Rodgers newfound love for running over defenses, and the offense’s ability to actually win games and score touchdowns. Jameis Winston has been able to consistently find Mike Evans down the field, and if he can keep the turnovers down, Tampa Bay should do fine today.

So: I say the Bucs win, 30-27. What’s your prediction?