The Lions have found themselves in lots of trouble this season. A year removed from having a Top 10 defense, that unit is not the same in 2019 and is among one of the worst this season. On the other hand, the Bucs started out bad defensively but they have since picked it up in recent weeks. This matchup should undoubtedly strongly favor the Bucs.
Here are Week 15’s picks from the staff here at Bucs Nation.
Gil Arcia (8-5)
Score Prediction: Bucs 30, Lions 17
Why: The Lions are just a bad team. But that doesn’t mean the Bucs should sleep on them. Although Matt Stafford is out, rookie quarterback David Blough has not played badly. Even though the secondary for Tampa Bay has been improving in recent weeks, defensive coordinator should still put on the pressure on Blough early and often to rattle the young signal caller from the start. And for the Bucs, whether it’s Jameis Winston with a bad thumb or Jameis Winston with a good thumb, they shouldn’t have any issues against the Lions defense. That includes not having wide receiver Mike Evans.
James Yarcho (5-8)
Score Prediction: Bucs 33, Lions 20
Why: Even with Mike Evans out for Tampa Bay, the Lions just don't have the horses to keep up with the Bucs. The Lions are falling apart at the seams and key losses like Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, and Marvin Jones is just too much to overcome against a team that still has plenty of weapons to go around. Winston's thumb may play a small factor and we may even see more snaps for Ryan Griffin but in the end it's the Bucs on top for their fourth straight victory.
Evan Winter (8-5)
Score Prediction: Bucs 27, Lions 13
Why: As long as Jameis Winston plays - which it sounds like he will - then this should be a game the Bucs win with relative ease.
The Lions are just too beat up. They don’t have Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones Jr., or Kerryon Johnson on offense and are dealing with injuries on defense, too.
If Winston can’t go, then that changes things in a major way, but the Bucs still should have enough talent on paper to get the job done.
Bailey Adams (7-6)
Score Prediction: Bucs 31, Lions 16
Why: The Lions aren’t good. That hasn’t meant much for the Bucs in recent years, as they’ve lost to bad teams on the regular. But lately, the Bucs have been beating the teams that they should be beating. Sunday should be no different. As long as Jameis Winston plays, Tampa Bay should cruise, despite the absence of Mike Evans and the lingering injuries Donovan Smith is dealing with. Detroit’s defense may keep it close early on, but I don’t expect that offense — in its current state — to be able to keep up. I’ve got the Bucs getting back to .500 with another road victory.
Kyle Marks (5-8)
Score Prediction: Bucs 28, Lions 20
Why: The Buccaneers have some injuries, but the Lions are brutally shorthanded with three big offensive players likely out. Jameis Winston will probably play thru his thumb injury and if so, I expect the offense to do enough to for the win. It may not be a pretty game to watch, but I see the Buccaneers handling their business in this one.
David Harrison (6-7)
Score Prediction: Bucs 20, Lions 14
Why: You can imagine how hard it is to predict winners and scores covering a team like the Buccaneers. So, three weeks ago, I started using ‘creatively’ organized math equations to pick winners and final scores. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you view it, the Bucs have won three straight. Since we’re all superstitious, I’m now compelled to keep this up until Tampa Bay loses, despite my predictions.
So, here we go. The Detroit Lions are averaging 13.5 points with David Blough under center, and we’ll round that up to 14 because (spoiler alert) nobody can score half a point.
Since entering the league in 2014, Mike Evans has missed just three games. In those, the Bucs average 20 points.
The Lions’ score math is more realistic obviously but if my calculations are correct, and they have been for the last three weeks (predicting winners anyway), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will defeat the Detroit Lions, 20-14.
Week 14’s Community Poll Results
Week 14 Fan Vote: Bucs or Colts?
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Week 15’s Community Poll
Week 15 Fan Vote: Bucs or Lions?
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