The Buccaneers are looking to improve on their 7-5 record as they host the Minnesota Vikings following their bye week. Tampa Bay will face a tough challenge as they begin their quest to ensure they can lock up a playoff spot in the final four game of the season.
We’ll see how the game plays out, but first, the Bucs Nation staff makes some bold predictions for this Week 14 matchup.
David: My bold prediction this weekend has two versions. One is the “No Eric Kendricks” version, and the other is “With Eric Kendricks” version. For the first version, if the Vikings don’t have Kendricks back from the calf injury he suffered literally right before kickoff in Week 13, then Rob Gronkowski will have a career day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Twelve catches, 169-yards, and four touchdowns. All career highs, all because the Vikings can’t stop Gronk without Kendricks. If Kendricks does play, then it’s still a big day for Gronk. Cut those numbers in half though, and that’s the contribution from the starting tight end position for Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Bailey: The Buccaneer defense needs a big game on Sunday against the Vikings. It has looked far too vulnerable over the recent stretch of games, playing nothing like it did early in the season when it was looking like a top-five unit. While Minnesota’s offense has some great pieces, Tampa Bay has to overcome and make some big plays in this one. I’m calling for five sacks, three turnovers and let’s even add in a defensive touchdown for Todd Bowles’ group.
Jason: I’ve said it a few times on the Commissioner’s Corner as well as the Cannon Fire Podcasts this week, the Bucs have to figure out how to get the ball in Ronald Jones’ hands. I have him starting in my playoff lineup this week with pure optimism they will find a way. The Vikings defense is still on the weaker side with allowing 121 yards to opposing rushers this season. The Bucs line is healthy, RoJo is healthy. Give him the rock and he runs up the ticker. I’m giving him his 5th 100+ yard game, and he’ll run it in for six this week.
BONUS: Compliments of my buddy “Big Tom” I’m going even bolder with Dalvin Cook only getting 60 yards on Sunday. The Bucs defensive line, combined with the best linebacker corps in the league, will restrain the Viking rush attack.
Evan: The Bucs haven’t rushed for over 200 yards in a game twice in a season since 2000. I think that changes this week. The offensive line is healthy and the absence of Eric Kendricks is a big hit to Minnesota’s run defense. Tampa Bay goes over 200 yards on the ground for the second time this season.
James: The Bucs have faced a lot of criticism over the past few weeks - mostly on the offensive side of the ball. Going against a defense that will be without Kendricks, is susceptible to both the run and the deep ball, and coming into a must win game with a chance to silence critics is the perfect storm for an offensive explosion. My bold prediction is that Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski both go over 100 yards with a touchdown each and that Ronald Jones turns in a 100 yard rushing performance with a touchdown of his own.
Editor’s Pick by Gil Arcia: If I can go 1A and 1B, it’d be James and Jason. But overall, I like James for this week. I think there is a good opportunity for the Buccaneers to have some major contributors and I definitely feel RoJo is one of them. But they’ll have some others. Why not Gronk and Evans — who will begin his streak of 100-yard games to end 2020 with his seventh consecutive season of 1,000 yards receiving.
Which bold prediction do you like for Week 14?
This poll is closed
A productive Gronk.
Big defensive day.
RoJo has a day, Cook does not.
Good games from Evans, Gronk, RoJo.
The second 200+ yard performance on the ground in 2020.