The Buccaneers are 3-5 heading into Week 9 following another disappointing loss last Thursday night at home against the Ravens. Tampa Bay is at home again this week and play host to the defending Super Bowl Champions Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon.
Tampa Bay is currently a 3-point favorite via DraftKings Sportsbook as the home team. Our staff weighs in with their predictions and Week 9 picks below.
Gil Arcia: The Young Edge Rusher
This game is hard to set predictions for. Bother offenses have not done well this season. Defenses have been up and down. And their overall records reflect who they have been in 2022.
So with that said, I’ve got nothing other than one thing. With the loss of Shaq Barrett, JTS may be moved around more along the line. Second-year edge rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will get to Stafford twice for two sacks and possibly force a turnover in the backfield. That’s all I got. *throws hands up*
James Yarcho: Taking the Ram by the horns
Matthew Stafford has been sacked 24 times this season and he has more interceptions than touchdowns. The last two Super Bowl champions are both desperate for a win to keep their season alive and the Bucs are welcoming back some help.
With the return of some key defensive players, we're going to see a performance more like the early part of the season than what we've seen over recent weeks. The Bucs get three sacks and three takeaways in this one.
Mike Kiwak: Revenge of Ramsey
At this point, I can’t believe in the Bucs staging any kind of remarkable turnaround until they prove they’re malleable enough to actually address their season-long issues. Meanwhile, we still have Byron Leftwich talking about how play action doesn’t work unless you establish the run, which is demonstrably false, so I’ll keep holding my breath. Even though Halloween is over, I’m going to wear my Negative Nancy mask and predict the downward spiral continues. Tom Brady has been the league’s best at avoiding turnovers through eight games, but he’ll throw his second and third interceptions on Sunday to a player who got torched in last season’s playoffs — Jalen Ramsey. Mike Evans usually shows more good than bad against Ramsey, but Brady forcing the ball in an attempt to jumpstart the offense will be to Ramsey’s benefit and the Bucs’ detriment.
Will Walsh: This week the Kupp will be empty.
The Rams and the Bucs have underachieved this year and this game will be a question of pride, who is going to be bothered the most by the fact that their team is playing far beneath expectations? For Tampa, there is at least one obvious way to lose this game, Cooper Kupp. In his last three games against the Bucs, Kupp has compiled 29 catches for 424 yards and 3 scores. 183 yards and a touchdown last post season, ended Tampa Bay’s hopes at a Super Bowl repeat. Since that moment, in January, everything has turned upside down for the Bucs. The quasi-collapse of Tampa Bay in 2022 can all point back to Cooper Kupp. Tampa has not looked the same since. The Buccaneers need to exercise some demons on Sunday. Demons from the current three game losing streak they are riding and demons from the last season. Two interceptions for Tampa and Cooper Kupp is under 80 yards at the final whistle.
Chris Weingarten: Something has to give
The last two teams to win the Super Bowl have played nothing like Super Bowl champions in 2022. To say both teams have been disappointing, is clearly an understatement. I don’t believe either team will turn things around this year and make a serious push for another championship. But someone has to win this week (or maybe it’s a tie?) and I’ll go with the hometown Buccaneers to get their first win in a month. Tom Brady throws for 250+ yards and two touchdowns, as the Bucs show they have a pulse, with a 20-17 triumph over the Rams.