Who can come close to their predictions this week?
The Bucs are 8-8 heading into Week 18 following a win against Carolina last week. Tampa Bay is in Atlanta this week to play host to the Falcons on Sunday.
Tampa Bay is currently a 4-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook. Below are predictions and staff picks for the rest of the NFL’s Week 18.
Gil Arcia: A Kyle Trask touchdown!
Yep! The time has come for the young man to get some extended regular season playing time. Although he may be playing with other reserves, it’ll still be a great sight to see the future of the Bucs on the field during the regular season. With that said, look for Trask to throw his first NFL touchdown in a regular season game against Atlanta.
James Yarcho: Mama, I’m Coming Home
Julio Jones missed the first game between these two teams and now he has a chance to play in the house that he built, in front of the fans that worshipped him. Not only that, but his former teammate is joining in on the fun and making his first trip to Atlanta since defecting to division rival Tampa in the off-season. Both Julio and Russell Gage will combine for all Bucs touchdowns on Sunday.
Mike Kiwak: A TD for SMB
As much as he’s been derided, Sean Murphy-Bunting has actually come up clutch in this last month of season while filling in for both Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis. He’s looked more confident and has trusted himself more to make plays, and as such he’s held up well and come up with an interception and five passes defensed. With Davis likely sitting out the finale, SMB will once again start and make some noise for the Bucs. I predict he’ll get interception No. 3 on the year and return it for the team’s second defensive TD of the year.
Will Walsh: The future shines bright
With the division and a playoff spot all locked up reports are that the Tampa Bay Bucs are likely to be playing Kyle Trask at some point this weekend. This will be Trask’s first ever regular season game action since being drafted by the Bucs, following their Super Bowl championship. It’s difficult to predict an actual stat line without knowing how long Trask will be in the game for, however I believe Trask will lead multiple scoring drives and he will do ‘enough’ to have a majority of Bucs fans sit back and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the post-Tom Brady era may not be as dark as previously foretold.
Chris Weingarten: Health is wealth
It’s hard for me to imagine any of the Bucs starters on offense, or defense, playing more than a few series on Sunday. With the number of injuries this team has dealt with all year, this week is a perfect opportunity to heal up, and get ready for the playoffs. Atlanta is starting their rookie quarterback, Desmond Ridder, and I believe that the Bucs will give their young quarterback, Kyle Trask, a chance to throw the football around as well. I see a high scoring game being played with younger players on both sides making plays. Atlanta may have a bit of revenge on its mind and wins the season finale 31-28.