Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
NFL: OCT 15 Lions at Bucs
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Which staff member will nail their prediction this week?

As the Bucs get ready to play the Lions on Sunday, we here at Bucs Nation are ready to drop some predictions for the NFL’s Divisional Round Playoffs.

Tampa Bay is currently a 6.5-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook. Our staff weighs in with their predictions for the Bucs game and picks for the rest of the Divisional Round.

Staff Predictions

Gil Arcia: Which Bucs team will we see?

Look, if we’re being real with ourselves, we’d admit the Bucs caught the Eagles at just the right time. All Tampa Bay had to do was pressure Jalen Hurts and dare him to throw the football. Philadelphia was injured and dysfunctional. Detroit is neither. Reality sets in and with more to account for this week, the Bucs will struggle to find answers defensively against a Lions offense that will undoubtedly control the line of scrimmage as well as the game. The pewter pirates will be sent home to Tampa to prepare for Gasparilla next weekend rather than to prepare for the NFC Championship.

James Yarcho: Mike Evans Blows Up

Mike Evans is due. And I mean due. He hasn’t surpassed 90 yards receiving in the last six weeks – and he’s only surpassed 50 three times. If you’re going to advance in the playoffs, your stars have to be stars – and there’s no better matchup than this one for Evans to get back to that explosive guy. Over the last four games, the Lions have given up an average of 185.25 yards and a touchdown per game to the opposing team’s number one receiver. And now with all the talk from former New Orleans Saints and current Detroit Lions corner C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Baker will be more motivated than ever to attack the Detroit secondary with his top guy. Evans keeps the run going against Lions corners finishing with over 170 receiving yards and getting in the end zone.

Will Walsh: Mayfield vs C.J. Gardner-Johnson

You can take C.J. Gardner-Johnson out of the Saints but you can’t take the Saints out of C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Tampa Bay’s old friend grabbed some headlines with an open critique of quarterback Baker Mayfield. The two are known trash-talkers— Mayfield’s at his best in situations like this and should be this week. Mayfield will be trying throw a touchdown against Gardner-Johnson or attempt to run him over on a scramble. If he does he will be sure to let him know about it.

Mike Kiwak: A Valiant Effort Falls Short

This entire season has exceeded most expectations by several measures. Despite a tough schedule, cap constrictions, a first-team offensive coordinator, an uncertain quarterback situation, and other hurdles, this Bucs team is 10-8 and one of the final eight franchises standing. It’s objectively a massive success, and though I don’t see them quite overcoming a huge challenge against the Lions, Tampa will give the Motor City all it can handle in what will be the highest scoring game of the divisional round.

Staff Picks for the Divisional Round

By admin