Will the defense dominate Pittsburgh?
The Bucs are 3-2 heading into Week 6 following a much needed win at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Tampa Bay travels to Pittsburgh this week to take on the Steelers.
Tampa Bay is currently an 8-point favorite via DraftKings Sportsbook as the visiting team. Our staff weighs in with their predictions and Week 6 picks below.
Gil Arcia: Defense matches the offense
This is a big game for the Bucs because they can’t afford to lose to a lesser opponent. With that said, it’ll be an all-around terrific performance in all phases of the game for the Bucs. Tampa Bay will get their running game going and control the clock while scoring two touchdowns. Defense matches them with two touchdowns of their own via interceptions taken to the house.
James Yarcho: Running game in check
The Bucs have had a dreadful time trying to stop the run this season and have fallen to 18th in the NFL in rush defense. This week, they take on last year’s rookie standout Najee Harris who is dealing with his own struggles. One of these two sides is going to get back on track against one another and I’m banking on the Bucs figuring things out.
The Bucs will hold the Steelers to less than 60 team rushing yards while Harris ends up with less than 30 of them.
Evan Wanish: A day to remember for the rookies
The Bucs 2022 rookie class has been progressing slowly but surely so far this season. On offense, players like Rachaad White and Cade Otton have seen increased playing time while Logan Hall has had to step up due to Akiem Hicks’ injury on the defensive side. Give me both White and Otton each scoring a touchdown in this one with Hall having a sack or two on the other side of the ball.
Mike Kiwak: Ought to watch Otton
I’m clearly bad at predicting defensive performances so let’s shift back to the offense for this week’s road trip. Rookie Cade Otton’s role in the offense has been gradually expanding the last few weeks, as he looked good as the primary option against Atlanta with Cameron Brate injured. He officially moved up to TE2 on the depth chart, and his upward progress likely isn’t finished. One week after catching six balls for 43 yards, Otton shows out again with approximately five catches for 50 yards and his first NFL score.
Will Walsh: Godwin has a big day
The Bucs invested long-term in Chris Godwin this offseason and every dollar given was a dollar earned. Godwin has been a consistently reliable threat who rose through the ranks from backup to starter and then starter to star. Coming off a serious knee injury while battling a hip and a hamstring, this season has started slow for the 26 year old. He has only had over 60 yards receiving one time in three games played and hasn’t found the end zone yet in 2022. This week Chris Godwin will start to look like Chris Godwin again, 9 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown as the Bucs roll to a big win in Pittsburgh.
James Hill: Defense makes Pickett miserable, gets 3 INTs
I got this prediction wrong against the Kansas City Chiefs but I am coming back to it against the Steelers. The Bucs secondary has looked very good this year (minus a game against the Chiefs) and I feel they will intercept rookie QB Kenny Pickett THREE TIMES on Sunday. Let’s give one to Antoine Winfield Jr., one to Jamel Dean, and one to Devin White for good measure.
Chris Weingarten: Special teams makes a splash
The Tampa Bay Bucs have been an NFL franchise for 47 years. In that time, they have returned 11 punts, and four kickoffs for touchdowns. This week against the Steelers, they will add a touchdown to one of those totals. With injuries across the board on offense, and defense, I see one of Tampa’s return men to make a huge play and spark the Bucs to a road victory in the steel city. I’ll go with Jaelon Darden to finally flash his big play potential with a 60+ yard punt return touchdown.