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Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 14 game preview

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© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

 

Here’s our chance to finally take down Tom Brady again. The one they call the GOAT is 32-3 all-time against the Buffalo Bills. Sure, it may be difficult to imagine this current team taking down one who won the Super Bowl in February but to be fair, the Bills have mostly struggled when teams choose to run the ball down their throats.

 

Tampa Bay won’t be able to do that. They much prefer to utilize their quarterback instead of treating him as a handoff prop. You may have seen Leonard Fournette’s 100-yard, four-touchdown performance two weeks ago against the Indianapolis Colts, but that’s his only game over the century mark this season.

 

As a team, the Bucs average 4.2 yards per carry which ranks 17th in the NFL. Suddenly the Bills have slipped to seventh in the NFL, allowing 4.0 yards per carry. For the most part, the defense had the Patriots contained, too, if it weren’t for that 64-yard dash in which Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, and Dane Jackson all took terrible angles, leaving them out of the picture. Take that play away, and the Bills win.

 

Their Bucs matchup likely won’t come down to just one play. Despite both teams having above-average defenses, Tampa is terrible against the pass and short-handed in their secondary. The Bucs defense has faced the most passing attempts in the NFL through 13 weeks. Teams avoid running against them, with their defense having the fewest rush attempts against them among all NFL teams.

 

Needless to say, look for Josh Allen to go down to Florida and throw the laces off the ball, just as he tried to do in the blistering winds in Buffalo. Yeah, they have TB12, but at least the Bills have several playmakers in their secondary. The Bucs only have Antoine Winfield Jr., who is still prone to several coverage mistakes.

 

Basically, the Bills should be able to play to their strengths for once, which could help get the offense back on track. As long as they can make up for Tre’Davious White’s absence, they should be able to score more than Brady.

Buffalo Bills Week 14 game details, where to watch

  • Sunday, December 12, 2021
  • Start time: 4:25 PM ET
  • TV channel - CBS
  • Location - Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

What happened last time the Bills played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Bills 30

Buccaneers 27

 

Since the Buccaneers are in the NFC, the Bills only play them once every four years. Buffalo’s last meeting with Tampa was in 2017 when they eked out a three-point victory despite a 384-yard, three-touchdown performance from Jameis Winston.

 

The game took place during Tre’Davious White’s rookie season. But he didn’t play like a first-year player. White forced and recovered a fumble with just over two minutes remaining to put the Bills in position for the win. 

 

Bruce Arians wasn’t in Tampa yet, meaning the entire organization is almost entirely different from the last time these two teams lined up, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of history among its players, such as TB12 and Rob Gronkowski.

 

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© Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Matchups to watch

  • Tom Brady vs. The World

We’re familiar with the ongoing obsessive behavior Tom Brady takes toward the game of football. Picture this, Brady spent his Monday night in front of his TV watching the beloved Bills take on his old New England Patriots team, taking notes, noticing flaws in the defense, areas he could attack. 

 

TB12 has a great understanding of how Bill Belichick approaches a Josh Allen game because he’s seen it. Then, there’s also the fact that Allen has yet to beat Brady.

 

Do you think he’s going to have a little visit with Todd Bowles, the Bucs defensive coordinator, this week? Brady will give his new squad several pointers, concepts to be aware of. The Bucs will be as prepared for this Bills matchup as well as any other game on their schedule.

 

Even Brady himself is saying the matchup with Buffalo will be “our biggest game of the season.”

 

  • Bills LBs and secondary vs. Rob Gronkowski

Over the years, the Amherst, New York native Rob Gronkowski has been, at times, embraced by Buffalo’s own. If it weren’t for that damn Patriots tenure or that inexcusable late hit on Tre’Davious White, things would likely be much different for the fun-loving, goofy character named Gronk. 

 

When Gronk retired (for the first time), he experienced a warm welcome from several Buffalo’ers at a charity event and went on to mention, “It was cool to finally be accepted, once again, where I grew up.” In fact, Gronk was nearly fully accepted into Bills Mafia, where he likely would have smashed several tables of his own when the Bills reportedly made a run at signing the future Hall of Fame tight end.

 

But this week, he’s back to being TB12’s evil sidekick, determined to take the Bills down. Brady and Gronk have connected on 90 regular-season touchdowns, good for the second-most between a quarterback and his receiver in the NFL’s storied history.

 

I’ll be curious to see how they defend Gronk with Tre White out. Between Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Taron Johnson, and Matt Milano, they should still have plenty of bodies to throw at him while being able to mix up coverages.

 

Let’s just hope Gronkowski doesn’t try any more bullshit.

 

  • Bills secondary vs. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

The Bills are lucky they don’t also have to face Antonio Brown with him still recovering from injury, on top of a suspension, but the Buccaneers still have two Pro Bowl receivers, plus Gronk at their disposal. Evans and Godwin are coming off a combined 242-yard effort, but it was against the Atlanta Falcons, who Brady knows quite well.

 

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier won’t necessarily be able to assign double coverage to any of the Bucs’ talented pass-catching trio, and he obviously can’t stick T. White on any of them either. We didn’t get to see how the Rumbling Herd wanted to play their coverage against the Patriots. Still, it might not have given anyone a glimpse anyway since they don’t have anyone capable of taking the game over, talent-wise.

 

It’s either going to be atrocious, or we’re going to see the Bills hang with one of the best passing offenses in the league. If it’s the latter, the nervousness of White’s ACL injury may temporarily disappear. 

 

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© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills Week 14 game prediction

  • Last season’s record: Buffalo Bills 13-3, reached AFC Conference Championship
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5, second place in NFC South, won Super Bowl

 

Brady’s 32-3 against the Rumbling Herd? Let’s make that 32-4. What’s the real reason TB12 left Boston? Because he didn’t want to have to settle for a second-place finish in the AFC East. We all know it, but it’s time for the Bills to show it.

 

There have been several ups and downs this season. You think Bills Fans don’t know that? It doesn’t matter how you perform in Weeks 1-13 as long as you are still in play for a postseason appearance. This is simply another confidence game on the schedule that possibly means nothing but could potentially mean everything. 

 

Maybe it’s like nails on a chalkboard, but let’s be honest. The Tampa Toms are a strong bet to make it back to the Super Bowl. Winning seven rings from making ten SB appearances in 21 seasons suggests there’s just below a 50% chance he makes it back to the big game, just based on his personal history. Then you factor in the Bucs will be just one of 14 teams in the playoffs, and his odds naturally go up.

 

Taking down Brady now may give him more motivation, which is never good. Still, it could provide a greater level of confidence to 48 players on game day, not to mention all the coaches involved in the organization, giving them the belief that if they can beat Brady’s Super Bowl-winning Bucs, who dare stands in the Rumbling Herd’s way?

 

Game prediction: 30-24 Bills victory

 

 

 

Go Bills!!

 

 

BillsFans.com - Andrew Buller-Russ 

 

 

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