TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
Weather: High 81, Low 65
Line: Tampa Bay (-2.5)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the laughing-stocks of the league this season before going on a three-game winning streak. After beginning the year 0-8, the Buccaneers took down some solid teams in their win streak and it looks like they might not be as bad as people had once thought. Mike Glennon has taken over at quarterback and done a solid job in his rookie season, passing for 1,962 yards and 13 touchdowns since taking over for Josh Freeman after the first month, or so, of the season. Vincent Jackson has easily been his favorite target, catching 61 passes for 963 yards and five touchdowns. The run game has been suffering because of Doug Martin‘s season-ending injury, but Bobby Rainey has been solid since filling in, rushing for 306 yards and three scores.
It hasn’t been the most successful season for the Buffalo Bills as the team from New York has accounted for a 4-8 record through 12 games and it looks like they will need EJ Manuel to mature and stay healthy in order for them to have a chance at the playoffs in 2014. The rookie quarterback has led the 29th-ranked passing offense with 1,595 yards and nine touchdowns on the year, but the team needs more output from him moving forward. Stevie Johnson has been the main target, catching 46 passes for 526 yards and three touchdowns while tight end Scott Chandler is close behind with 41 catches for 491 yards and two scores. C.J. Spiller has suffered through nagging injuries all season long, but still leads the team in rushing with 656 yards and two scores while Fred Jackson has seven touchdowns on 633 yards.
Defensively, Buffalo has ranked in the bottom half of the league in most major categories. The Bills rank 24th in the league in points allowed and 17th in total yards allowed, but they have the ninth-worst run defense in the NFL. Tampa Bay was supposed to have one of the best defenses in the league prior to the season, but have been nothing but mediocre, ranking 17th in the league in points allowed and 16th in total yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Bills 20, Buccaneers 30
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.