Trap games. We know what they look like and how to identify them as fans of football, whether it be college football or in the NFL. Trap games can take place at anytime of the season and can define a team’s season depending on the result of the game. This upcoming Sunday in Week 15 action, the 9-4 San Francisco 49ers travel to Tampa to take on the 4-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that kicks off at 1 p.m. ET. This game is the stereotypical trap game for the 49ers, and they must be leery in not starting off fast.
Now some of you may be asking how is this a trap game for the 49ers? There are a number of reasons why the game against the Buccaneers is a trap game for the 49ers. First and foremost, the 49ers are playing a cross country road game the weekend after they played the Seattle Seahawks. As any 49ers can attest to, or for that matter of fact a fan of any team who has played against the Seahawks this season, there is a hangover effect from that game. For the 49ers, after having lost to the Seahawks in Week 2, they came back and played one of their worst if not the worst game of the season in Week 3 as they got physically dominated by the Indianapolis Colts 27-7.
Another reason that the game this upcoming Sunday is a trap game for the 49ers is that they will be facing a team who while they struggled early in the season have found themselves as of late. After having started the season with an 0-8 record, the Buccaneers have won four of their last five games and come off what was probably their best overall game which was a 27-6 win over the Buffalo Bills. They have certainly looked like the team that many expected when the season began before the whole saga with Josh Freeman saga played out and characterized the team early on.
Despite having a 9-4 record, the 49ers are still a game up on their nearest challenger for one of the two wild card spots in the NFC Playoff picture and must continue to win in order to be able to head into their last game of the season with a playoff spot secured. With that said, facing the Buccaneers this upcoming Sunday is a trap game for the 49ers as the Bucs are a team who are good enough and motivated enough to want to win the game. Given the 49ers are coming off a knock out, drag out fight of a game against the Seahawks, starting off fast will be key in order to avoid falling into this potential trap game.