TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 22, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Edward Jones Dome
Weather: High 37, Low 20
Line: St. Louis (-4)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a mediocre season after suffering through the whole Greg Schiano–Josh Freeman situation that rocked the team in the first few weeks of the season. Mike Glennon has since taken over at quarterback, passing for 2,231 yards and 17 touchdowns as a rookie and filling in nicely for the released QB in Freeman. Glennon has made Vincent Jackson his favorite target since becoming quarterback and the veteran wide out has caught 69 passes for 1,091 yards and seven touchdowns on the year. Bobby Rainey has taken over at running back for the injured Doug Martin and Mike James, rushing for 460 yards and four scores.
While the St. Louis Rams won’t be heading to the playoffs this season, they are one step closer to becoming a solid team in the postseason. Sam Bradford was injured earlier in the season and was forced to sit out for the rest of the year due to a torn ACL, making way for Kellen Clemens to take over. Clemens has passed for 1,358 yards and seven touchdowns with just five interceptions on the year, turning Tavon Austin into a solid offensive threat after a slow start to the season. Austin has caught 40 passes for 418 yards and four touchdowns, ranking third on the team behind tight end Jared Cook and Chris Givens. The run game has been much-improved with Zac Stacy in the backfield rushing for 854 yards and six touchdowns.
Defensively, the Buccaneers have been as average as any team in the league. Tampa Bay ranks 13th in both points allowed and total yards allowed while also ranking 15th in passing yards and rushing yards allowed per game. St. Louis hasn’t been nearly as successful, ranking 14th in points allowed, 21st in total yards allowed and 27th in passing yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Buccaneers 28, Rams 21
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.