TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Bucs had a short turnaround following their frustrating 16-13 loss against the Atlanta Falcons. With the team demoted from first place, the offense – especially quarterback Baker Mayfield is looking at Thursday’s prime-time matchup as a must-win game.

While it’s positive the Bucs will be playing with grit and determination, the Buffalo Bills (4-3), who fell to the New England Patriots in Week 7, will be fueling their own fire.

Both the Bucs and Bills have admitted to have “sluggish” starts. Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles said was the main issue with Tampa Bay during their Week 6 contest against the Detroit Lions.

Following the Bills’ loss, their star quarterback, Josh Allen, said he needs to be a more high-energy player to help the production of the offense.

“Maybe I’ve got to be more upbeat and be a voice a little bit more loud — let my emotions show a little more,” he said.

But Tampa Bay is dealing with the same low-energy feeling. At the beginning of the season, Mayfield played with confidence, but after their early Week 5 bye week, it appears the confidence on offense is diminishing.

So what do the Bucs need to do to improve their overall record and further solidify that they’re a playoff-contending team? Fix the run game and fix the penalties. However, the Bucs already know that.

“We’ve talked about how we need to be better. We all know that. It’s the little things here and there. We had a big run that was called back on a holding call. We’re kind of learning that we’re not going to be a run-first team, but we’re still going to do it,” Bucs’ quarterback Baker Mayfield ahead of TNF.

The locker room has been echoing the same thing. Bucs’ safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who had a clutch forced fumble in the fourth quarter of the Bucs-Falcons game, asked his teammates following the penalty-plagued loss, “How good do you want to be?”

How good DO the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to be? The team has already surpassed national expectations and proved analysts wrong. All they need to do is get in the groove they had before the bye.



  • RB Chase Edmonds – N/A
  • G Matt Feiler – OUT
  • WR Chris Godwin – QUESTIONABLE
  • SAF Kaevon Merriweather – OUT
  • QB Baker Mayfield – QUESTIONABLE


  • TE Dawson Knox – OUT
  • TE Quintin Morris – OUT
  • LB Baylon Spector – OUT


The Bucs-Bills game will kickoff at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday. Fans can watch locally or stream on Prime Video.