TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to rebound after last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but with the Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) on a five-game winning streak, how will the Bucs be able to stop the AFC team?
For the Bucs, Sunday is a redemption game to show they’re not done putting up a fight. However, Tampa Bay is also looking to earn its first win in five tries against an AFC team this year.
Earlier this season, the Bucs fell to the Ravens, Browns, Steelers, and Chiefs.
Now with their record sitting at 6-7, and the postseason quickly approaching, it’s now or never for the Bucs to clinch the division.
The Buccaneers’ defense has been the saving grace for most games as they’ve been able to hold their opponents to a field goal or less to give the offense a chance to score.
During Wednesday’s episode of Bucs Bonus, WFLA’s Bucs Insider Dan Lucas said, “overall this defense has kept a lot of opponents in check. They’re holding opponents to field goals. They won the Saints’ game because they held New Orleans to field goals on those long drives.”
In the Bucs’ victories this year, they’ve held their opponents to 16 points or less.
On the offensive side, the Buccaneers just need to score more than a touchdown. After several games of struggling to find the end zone and questionable play calling, the connection between Brady and his offense has to be there.
And as long as they’re able to score more than 16 points and hold the Bengals to kicking field goals, the Buccaneers could look to improve their record.
Looking at the Bucs’ stats so far this season, their total offense (338.6 yards per game) ranks 18th in the NFL, and rush yards (72.9) ranks last.
The Bucs are currently 28th in the NFL in scoring, with just 17.2 points per game and they’ve only scored more than 20 points in four games this season. The most the Bucs have scored in a win this season is 21.
However, that’s not to say that a healthy Bengals defense will put a blemish on the offense, and with Burrow’s offensive line struggling at the beginning of the season and it still being a work in progress, this could still be anyone’s game.
The Buccaneers have 12 players listed on the injury report ahead of Sunday:
- OLB Genard Avery – Out
- CB Jamel Dean – Out
- OLB Carl Nassib – Out
- NT Vita Vea – Out
- S Mike Edwards – Questionable
- WR Julio Jones – Questionable
- CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Questionable
- OLB Joe Tyron-Shoyinka – Questionable
- S Antoine Winfield Jr. – Questionable
- T Tristan Wirfs – Qusetionable
- LB Lavonte Davis – N/A
- DL Akiem Hicks – N/A
For the Bengals, 12 players are also listed on the injury report:
- DE Trey Hendrickson – Out
- CB Mike Hilton – Out
- TE Hayden Hurst – Out
- CB Jalen Davis – Doubtful
- WR Tyler Boyd – Questionable
- WR Tee Higgins – Questionable
- WR Trent Taylor – Questionable
- QB Joe Burrow – N/A
- T La’el Collins – N/A
- S Dax Hill – N/A
- DE Joseph Ossai – N/A
- DT D.J. Reader – N/A
Tampa Bay has an all-time record of 7-5 against Cincinnati, though the Bengals have clinched the last two matchups.
Kickoff for the Buccaneers vs. Bengals game is set for 4:25 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.