It’s a new week and a clean slate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After an embarrassing blow out loss last week they will have a chance at redemption on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is another projected playoff team and will likely be the Bucs most difficult test left this year.
With that said, I believe this is a more favorable matchup than what we saw in the 49ers. The Bengals defense isn’t as good and there aren’t as many matchup problems with the playmakers. Does this lead to a Bucs win?
Here’s what I’ll be watching for.
Bengals’ WRs vs Buccaneers’ Secondary
Chase had over 1400 receiving yards as a rookie last year and 13 touchdowns. He has taken a small step back this season, but still has over 800 yards and counting. He is one of the bright young stars in the game and should be a different matchup for Carlton Davis, although Davis does have the physicality to match Chase at the line of scrimmage.
Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd round out the starting receiver room. Both are high end second and third options respectively. Together they make one of the best groups in the league.
This is a game where Jamel Dean will not play. Even if Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr return from injury this week, this will be a difficult matchup for the Bucs. Limiting these receivers is critical for a Buccaneers win.
Bengals’ O-Line vs Bucs’ D-Line
The Bengals line is much improved. That’s in part thanks to a familiar face; former Bucs right guard Alex Cappa. Overall this unit looks very solid on paper.
It will look even better with no Vita Vea in this game. This leaves the Bucs run defense vulnerable to an explosive running back in Joe Mixon. It also takes away some pass rush on the interior.
Fully healthy, this matchup would probably favor the Buccaneers. However, with Vea and Carl Nassib out and Shaq Barrett on injured reserve thing’s probably tilt the other way.
Bengals’ Secondary vs Bucs’ WRs
The Bengals corners leave a lot to be desired. Eli Apple has had an unspectacular career and Cam Taylor-Britt is a rookie. This is a matchup the Bucs can take advantage of.
Even with Jesse Bates, who is one of the best safeties in football, the Buccaneers have too many weapons to stop. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both in-line for big games. The only thing likely to slow them down is play calling and quarterback play.
Despite the Bucs offensive struggles this season, I expect a fairly productive day through the air.
The Bengals have been better than the Bucs this year. They have built on the momentum that took them to the Super Bowl last year and look like no fluke. They should be favored to win.
With that said, I think this will be an interesting game and much more competitive than last week. Don’t be surprised if this is still anybody’s game in the fourth quarter. It wouldn’t even shock me to see the Bucs pull off the upset.
Bengals – 23
Buccaneers – 17
Betting odds provided by MisCasasDeApuestas.com/US