Top 3 Individual Matchups
Top 2 Bills Advantages
Good advantage – Red zone defense – Tampa Bay’s offense has had its share of struggles in the red zone finding the end zone only half the time. Buffalo’s defense has been a top 10 red zone unit all season giving up touchdowns and rank eighth in the NFL heading into the weekend.
Best advantage – Pass defense – Buffalo’s secondary has really hit its stride now that it’s been fully healthy for the past month. After picking off Geno Smith three times three weeks ago, the defensive backfield is eager to face another rookie QB in Mike Glennon and Tampa’s 30th ranked passing game.
Bills Number 1 Must
Outrush Tampa Bay
Both the Bills and Bucs are teams that rely on a productive run game. Buffalo has their top backs available and
Rookie QB Mike Glennon has made nine starts for the Bucs and has provided some encouraging performances for Tampa’s offense. Like any first-year QB he’s also had his share of struggles. Glennon has improved his consistency the past five games completing almost 70 percent of his passes (69.7%) for 965 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 110.8. Most of his throws have been of the short to intermediate variety. As a result the Buccaneers rank 30th in 20-plus yard passes (31) and 30th in passing yards per game with less than 190 per game (189.1).
Second half slump
Points have been hard to come by for Tampa Bay this season as they rank 30th in scoring. They average just 18 points per game as they’re one of three teams that have scored fewer than 220 points this season. Their dearth of scoring is particularly evident in the second half of games.
Over the third and fourth quarters the Bucs have been outscored by a margin of better than 2:1. Tampa Bay has been outscored 140-67 in the second half of games this season.
Red zone woes
The Buccaneers have had their share of troubles when they reach the red zone where they cross the goal line just half the time (15-30). The biggest problem is gaining yards inside their opponent’s 20-yard line. Tampa Bay manages just 1.66 yards per play in the red zone, which ranks 31st in the league. Not surprisingly, the Bucs third down conversion percentage in the red zone is a subpar 20 percent. That ranks 30th in the NFL.
One thing Tampa Bay has excelled at this season is taking the ball away. The Bucs rank fifth in the league with 24 takeaways, but lead the NFL in interceptions with 17. That’s one more than Buffalo this season (16). Even more impressive is they have returned three of their interceptions for touchdowns. Two of their takeaways have come in goal to go situations, which is also tops in the NFL.
The Bills have 82 penalties this season, which ranks ninth in the NFL, but no other team in the league has committed as many penalties as Tampa Bay this season. The Bucs have been flagged 98 times this season, good for more than eight per game (8.17). They also rank last in the league in first downs awarded to opponents via penalty. Tampa Bay has handed 17 first downs to their opponents this season with yellow flags.
Hit and miss
Rian Lindell is the most accurate kicker in Bills history, but he’s battled some inconsistency of late. In his last three games Lindell has missed four kicks. Lindell’s misses have come from 55, 35, 50 and 48 yards. The veteran kicker is 18 of 24 on the season (75%).
Quote of the Week
“Keep competing, that’s what we put this uniform on for is to go out and show that we’re the Buffalo Bills and we’re going to compete when we step on the field. We have to be professionals. Whoever is out on the field, whoever’s number is called they have to show up and continue to play like we’ve played all season.”
Stat of the Week
Against NFC opponents this season C.J. Spiller has averaged 126 rushing yards per game and averages better than eight yards a carry (8.13).
Milestones in reach
Fred Jackson needs 74 yards from scrimmage to record 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2013.
Stevie Johnson needs five catches to reach 300 in his career.
When Darrelle Revis has an interception his teams are 17-3 (.850).