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NFL analysts | Bills at Buccaneers game predictions | Week 14

Jerry Hughes Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Era Field at Orchard Park, NY on October 22, 2017. Photo by Kevin Hoffman.
Jerry Hughes Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Era Field at Orchard Park, NY on October 22, 2017. Photo by Kevin Hoffman.

Buffalo is playing on a short week after playing Monday night and now must travel to play a good Bucs team. That's tough to do. But after playing in the elements against New England, playing here will help Josh Allen and the passing game. Tampa Bay's defense isn't good right now. Look for a lot of points as Allen and Tom Brady light things up. This will be fun as Tampa Bay wins it, but Buffalo will keep it close.

Pick: Bucs 33, Bills 32

Bold prediction: The Bills' league-leading pass defense will give Brady some troubles, limiting him to two or fewer passing touchdowns and forcing at least two interceptions. With Buffalo's recent run defense woes, going through the air is not the best way to beat this team, even though Brady has had historic success against Buffalo and leads the NFL's top passing offense. The Bills have allowed eight passing touchdowns this season and a 57.7% completion percentage to opposing passers, the lowest in the league. This unit has also forced 16 interceptions (third most). Cornerback Dane Jackson, filling in for the injured Tre'Davious White, will have his first big test in Tampa Bay, and being able to limit the Buccaneers' passing offense could be the deciding factor in this game. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Stat to know: Bills receiver Stefon Diggs needs 102 receiving yards to reach 1,000 on the season, which would make him the second player in Bills history with 1,000 in consecutive seasons (Stevie Johnson, three straight from 2010 to 2012).

Getzenberg's pick: Bills 31, Buccaneers 30

Laine's pick: Buccaneers 21, Bills 17

FPI prediction: TB, 57.5% (by an average of 2.6 points)

In the aftermath of Monday night's wind-whipped loss to New England, Bills coach Sean McDermott was annoyed with the media, with the Patriots and seemingly with his own offensive coordinator. McDermott wants a team that can play physically up front, but this is not the week for that strategy. This is the week to see if the Bills can still thrive with an aerial assault. Buffalo should be able to attack a Tampa secondary that thought it was finally complete ... before losing Mike Edwards to a suspension, Jordan Whitehead to injury and Jamel Dean to a concussion. In theory, a team built to pass and stop the pass is a perfect one to upset the Bucs. But the Bucs may be the best passing team in the NFL, while the Bills are quietly no longer among the top 10. Their struggles aren't about toughness; it's about their biggest strength eroding.

Pick: Bucs 34-28

Expect the Bills (7-5) to play motivated. While it won't be as cold as last week's game in Western New York, Sunday's forecasts call for windy and rainy weather in Tampa, Fla., where the Buccaneers (9-3) will certainly pass more than the Patriots did. Tom Brady leads the league in yards (3,771) and touchdowns (34), and should test the Bills' top-ranked passing defense, which has allowed only 1,983 yards.

Despite the absence of the top cornerback Tre'Davious White and potentially playing without linebacker A.J. Klein (Covid-19), Buffalo should get back on track, or at least keep the score close.

Pick: Bills +3

Is this a Super Bowl preview? The Buccaneers are unbeaten at home, and now Tom Brady revisits an old rival. The Bills rank second in the NFL in scoring defense, and they pose an interesting challenge. Brady gets the best of the Bills again, and don't be surprised if Rob Gronkowski scores a pair of TDs. 

Pick: Buccaneers 31, Bills 28


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