Don’t look now, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a red-hot football team.
At 6-7, the Buccaneers will put their 3-game winning streak on the line as they head to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Lions are just 3-9-1 and come in as losers of six straight.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was off to a solid start, but hasn’t played in more than a month. The combination of David Blough and Jeff Driskel have combined for seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions in Stafford’s absence. The Lions are averaging less than 18 points per game during their losing streak.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay is one of nine receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark so far this season. Golladay’s 10 touchdown receptions leads the NFL.
Tampa Bay has two of the league’s top three receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Evans is unlikely to play on Sunday. Quarterback Jameis Winston leads the NFL in interceptions thrown, but he’s also second in the league in passing yards and touchdown passes. Winston is expected to play on Sunday despite a thumb injury.
Winston passed for a career-high 456 yards last week with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Tampa Bay ranks third in the NFL in total and scoring offense and are averaging nearly 34 points per game during their winning streak.
Defensively, only the Miami Dolphins are allowing more points per game than the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay does have the league’s sack leader in Shaquil Barrett, who has 15.5 sacks. Detroit ranks just 29th in the NFL in total defense. Trey Flowers may be the best player for Detroit as he leads the team with seven sacks this season.
The Lions defeated the Buccaneers when the team met at Raymond James Stadium two years ago, 24-21. Tampa Bay hasn’t won four straight games since 2016. Sunday’s game begins at 1 p.m. ET and airs regionally on FOX.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 34, Detroit 23
Miami Dolphins (3-10) at New York Giants (2-11)
Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
After losing by a point to the New York Jets last week, the Miami Dolphins will make a second straight trip to MetLife Stadium — this time to take on the New York Giants. The Dolphins have not defeated the Giants since 2003. Nothing is set in stone, but Sunday could be Eli Manning’s final career start.
Prediction: Miami 24, Giants 21
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Since a 4-4 start, the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost five straight games and have not scored more than 20 points in any contest. Oakland has lost three straight since a 6-4 start and have been outscored during its losing streak, 116-33.
Prediction: Oakland 23, Jacksonville 18
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for The Grueling Truth, covering Florida sports and sports history. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. To keep up with all of his work, like his Facebook page.
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