Bucs will try to tame the Lions
The Buccaneers head to Detroit and will be looking to clinch a spot in the postseason. A win, and the Bucs are in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
Once again, the Bucs will be missing starting running back Ronald Jones, who will be out with his fractured finger. Jones has passed all COVID protocols, so he could have played if not for the broken finger.
Leonard Fournette will get the start for the Bucs. After a slow start against Atlanta last week, Fournette got it going in the second half and finished with 49 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Cornerback Carlton Davis did not practice. Arians said that it would be a game-time decision whether or not Davis would play against the Lions.
Arians appeared pleased with Sean Murphy Bunting, Ross Cockrell, and Jamel Dean in the second half against the Falcons.
Mike Evans will be looking for his second consecutive 100-yard game. Evans needs 111 yards receiving in these last two games to hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark this season.
The Bucs are back in Detroit for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Bucs were 6-7, out of the playoffs, and blasted the Lions 38-17.
This year the Bucs have a lot more at stake, so it will be interesting to see if the Bucs have that sense of urgency to start the game.
The Lions are finishing up yet another disappointing season. The Lions fired their head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn two days after Thanksgiving after getting blown at home by the Houston Texans.
The Lions are 5-9 and will have many personal decisions to make at the end of the season.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been ruled out for the game Saturday, and quarterback Matthew Stafford is questionable. Stafford is dealing with a rib injury and a right thumb injury.
The Lions are last in defense, giving up 31 points a game, so this could be another high scoring game for the Buccaneers.
The Lions have a ton of injuries on defense, which has contributed to them giving up over 400 yards a game. The Lions are 31st in run defense and rank 27th against the pass.
The Lions have a potent offense and can score points in a hurry with a healthy Matt Stafford.
Stafford has had multiple 400-yard passing games this season and is in the top 10 in passing yards this season.
Arians had high praise for Stafford this week when talking about Matt Stafford, “He’s one of my all-time favorite guys. He’s tough as nails. He’s one of the few quarterbacks I like going out and watching him warm-up. Just watching him throw because he’s so special. I’ve always felt like he was one of the top four or five guys in this league for a long time.”
Tight end TJ Hockensen and receiver Marvin Jones will again create a challenge for the Bucs secondary.
Running back D’Andre Swift will be back after missing a couple of games with a concussion. Swift has 422 rushing yards and 316 receiving yards.
The Bucs will need to start quickly. It’s been the same issues plaguing this team every week in the first half.
Not being able to convert on third down, and the defense allowing too many third down conversions.
The Bucs will also need to run the ball much better. The Bucs had seven yards in the first half last week and finished the game with 51 yards.
This is a game the Bucs should win with ease. The Lions are a mess and are playing out the string of games.
Look for the Bucs to finally get the running game going early and playing with that sense of urgency right from the start.
Bucs win 41-17 to secure their first playoff spot since the 2007 season.