The Buccaneers visit San Francisco in a matchup between two NFC division leaders. This game features Tom Brady visiting the team he famously rooted for as a kid and always dreamed of playing for. Will Brady still want vengeance after the 49ers selected Giovanni Carmozzi over him? Let’s see if the chip on his shoulder is enough to give his Bucs an advantage over the 49ers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds
The 49ers get to host their third straight home game against the Bucs. They are favored (-3.5) over the visiting Bucs (+3.5) and the over/under is set at a low 37.5. Given both the 49ers and Bucs have top 5 scoring defenses, it’s no surprise Vegas expects this contest to be a low scoring affair.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction
The 49ers suffered a major blow during their win over the Dolphins, as Jimmy Garopopolo suffered a foot injury which will sideline him 7-8 weeks. They will have to turn to this year’s Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy, who led the 49ers to a win on Sunday. Purdy played solidly in Garoppolo’s stead, throwing for 210 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. If he can limit turnovers and manage the game, San Francisco’s offensive arsenal should have enough talent to secure a win.
“If there is any organization in the NFL that is equipped to deal with this news, it’s the @49ers . They’re 1 of 1 when it comes to injuries and dealing with them over the last few years. They’re not going anywhere. It’s not how they operate.”@Pschrags pic.twitter.com/wCfzsSRorh
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) December 5, 2022
The 49ers defense could keep the 49ers relevant and in prime playoff position. The league’s #1 defense mostly stifled the Dolphins #4 offense after the opening play of the game, forcing the Dolphins to go 0 for 7 on third down and holding them to less than 20 minutes of time of possession.
In case you didn’t already know, Tom Brady is the definition of clutch (rumor has it his photo is sitting next to the word in the dictionary). He showed this trait once again when he led the Bucs to back to back touchdown drives to win the game over the Saints on Monday Night Football.
TB12. Captain Comeback. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/FwO9nS0Pyi
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2022
Still, it’s off putting to see Brady and the Bucs need a miraculous last couple drives after scoring only three points the first three quarters to beat a weak 4-8 Saints team. However, this seems to be the new normal for the Bucs, losing or barely winning versus the NFL’s mediocrity like the Browns and Panthers. If Tampa wasn’t conveniently positioned in the NFC South, the Bucs wouldn’t be in playoff contention at all. Yet thanks to some end of game Brady magic and the Bucs ferocious pass rush, we’ll most likely be calling Brady’s name again come mid-late January.
While the Jimmy G injury certainly matters, I’m still taking the 49ers to win and cover versus the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers offense has been out of sync all season, averaging under 20 points a game. The 49ers top defense and top scoring defense will keep the Bucs in check and prevent San Francisco’s potential offensive woes from costing them a win.
Prediction: 49ers 17-10, Under hits
Buccaneers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
49ers are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injuries: Antoine Winfield Jr. (Q), Cameron Brate (Q), Sean Murphy-Bunting (Q), Tristan Wirfs (O), Mike Edwards (Q), K.J. Britt (Q),
San Francisco 49ers Injuries: Nick Bosa (Q), Tarvarius Moore (O), Spencer Burford (Q),
Javon Kinlaw (Q), Kalia Davis (Q), Jimmy Garoppolo (O)
The Bucs Offensive Line vs the 49ers Defensive Front
One of the highlights of this game will be watching the Buccaneers offensive line against the 49ers dominant defensive front. Even with stellar OT Tristan Wirfs out for a few weeks due to an ankle injury, the Bucs have done a great job protecting their immobile 45 year old QB. The Bucs have allowed just 18 sacks all season, the second fewest in the league. However, they face their toughest test of the season going up against 49ers DE Nick Bosa. Though Bosa has a lingering hamstring issue, he is likely to play Sunday. Bosa has become one of the favorites for DPOY, especially after a three sack performance versus the Dolphins. He is currently the NFL leader in sacks and has had a sack in every game except one this season. Watch out for Bosa and company to challenge one of the top lines in the league.
The 🐻 does it again!#ProBowlVote Nick Bosa
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 7, 2022
The 49ers Running Game vs Bucs Run Defense
With QB Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined, the 49ers will have to rely on the success of their run game to get a win. Though the 49ers run game is often praised for its creativity, San Francisco’s ground attack has underperformed recently. Christian McCaffrey has averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in 3 out of his last 4 games and has yet to hit 100 yards rushing in a game as a 49er. In addition, the 49ers are without RB Elijah Mitchell once again after he went on injured reserve with a left knee injury. One RB who stepped up against the Dolphins was Jordan Mason, who saw a career high 8 carries for 51 yards at 6.4 yards per pop. Though the Bucs run defense is statistically their worst group on an overall good defense, the 49ers must count on either Mason or McCaffrey to step up and lead this offense.