After everything that went on early this season with the Buccaneers and Tom Brady the team is starting to turn it around and is back to .500 so can you trust them to cover again this weekend in Cleveland?
I’ll be breaking down why the Bucs are the right play here as road favorites and then going over a preview of the game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won two straight games and enter this week off a nice win against the Seahawks. They’ll have a great opportunity to make that win streak three in a row as they’ll face off with the Browns and their 29th-ranked defense. Tampa Bay is favored by -3 and has a good opportunity to get their offense really clicking.
Cleveland has only been able to win big scoring games this season but with the way the Bucs' defense is playing, I don’t think that will be the case this weekend. Tampa is allowing only 18 points per game and has only let up 5 rushing touchdowns on the year which is the Browns' primary strength as a team.
If this Bucs' defense can limit Chubb and Hunt from finding the end zone they should have no problem building a lead against the Browns' defense on the other end. Seattle is a run-heavy team and Tampa Bay was able to limit them to 16 points last week, so a similar gameplan should be successful again this week.
Offensively this could be the perfect game for Rachaad White to take over since the Browns' rush defense has allowed an average of 135.1 rush yards a game and 16 rushing touchdowns on the year, those 16 touchdowns allowed are the second-highest in the league. The Bucs haven’t been able to run the ball all season so this is the perfect spot for them to do so.
Overall I just think this is a bad match-up for the Browns' play style and a perfect spot for the Bucs to walk away with a win and cover. Cleveland can be worn down by Mike Evans and Rachaad White so if they can’t get Chubb going it could be a long game.
It’s nearing the end of Jacoby Brissett’s reign as the starting quarterback with Deshaun Watson nearing his return so we’ll see how motivated Brissett comes out for this one. It won’t be easy on him since the Bucs allow the fifth-fewest passing yards a game. Amari Cooper has been his favorite target all season so he’ll need to find him often in order to keep the Browns in this one.
Despite the two-game winning streak, Tom Brady is still looking for that big offensive game where they put it all together. Brady has put up decent numbers this year but the offense has struggled to find consistent scoring from week to week. Tampa has only had one 30+ point game this season so this is a good weekend for them to pick up another one.
Both teams had extensive injury reports this week as the Bucs will be without Russell Gage and both Leonard Fournette and Vita Vea are doubtful. As for the Browns, it looks like cornerback Greg Newsome II will be unable to play only making things tougher on the Cleveland defense.