Kickoff Sunday, Oct 15th 4:25pm Eastern

Lions (
23.25) at

Bucs (

Over/Under 43.5


Key Matchups
Lions Run D
3rd DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Buccaneers Run O
29th DVOA/32nd Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
16th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Buccaneers Pass O
15th DVOA/6th Yards per pass
Buccaneers Run D
11th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
4th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Buccaneers Pass D
15th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
9th DVOA/9th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • A matchup of division leaders, this game has potentially huge playoff implications.
  • Detroit’s offense has scored over 30 points in three of their five games, while the Bucs defense has held three of four opponents to 17 points or fewer.
  • Tampa Bay has not been involved in a game this year that combined for more than 44 points, while Detroit games are averaging 53.5 points over the last four weeks.
  • The Bucs are coming off a bye while the Lions look to get back two key offensive weapons.

How detroit Will Try To Win ::

On a weekly basis, I watch many NFL teams struggle to find any level of consistent offensive success while also seeing the Lions find new and creative ways to move the ball without the true star power of explosive players on the roster. Amon-Ra St. Brown is a very good receiver but he isn’t on the Justin Jefferson // Ja’Marr Chase // Tyreek Hill (among others) level of game-breaking talent. David Montgomery is a terrific NFL running back but he isn’t a dominant talent either. There must be a few NFL owners just salivating at the chance to get Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson in their building next year as he makes this team look effortlessly good on a weekly basis. Heck, last week the 49ers copied a play the Lions had run earlier in the day and both teams scored touchdowns on it. When you have Kyle Shanahan making game day adjustments to the playbook to copy things you are doing, you can be pretty sure you are doing something right. 

Outside of last week’s game against the Panthers, the Lions schedule hasn’t really had any pushovers. Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, and Kansas City all have solid, well-coached units. That being said, the Bucs defense likely presents the toughest challenge Detroit has seen this season. Coming off a bye and playing at home, the Bucs have held three of four opponents to 17 points or fewer so far this season, with the only exception being the high-flying Eagles who scored 25 points on them and managed 472 total yards. On the flip side, the Lions offense is clearly the best offense Tampa has faced outside of the Eagles, as the Bucs controlled the game against the struggling Saints and Bears offenses while keeping the Vikings in check in Week 1. This creates an interesting situation where both the Lions offense and the Bucs defense are facing a tougher test than they are used to, and we get to find out which side’s performance so far is more legitimate.


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The Bucs defense blitzes at the fourth highest rate in the NFL and mixes up their coverages between zone and man. The Bucs have 12 sacks on the season, but half of those came in one game against the Bears when Justin Fields was still playing in a fog. The Lions have a strong offensive line and allow the fourth lowest amount of sacks in the league so this doesn’t seem like a matchup where Tampa will be able to rely on heavy pressure to get the job done defensively. The Lions have established David Montgomery as their bell cow running back, and the emergence of tight end Sam LaPorta has given them a legitimate running mate for Amon-Ra St. Brown as a consistent and viable receiving threat. The Lions have several other good pieces and Ben Johnson does a great job of getting the most out of all of them and leveraging their individual strengths. The Lions have run the ball on half of their plays this season, although game script has a lot to do with that, and Detroit is closer to league average in play calling splits when games are still in question. Detroit expects St. Brown to return to the lineup this week and may get rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs on the field as well. The Lions should be able to move the ball well, thanks to a well schemed and balanced attack with their top three options (Montgomery, ARSB, and LaPorta) on the field. 

How tampa bay Will Try To Win ::

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