Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: SLR Staff Predictions

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Nov 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) waves to fans after the Lions beat the Bears 21-19 at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Detroit Lions get back on a winning track against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Here is what the SideLion Report staff sees for the game ahead.

Ronny Hurd – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown the world how talented they actually are in their last two games. The Lions, nor anybody, should discount them from dethroning the Lions on Sunday.

With that being said, the Lions will have a bit of a chip on their shoulder going into Sunday’s game. They are coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and have to get back on track with gaining control of the NFC North. I give them a 24-17 win over the Buccaneers.

Matt Pelc – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be a trendy upset pick this week after the Detroit Lions laid an egg last week against an inferior Pittsburgh Steelers team. A few weeks back, Tampa Bay was a mess, embroiled in several nasty storylines and threatening a winless season. Two weeks later, they have two home wins under their belts and come to Detroit for this Week 12 matchup.

Can the Bucs win? Sure. Will they? Not likely. I’m not impressed with their home wins against a Florida team with more problems than they have, Miami, and an Atlanta team that has all but waived the white flag on the season. The Lions certainly could be looking ahead to Thursday’s game with the Packers, however I’d be more worried about that had they beat Pittsburgh. The Lions will come ready to play, and end the Buccaneers’ modest winning streak. Lions 28, Bucs 17

Dean Holden – There is no doubt the Bucs are trending up after winning two games straight, and they are certainly a team with some talent. But they’re still a 2-8 team. Eight-game losing streaks don’t just happen for no reason (the Lions can attest to this better than anyone), so while the Bucs may be looking up, the Lions still outclass them in most areas.

The Lions need to take care of the ball this Sunday. Ideally, they could also force some turnovers for the first time in a while, but even if they can just keep the turnover differential relatively even, it will make a huge difference.

The Bucs are not exactly proficient on offense, and their run defense is suddenly among the most stout in the league. That means the Bucs will have to put much of the offensive resposibility on Mike Glennon’s shoulders, which hasn’t generally been a formula for success. The last thing the Lions need to do is help them by turning the ball over and losing the battle of field position. If they can just play this one straight-up, offense vs. defense, talent should win out. Lions 30, Bucs 20.

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