Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 16 game preview

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention

In their last road game of the season which was a must-win game if the Detroit Lions planned on making the playoffs, they lost to the Tennessee Titans 46-25 which pretty much ended their season. They now head home for the final two games on their schedule to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are looking to stay in the playoff hunt.

Reading this article will give you information on the matchup history of the Lions playing the Buccaneers, their last matchup, what to watch for, what needs to happen for Detroit to win the game, and a prediction.

Matchup history

The Lions and Buccaneers have faced off a total of 59 times with one of those games being a playoff one which came in 1997. The Lions have the advantage with a 31-28 record.

Last matchup

The last time the Buccaneers and Lions faced each other was in Week 15 of last season where the Buccaneers won 38-17. The matchup occurred on December 15th, 2019, fairly close to a year ago on Saturday when the two teams face each other again.

Quarterback David Blough went 24 for 43 with 260 yards and two interceptions. The Lions run game was horrendous in this matchup as four players combined for 45 rush yards. Running back Wes Hills combined for a measly 21 rush yards on 10 attempts but did get two touchdowns.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola caught eight passes for 102 yards. Wide receiver Chris Lacy caught a 48-yard pass and Kenny Golladay got 44 yards on three catches. Kicker Matt Prater got one field goal attempt all game which he successfully made 44 yards out.

Quarterback Jameis Winston tortured the Lions defense throwing for 458 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. As mentioned, the Lions rushing attack was really bad but it was the same for the Buccaneers but just a tad better. Six players combined for 49 yards. The leading rusher for the Buccaneers was running back Ronald Jones II who rushed for 23 yards on 11 carries.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin got a whopping 121 yards on five catches. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught the same amount of passes as Godwin for 113 yards on three touchdowns. Wide receiver Scott Miller also got a touchdown with 49 reception yards on three catches.

What to watch for

The Lions defense is known for its atrociousness as they are poor at defending both the pass and run. Quarterback Tom Brady sometimes tends to throw the ball short and rely on his receivers to get downfield. Will he rely more on short or long passes?

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with broken ribs and a torn thumb. He played through the injuries against the Titans but with the Lions out of contention, will he still play or will the coaching staff give him rest and allow quarterback Chase Daniel to get the start?

The Buccaneers are loaded offensively with Godwin, wide receivers Mike Evans and Antonio Brown as well as tight end Rob Gronkowski. How will the coaching staff decide who is covering who?

With Gronk’s size being at a mighty 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, will it be smart to have two guys covering him to take him down? If you watch highlights, you can see how opposing defensive players have a tough time tackling Gronkowski on their own and usually require assistance from a teammate.

On the other hand, Gronk hasn’t been all that effective this season outside of the red zone. He’s only had five games this season where he’s gotten more than 50 yards and since coming back from the Buccaneers Week 13 bye week, he’s combined for 31 yards on four catches. May it be smart to have a weaker defender on Gronkowski and mainly focus on the Buccaneers’ other weapons?

Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win

They will have to somehow slow down the Buccaneers’ potent offensive attack. It will be a tough task for the Lions to do but that’s what will need to happen to get a win. Stafford will also need to play.

Must Read. Lions field three first-time Pro Bowlers in lost season. light


The Buccaneers are simply too good for the Lions. Brady will wreak havoc on the Lions’ weak defense and no matter how many points Detroit scores, they won’t be able to come back. At least tight end T.J. Hockenson will have a better game than Gronkowski in which the young Pro Bowler has been compared to the veteran.

Final score: Buccaneers 48, Lions 23