Back in Week 6, the Detroit Lions were 4-1 and hitting the road to face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that looked like a flimsy 3-1 squad. The Lions came home with a 20-6 win, outgaining the Bucs 380-251 as Jared Goff threw for 353 yards and two touchdowns.
That loss started a four-game losing streak to the Buccaneers, and they lost six out of seven to show that the aforementioned 3-1 mark was indeed pretty flimsy. But then they won four in a row, and five of their last six regular season games to win the NFC South.
On Monday night to wrap up Wild Card Weekend, the Buccaneers took advantage of a disjointed Philadelphia Eagles' squad in a 32-9 win. That set up a rematch with the Lions in the Divisional Round next Sunday afternoon, in Detroit this time.
Buccaneers' players make it known they have a 'revenge tour' going before playoff rematch vs. Lions
On the field after the game with CBS' Evan Washburn, Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. wasted no time to fire a shot across the Lions' bow.
"On a revenge tour, all those teams ahead of us beat us in the regular season," Winfield said. "We're gonna have a great time with them."
After Monday night's game, Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett. via Kory Woods of MLive, also pulled out the words "revenge tour" when looking ahead to the rematch with the Lions.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Barrett said. “I know playoff football hasn’t been there (Detroit) for a long time and it’s finally back, and they beat us early in the year, so it’s another step in our revenge tour, and I’m looking forward to it. I love going in there playing the atmosphere. I love hostile environments, especially playoff hostile-style environments.
“I prefer to be home, though, but I’m just looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good game, and once we prepare and start figuring out what we got to do and we do that stuff, we should be able to come out on top.”
What Winfield and Barrett seem to be forgetting is who the Lions were without during the regular season matchup. Their team had no notable injury absences.
Defensive back Brian Branch, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, guard Jonah Jackson missed the game for the Lions. Running back David Montgomery suffered a rib injury in the first half and did not return. C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Josh Paschal were on IR. Ifeatu Melinfonwu only played special teams in the game.
All are/have become notable pieces for the Lions, and they beat the Buccaneers essentially without all of them.
The Buccaneers may be on a "revenge tour" after beating the Eagles, who they also lost to early in the regular season. But the Lions aren't going to lay down for them like the Eagles did, and if you look at Tampa Bay's late-season run to win the worst division in the NFL it's not exactly impressive.