Game Preview: Buccaneers @ Lions


The Detroit Lions should rebound this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They must put last week’s disappointing loss to the Steelers behind them if they are to get back on track.  A crucial Thanksgiving Day clash with Green Bay is just round the corner and it’s time for the Lions to get serious.   Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson cannot afford a 2nd half implosion like they had in the Steel City.  What should have been an easy fixture against the then 3-6 Steelers was made difficult by the Lions being down 14-0 in the first quarter.  The Lions must start fast against Tampa.

Tampa are hot after a 2-win streak, knocking off both the Dolphins and Falcons at home. This even followed an almost-upset against a strong Seattle side the previous week.  The Lions will have to be in good form to get a win Sunday.  Quarterback Mike Glennon has 5 TDs and just 1 INT in the last 3 games – It looks like the Bucs have their franchise quarterback.  Safeties Glover Quinn and Louis Delmas should be able to focus on Vincent Jackson with Mike Williams injured.

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Of course, what is a mouth-watering prospect is the battle between Darrelle Revis versus Calvin Johnson.  The last time these stars met was in 2010 when Revis was with the Jets.  Megatron was held to one catch for 13 yards.  If Revis manages to hold Johnson to similar numbers, look for Stafford to target Reggie Bush and Nate Burleson, who returns from injury this week.  The return of Burleson is key.

In the NFC North, the Packers should win their fixture against the Vikings this week before heading to Ford Field for Thanksgiving, while Chicago should win in St Louis.  What happens Sunday against the Bucs is important for the Lions’ playoff run and NFC North title aspirations.

The Lions lead this series against the Bucs 29-25 and won the previous two encounters in 2010 and 2011, both in Tampa.

Score Prediction:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 – Detroit Lions 24

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