Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Predictions 12-15-2019

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will miss their 12th straight postseason but a three-game winning streak might keep them interested when they visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday. "The resiliency of the team, the 'we're not quitting,' the fact that we are now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs is not going to change anything,'' Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians told reporters. "We're going to come, we're going to work. We're going to try to win four in a row, five in a row, and then six in a row."

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Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has been cleared to play despite sustaining a hairline fracture in his right thumb during last week's 38-35 victory over Indianapolis. Winston's rollercoaster season reached its apex when he threw for a career-high 456 yards with four touchdown passes and three interceptions against the Colts with Arians saying: "You go with the highs and you go with the lows. There was a stretch when it was like, 'He's afraid to throw it now.' Slap him in the face and throw the damn thing. Don't hold it." Minnesota handed Detroit its sixth straight loss 20-7 last week and also knocked Tampa Bay out of playoff contention. "I think unfortunately in the circumstances that we were in, down 20 to nothing, I think you guys have seen that all year from the guys," Lions quarterback David Blough told reporters. "We fought. There's no question of that in this locker room. The guys are going to fight till the end and play hard. We're definitely proud of that. Now, we can't put ourselves in those situations, but we're going to play hard. And I hope people can hang their hat on that."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Buccaneers -3.5 O/U: 46

ABOUT THE LIONS (6-7): Marvin Jones, whose nine receiving touchdowns are tied for second in the NFL, is out for the season after sustaining foot and ankle injuries last week. Rookie quarterback David Blough struggled against Minnesota in his second career start, throwing a pair of interceptions and getting sacked five times. Defensive end Tre Flowers has six sacks in his last six games, including one in each of the last two contests.

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (3-9-1): Winston's 26 touchdown passes trail only Lamar Jackson (28 entering Thursday) but his 23 interceptions are seven more than next-worst Baker Mayfield while his 4,115 passing yards trail Dallas' Dak Prescott by seven for the league lead. Mike Evans is out for the rest of the season after sustaining a hamstring injury last week so the focus will be on Chris Godwin (team highs of 81 catches, 1,212 yards and nine TDs) even more. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett leads the league with 15 sacks and needs two more to break the club record held by Warren Sapp since 2000.


1. Detroit WR Kenny Golladay leads the NFL with 10 receiving touchdowns and is the first Lion reach double figures since Calvin Johnson caught 12 in 2013.

2. Tampa Bay boasts the No. 2 passing offense in the league while Detroit yields the third-most yards through the air.

3. The Lions prevailed 24-21 on the road in the last meeting in 2017 on Matt Prater's 46-yard field goal with 20 seconds left and have won four of the last five encounters.

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Ford Field
Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Capacity: 65,000

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Last Injuries

Detroit Lions

  • C.J. Moore

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Moore was held out of the last game due to a calf injury, and it is uncertain if he will be active Sunday versus the Saints.

  • Desmond Trufant

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Trufant has sat out the previous two games with a hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup Sunday against the Saints.

  • Hunter Bryant

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bryant has missed the past three game due to a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut against the Saints on Sunday.

  • Nick Williams

    Prob Sun | probable

    Williams was held out of the last game due to a shoulder injury, but he is projected to be in the lineup Sunday versus the Cardinals.

  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Vaitai has missed the past two games with a foot injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be on the field against the Cardinals on Sunday.

  • Kenny Golladay

    Prob Sun | probable

    Golladay has been unavailable for the previous two games due to a hamstring injury, but he is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Cardinals.

  • Joe Dahl

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Dahl has wound up on the injured reserve list due to a groin injury, and there is no indication when he will return to the fold.

  • Jason Cabinda

    Prob Sun | probable

    Cabinda is dealing with an ankle injury, but he is likely to be available against the Packers on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Sean Murphy-Bunting

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Bunting left the last game due to a hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will be active Sunday versus the Chargers.

  • Justin Watson

    Prob Sun | probable

    Watson missed the last game due to a shoulder injury, but it is anticipated that he will take the field against the Chargers on Sunday.

  • Scotty Miller

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Miller is dealing with injuries to his hip and groin. It has yet to be established if he will be available for Sunday's matchup against the Chargers.

  • Chris Godwin

    Out Sun | out

    Godwin exited the previous game due to a right hamstring injury, and he will not suit up for Sunday's contest versus the Chargers.

  • Leonard Fournette

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fournette is tending to an ankle injury, leaving his availability for Sunday's battle against the Chargers hazy.

  • Donovan Smith

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Smith is nursing a knee injury, and it has yet to be determined if he will line up Sunday against the Broncos.

  • Parnell Motley

    Prob Sun | probable

    Motley has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but he is projected to be available Sunday against the Broncos.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

    Prob Sun | probable

    Pierre-Paul is dealing with a knee injury, but it is expected that he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Broncos.