The NFL Divisional Round Weekend games continue this afternoon with a clash between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions. The Lions are home in Detroit, Michigan, where they have gone 7-2 this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 pm EST.
The 10-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t exactly a juggernaut. They just squeaked into the playoffs with a huge rush, closing out the season with five wins in their last six games after opening the season 4-7. That was enough to win the weakest division in the NFL, the NFC South, and make the playoffs with the worst record of any playoff team in 2024. The Buccaneers then beat a collapsing Philadelphia Eagles team in the Wild Card Round to set up this game with the Lions. The Buccaneers have been unimpressive against the best teams in the NFL, going 1-4 against teams with more than 9 wins on the season, their only such victory coming last week against the Eagles. When they met the Lions in Week 6, the Buccaneers were dominated to the tune of a 20 - 6 Lions win.
The 13-5 Detroit Lions come into this game off an exciting 24-23 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round last week. It was the Lions’ first post-season victory since 1991, more than 30 years ago. The Lions excel on offense both in the running game and in the passing game. Overall, the Lions offense ranks 2nd in the NFL in passing yards, 5th in running yards and 3rd in total yards. On defense it’s a different story. While the Lions have an excellent run defense, their pass defense ranks 27th in the NFL, and their overall defense ranks 19th.
This game looks like a mismatch on paper. The Lions come into this game tied for the best record in the NFC. They have a prolific offense that the Buccaneers will be hard-pressed to stop. The Buccaneers’ offense, on the other, has the worst running attack in the NFL, and an average at best passing attack. I don’t see the Buccaneers being able to keep pace with the Lions in this game. I’m taking the home team Lions to prevail rather easily.