Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 14 picks: Bills at Buccaneers

Associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the cross-conference matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dan's take:
 With Tampa Bay eyeing the offseason and Buffalo not too far behind, just showing some consistency for four quarters will be the primary focus for both these teams. With an ailing Vincent Jackson and a third-string back as their starter, Buffalo's sack-happy defense should be able to achieve that goal against rookie quarterback Mike Glennon and his depleted offense. And as long as E.J. Manuel can avoid Darrelle Revis and continue to keep his interceptions to a minimum, the Bills' offense should be able to roll against a Bucs D that's let teams run all over them the past few weeks. Keep an eye on the penalty count on both sides of the ball, as both teams love to give their opponents extra chances. 
Prediction: Bills 22, Bucs 17

Sean's take:
This battle between two franchises likely picking in the top-10 of next year's draft doesn't carry a whole lot of implications, but should be an entertaining matchup between two evenly-matched teams starting rookie quarterbacks. Glennon has occasionally flashed top-tier ability and has led his team to wins in three of the past four games while Manuel, three games removed from a month-long absence due to injury, has strung together a couple of solid performances himself. The Bills' defense leads the league in sacks while their Buccaneers counterparts lead the the league in interceptions, so the rookie signal-caller that manages the game most efficently and avoids costly mistakes will end up victorious. Glennon, with his home fans behind him, gives Tampa Bay the edge.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Bills 20