NFL Football

47
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Tampa Bay 13 21 13 0 47
Detroit 0 0 7 0 7
7
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , December 26, 2020
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 0

Buccaneers-Lions Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

  1. Detroit has won four of the last six games between these teams, but Tampa Bay won in their last meeting, getting a 38-17 win in Detroit in Week 15 of last season. The 38 points were tied for the most scored by either team in any of their all-time meetings (two other times by Tampa Bay, twice by Detroit).
  2. The Buccaneers beat the Falcons, 31-27, in Atlanta on Sunday, despite trailing 17-0 at halftime. It was tied for their second-largest comeback all-time (trailed 24-3 in the second quarter against Kansas City in Week 9, 2008; won in overtime 30-27).
  3. The Lions fell to the Titans, 46-25, in Tennessee on Sunday. It was the fourth time this season they've allowed at least 40 points, their second-most such games in a season all time -- they allowed 40+ five times in 1948.
  4. Tom Brady had 390 passing yards against the Falcons on Sunday, his highest total in any game since throwing for 505 yards in Super Bowl LII against the Eagles. He also had his fifth straight game with multiple touchdown passes, his longest such streak since a nine-game streak in 2015.
  5. With 10 receptions on Sunday, Marvin Jones Jr. reached 65 for the season, tying his career high (2015 with Cincinnati). Those 10 catches went for 112 yards, his second 100-yard receiving game in the last three weeks. Jones had three catches for 64 yards in his lone career game against Tampa Bay (Week 14, 2017).
  6. The Buccaneers have gained at least four yards on just 41.0 percent of their first down plays this season, second lowest in the league (Denver, 40.8). However, the Lions have allowed opponents to gain at least four yards on 56.0 percent of first down plays, the highest mark in the NFL.
Team Comparison

Tampa Bay
 
Detroit
28.6 Points 23.9
277.6 Pass Yds 282.3
93.9 Rush Yds 92.6
21 Takeaways 12
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

DETROIT (AP)

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rolling into the Motor City with a chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

"This is why we play, to put your team in a place and give yourself an opportunity to compete for a championship," Brady said.

The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and the Bucs (9-5) are a victory away from earning a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2007.

"I call them `Hat and T-Shirt' games," Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said. "You get a hat and a T-shirt when you get in the playoffs. It's a great feeling for those guys. That was the goal this year - it was to get in the dance."

The out-of-contention Detroit Lions (5-9) will likely be very accommodating Saturday at fan-free Ford Field.

Detroit will be led by Robert Prince, its third head coach, because interim coach Darrell Bevell became the NFL's first head coach to miss a game because of COVID-19 protocols. The Lions will also be without defensive coordinator Cory Undlin and other assistant coaches because of contact tracing.

"It's super disappointing," said Bevell, who is 1-2 since replacing fired coach Matt Patricia. "I'm frustrated. Since we've started, I've tested negative. So, there's that whole part of it. You don't quite understand all the stuff that goes along with it, then there's that drive that you want to be there."

HEATING UP

Antonio Brown is coming off his most productive game since making his Bucs debut last month following an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. He had five catches for a season-best 93 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown that capped last week's comeback win over Atlanta.

"Obviously as a teammate (and) someone who knows him pretty well, he's done a lot of work to get to this point," Brady said. "Just proud of him, his focus, how he's prioritized different things."

The 32-year-old Brown has 30 receptions for 310 yards and one touchdown in six games.

"He's doing the best with his opportunities," Arians said.

NEW-LOOK STAFF

Detroit's offense and defense will be led by coaches who have never had that responsibility in the NFL.

Quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan will make calls in place of Bevell, who also serves as the team's offensive coordinator. Evan Rothstein, who helps the team behind the scenes with research and analysis, will handle Undlin's game-day job with the defense.

"I'm confident in what those guys know and how they'll be able to handle it," Bevell said.

COMEBACK BUCS

Tampa Bay has rallied to win after trailing by at least 10 points to win four times, tied with the New Orleans Saints for the most in the NFL this season. The Bucs been outscored 59-7 in the opening quarter over their past six games. They overcame the deficit to beat three sub-.500 teams and lose to three teams with winning records.

"You can win against teams that aren't going to make the playoffs right now, but I don't think we will win too many playoff games spotting a team 17 points," tight end Cameron Brate acknowledged. "It's going to be something we're going to have to figure out."

Tampa Bay hasn't led at the end of a first quarter since Week 5 at Chicago.

The Lions blew double-digit leads in becoming the first team in NFL history to lose four straight games after leading by 10-plus points.

NO-LOOK PASS

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played with banged-up ribs in last week's loss at Tennessee and added to his long list of no-look passes on a remarkable touchdown throw to Marvin Jones. Stafford was looking right when he threw left, connecting with Jones in the back of the end zone.

Arians said Stafford is one of his all-time favorite players, ranking him among the NFL's top four or five quarterbacks.

"He's one of the few quarterbacks I like going out and watching warm up, just watching him throw because he's so special," Arians said.

GRONK FAN

Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski will have at least one request after the game. Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson, drafted No. 8 overall by Detroit last year, said he hopes to walk away from Ford Field with Gronkowski's No. 87 jersey.

"He's somebody I looked up to for sure growing up and throughout my career," Hockenson said.

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Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated December 24, 2020

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