Week 9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Winner Josh Freeman has been a much more effective quarterback this season. He is projecting confidence in every move he makes on the field. He’s got the size, strength, arm strength, accuracy and touch this season that he did not show last year. He went to a hostile environment last week and punished the Vikings and he should be ready to do the same thing to the Raiders.
Carson Palmer is not an elite quarterback, but he is proving to be quite competitive. Palmer has helped the Raiders steal a couple of games in the late going. He’s big, strong and still has a powerful arm, but he’s no longer the gifted young stud. He’s getting by on guile and ingenuity at this point.
Winner The Bucs want to punish opponents with a hard-nosed running game. In the Week Eight win over the Vikings, it was Doug Martin who let loose with 135 yards and he took the pressure off of Freeman. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson is the Bucs’ top big-play threat and that makes it easier for Mike Williams to get open.
The running game is giving Palmer a big assist. Darren McFadden is another back who is going to finish each of his runs and he is coming off a 114-yard effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. You have to respect Darrius Heyward-Bey who has taken some overwhelming punishment this year but comes back to make big plays nearly every game.
The Bucs are playing much tougher and a much more physical brand of defense than they did last year. The Bucs are going to make mistakes, but it’s not because they are playing timid football. Ancient Ronde Barber is coming off a 9-tackle game in which he also forced a fumble. Defensive end Michael Bennett also forced a fumble while making five tackles and adding a sack.
Winner The Raiders are surprising some people on offense, but if they are going to have success this year it will be the result of the defense. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler is coming off an 11-tackle, 1.0-sack effort against the Chiefs. Richard Seymour is still a playmaker on the defensive line and must be accounted for or he will cause problems for Freeman throughout the game.
Special Teams
The Bucs are not explosive on special teams, but they know that placekicker Connor Barth is dependable. He made 3-of-3 field goal attempts against the Vikings. Punter Michael Koenen averaged 46.8 yards on six punts against Minnesota.
Winner Sebastian Janikowski gives the Raiders an advantage at the placekicker position nearly every time he takes the field. He is incredibly dependable and may be the most powerful kicker in the history of the NFL. Shane Lechler is an equal partner with Janikowski and has an explosive leg as a punter.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs

The Raiders are showing some toughness in their back-to-back wins over the Jaguars and Chiefs. While they are not the most talented team, they are playing well in the fourth quarter. Going across the country would seem to be a lot to ask of Greg Schiano’s Bucs, but they are starting to get explosive play from Freeman and could build a big lead.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

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