The Tampa Bay Bucs' playoff hopes took a major hit last week with a deflating loss to the New Orleans Saints, but they're still alive at 6-7 -- two games behind the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card race with three to play. In order to have a legit chance at catching one of those two teams, Tampa Bay will need to take care of business on the road Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams (5-8). Who's got the edge? Check out our preview and prediction below.
When: 8:25 p.m. ET
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
TV: NFL Network
Spread: Rams by 1.5
What's At Stake:
As previously mentioned, the Bucs' playoff chances are riding on this one. It'll still take a bunch of things falling in their favor, especially with a season-closing game against the undefeated Carolina Panthers looming in two weeks. For St. Louis, this is a chance to make a major statement on a national stage during what's been an extremely disappointing campaign so far.
What They're Saying About The Tampa Bay Bucs:
Bucs' stout defense against ground game comes from group effort
Tampa Bay stadium renovation approved by all parties
Buccaneers Star Wars-inspired helmet
What They're Saying About The St. Louis Rams:
Stedman Bailey improving, aiming for hospital departure next week
Is this it for the Rams in St. Louis?
Donald has been even better in second season with Rams
Key To The Game:
The St. Louis Rams' quarterback situation has been a mess all year long, so expect them to ride Todd Gurley early and often on the ground in this one. That's going to be a tough go for the Rams against a very tough Tampa Bay run defense, so it's imperative that the team find a couple of easy completions off of play action to ensure holes keep opening up for Gurley. If not, Tampa can run away with this one.
Prediction: Bucs win 27-14
The Rams get up enough for random games to think that this could be the one, but the Bucs are really bad matchup for this Rams team at this exact moment in time. The Bucs move back to .500, staying on the periphery of the NFC playoff chase.Back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Newsfeed
Related Topics: Todd Gurley, Jameis Winston, Bucs News, Rams News, Buccaneers News