It is December, which suggests the NFL is accelerating into playoff stretch-run overdrive. And there’s precisely one sport on the league’s Week 14 schedule that pits two division leaders in opposition to one another: Tampa Bay at San Francisco.
Clearly, that imbues the Buccaneers’ cross-country journey with critical postseason implications for each groups. Whereas the 8-4 49ers try to carry off the Seahawks and presently have a one-game lead within the NFC West that’s strengthened by their Week Two win over Seattle, the 6-6 Buccaneers try to get some extra respiration room within the NFC South whereas the 5-8 Falcons are on their bye.
It’s also the 49ers who personal the best seed within the NFC standings that the Buccaneers can realistically hope to reel in by the top of the common season. Primarily based on their present data and their remaining checklist of opponents, the 11-1 Eagles and 10-2 Vikings are very robust bets to carry on to the 2 prime spots. Nonetheless, if the Buccaneers can depart that different Bay space with a win on Sunday, they may have pulled inside a sport of the 49ers within the convention race and can have an inexpensive likelihood of catching San Francisco for the third seed.
Each groups additionally come into their Week 14 matchup with at the least fairly good latest outcomes. The Buccaneers have received three of their final 4, although it took unbelievable rallies to safe the 16-13 Week 9 victory over the Rams and the 17-16 stunner in opposition to New Orleans this previous Monday night time. The 49ers’ latest outcomes prime that, nevertheless. San Francisco has ripped off 5 wins in a row, with a mean margin of victory of 16 factors. That features a powerful 33-17 win in Week 13 of a Dolphins group that got here in simply as sizzling.
That stated, this Bucs-49ers matchup profiles extra like the kind of low-wattage squeakers the Buccaneers have been taking part in this yr. San Francisco has the NFL’s stingiest protection when it comes to each yards (283.9) and factors (15.8) allowed per sport, whereas the Buccaneers rank eighth in yards (313.8) and fifth in factors (18.3). With wins at a premium over the subsequent 5 weeks, the Bucs will not care in the event that they win by one level or 40 so long as they get that mark in the proper column.
“Within the NFL, you are not going to blow lots of people out,” stated Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles. “We received a variety of shut video games once we received the Tremendous Bowl as effectively. Yearly, it is going to come right down to a rating or two – you have simply acquired to have particulars and win the ballgame. [If] you win sufficient of them constantly, they will begin turning into bigger [margins] when the arrogance grows. However it is going to be a dogfight each week from right here on out.”
In the meantime, the Buccaneers’ offense is producing simply 18.1 factors per sport (twenty seventh within the NFL), a steep drop from the league-leading 30.4 per outing they rolled up over the 2020-21 seasons mixed. And whereas the 49ers are a decent thirteenth within the league in scoring with 23.5 factors per sport, their offense all of a sudden has an issue: Jimmy Garoppolo’s damaged foot.
That harm, suffered very early in final week’s win over Miami, introduced an unlucky finish to what had been a redemptive story for Garoppolo. All however sure to be traded to make manner for 2021 first-rounder Trey Lance, Garoppolo as an alternative labored out a brand new deal to stay round as Lance’s backup in 2022…then discovered himself again within the driver’s seat after Lance’s ankle harm in Week Two.
Now the 49ers will flip to Brock Purdy, the previous Iowa State quarterback who was the final participant chosen on this yr’s draft. Purdy acquitted himself properly over the majority of that 16-point win over the Dolphins however clearly could be very inexperienced.
Thankfully for the 49ers, they will encompass their rookie passer with one of many NFL’s most versatile units of talent gamers, one which grew to become much more sturdy with the midseason commerce for former Panthers do-it-all again Christian McCaffrey. The Niners additionally deploy hybrid receiver/runner Deebo Samuel, run-after-the-catch star George Kittle and the uber-athletic Brandon Aiyuk, usually all on the identical time and in a Kyle Shanahan offense that’s glorious at scheming them open.
And, after all, there’s that protection, led by the NFL’s present sack king Nick Bosa (14.5, together with three final week in opposition to the Dolphins) and maybe the league’s greatest defender of the center of the sector in MIKE linebacker Fred Warner. The secondary has gotten even stronger in 2022 with the addition of former Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward and the second-year emergence of security Talanoa Hufanga (4 interceptions).
The Niners’ path again to at the least the NFC title sport, which they misplaced final yr to the Rams, has gotten rockier with the lack of Garoppolo, however the total expertise of the roster means they may proceed to be robust contenders within the convention race. The Buccaneers hope to gradual that pursuit down for at the least one week this Sunday in Santa Clara.
GAME AND BROADCAST DETAILS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
Sunday, December 11, 4:25 p.m. ET
Levi’s Stadium (capability: 68,500)
TV Broadcast Group: Kevin Burkhardt (play-by-play), Greg Olsen (analyst), Erin Andrews (reporter)
Radio: 98Rock (WXTB, 97.9 FM), Flagship Station
Radio Broadcast Group: Gene Deckerhoff (play-by-play), Dave Moore (analyst), T.J. Rives (reporter)
ALL-TIME HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES
The Buccaneers and 49ers have performed one another 25 instances, together with the postseason, however that historical past divides neatly into two very completely different sequence proper close to the center.
San Francisco leads the general regular-season sequence by an amazing margin, 18-6, however as a lot because the ’97 season is the dividing line between a long-downtrodden group and a profitable franchise in Tampa, it additionally marks the purpose at which this head-to-head matchup change into aggressive. The Buccaneers and 49ers had met 13 instances between 1977 and 1994 and San Francisco had received 12 of them, usually by extensive margins. The final 4 San Francisco wins previous to 1997 had been by a mixed 138-58.
Then the Buccaneers shocked the league by beating Steve Younger, Jerry Rice and the 49ers (who would go all the way in which to the NFC Championship Sport that season), 13-6, in Week One in all 1997. That was the primary of 5 straight wins to start out the ’97 season for Tampa Bay as they wound up ending a 15-year playoff drought. Together with that win, the Bucs have cast a 6-6 tie within the sequence since 1997 if one consists of Tampa Bay’s 31-6 drubbing of the 49ers within the Divisional Spherical of the 2002 playoffs.
San Francisco prevailed in the newest assembly between the 2 groups, a 31-17 resolution at Raymond James Stadium in 2019 that featured three interceptions by the 49ers protection. The final one allowed the guests to drag away on the finish, because the Buccaneers had closed to inside 20-17 within the fourth quarter earlier than a Robbie Gould area objective and Ahkello Witherspoon’s 25-yard pick-six off Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay had received the 2 earlier video games within the sequence earlier than that one, 34-17 in California in 2016 and 27-9 in Florida in 2018. The previous included a 249-yard dashing efficiency by the Buccaneers, led by Jacquizz Rodgers’ 154 on 26 carries. Within the latter, the Bucs’ protection sacked Nick Mullens 4 instances and intercepted him twice whereas Winston threw landing passes to Cam Brate and Adam Humphries.
The aforementioned 2002 Divisional Spherical win for the Bucs is the one postseason contest the group has had in opposition to San Francisco. Mike Alstott scored on a pair of two-yard runs, Brad Johnson threw two landing passes and the Bucs stored Jeff Garcia and the 49ers’ offense at bay with picks by Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks and Dwight Smith.
As for that turning-point contest in 1997, it famously featured Warren Sapp knocking out Younger and Rice with early accidents. San Francisco nonetheless managed to take a 6-0 lead into halftime because the Bucs’ offense took time to get going, however the protection acquired even stinger within the second half, permitting solely 45 extra yards. The Bucs took their first lead 5 minutes into the fourth quarter on Trent Dilfer’s one-yard rollout landing move to tight finish Dave Moore. A lot of the remainder of the offense was offered by fullback Mike Alstott, who completed the sport with 119 yards from scrimmage, together with 46 of the 53 yards on the sport’s solely landing drive. Younger got here again into the sport to start out the fourth quarter however was promptly sacked by Hardy Nickerson and intercepted by Tyrone Legette on consecutive performs, establishing Michael Husted for his second area objective, a 34-yarder, and the sport’s ultimate factors.
· San Francisco Basic Supervisor John Lynch was inducted into the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium in 2016. Lynch performed for the Buccaneers for the primary 11 seasons of a profession that landed him within the Corridor of Fame and was a key a part of the historic protection that led a franchise turnaround, peaking with victory in Tremendous Bowl XXXVII.
· Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan got here in collectively because the 49ers’ new management in 2017. Shanahan acquired his first NFL teaching job in Tampa, as an offensive high quality management coach beneath Jon Gruden in 2004-05.
· Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles performed one season for the 49ers as a security in 1991. Assistant Large Receivers Coach Thaddeus Lewis additionally hung out with San Francisco as a quarterback in 2016.
· San Francisco’s Offensive Line Coach/Run Sport Coordinator Chris Foerster served because the Buccaneers’ offensive line coach from 1996-2001, following Tony Dungy from the Vikings to Tampa and holding that job for Dungy’s total tenure with the Buccaneers.
· Brian Griese, the 49ers’ new quarterbacks coach in 2022, had two separate stints with the Buccaneers throughout his 11-year profession as an NFL quarterback. Griese first signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2004 and over the subsequent two seasons 16 video games with a 9-7 report. He was launched by the Buccaneers in 2006 after which spent two years with the Bears earlier than being traded again to Tampa for what would show to be his ultimate season in 2008, during which he began 5 video games and received three of them.
· Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert performed three seasons (2014-16) in San Francisco, beginning 12 video games in that span.
· 49ers Defensive High quality Management Coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker was the Buccaneers’ extensive receivers coach in 2014 and 2015.
· San Francisco Assistant Defensive Line Coach Darryl Tapp performed 12 seasons within the league as a defensive finish and his ultimate motion got here with the Buccaneers, when he performed three video games with one begin in 2017.
SENIOR COACHING STAFFS
· Head Coach Todd Bowles
· Assistant Head Coach/Run Sport Coordinator Harold Goodwin
· Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich
· Run Sport Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodgers
· Go Sport Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach Larry Foote
· Particular Groups Coordinator Keith Armstrong
· Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
· Offensive Line/Run Sport Coordinator Chris Foerster
· Offensive Passing Sport Coordinator Bobby Slowik
· Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
· Particular Groups Coordinator Brian Schneider
KEY 2022 ROSTER ADDITIONS
· P Jake Camarda (fourth-round draft decide)
· G Luke Goedeke (second-round draft decide)
· DL Logan Corridor (second-round draft decide)
· TE Ko Kieft (sixth-round draft decide)
· G Shaq Mason (commerce–NE)
· CB Zyon McCollum (fifth-round draft decide)
· TE Cade Otton (fourth-round draft decide)
· RB Rachaad White (third-round draft decide)
· G Spencer Burford (4th-round draft decide)
· RB Tyrion Davis-Value (Third-round draft decide)
· WR Danny Grey (Third-round draft decide)
· DE Drake Jackson (2nd-round draft decide)
· RB Christian McCaffrey (commerce – Carolina)
· WR/KR Ray-Ray McCloud (UFA)
· QB Brock Purdy (Seventh-round draft decide)
· DT Hassan Ridgeway (UFA)
· CB Charvarius Ward (UFA)
· CB Samuel Womack (Fifth-round draft decide)
· G Nick Zakelj (Sixth-round draft decide)
ADDITIONAL 2022 CHANGES OF NOTE
· Whereas the Bucs proceed to take care of enviable continuity on their teaching employees, there’s a new particular person within the nook workplace. In March, Bruce Arians stepped down after three years as the pinnacle coach and took on a brand new position as a senior advisor to the final supervisor. Todd Bowles was promoted from defensive coordinator to take his place. Bowles beforehand served because the New York Jets’ head coach from 2015-18 earlier than rejoining Arians when the latter got here on because the Buccaneers’ head coach in 2019.
· With Bowles stepping up the Bucs wanted a brand new defensive coordinator they usually primarily named two of them. Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodgers added the title of Run Sport Coordinator whereas Outdoors Linebackers Coach Larry Foote switched to inside linebackers and added the title of Go Sport Coordinator. They’re in impact co-defensive coordinators. Bob Sanders joined the employees to take over for Foote within the exterior linebackers room. Foote made his change after Inside Linebackers Coach Mike Caldwell landed the defensive coordinator place in Jacksonville beneath new Head Coach Doug Pederson.
· The Buccaneers had two key gamers retire after the 2021 season, however solely considered one of them stayed retired. Whereas quarterback Tom Brady finally elected to return 40 days after saying he was stepping away from the sport, his long-time buddy Rob Gronkowski walked away for good, resulting in large modifications within the Bucs’ tight finish room. Whereas veteran Cam Brate returned, O.J. Howard left in free company and the Buccaneers subsequently drafted Cade Otton and Ko Kieft and signed veteran Kyle Rudolph.
· Tampa Bay’s protection additionally noticed the departure of two front-seven stalwarts from the extraordinarily profitable 2020-21 seasons, as neither DL Ndamukong Suh nor OLB Jason Pierre-Paul was re-signed. The group signed veteran standout Akiem Hicks and drafted Houston’s Logan Corridor thirty third total to handle depth up entrance and are counting on 2021 first-round decide Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to step up on the sting.
· San Francisco’s teaching employees was a sufferer of its personal success, because the Miami Dolphins poached the 49ers’ offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniel to be their new head coach. McDaniel has thrived in Miami and is on the brief checklist of Coach of the 12 months candidates in 2022, however the 49ers did get two third-round draft picks as compensation for his departure beneath the NFL’s new variety improvement and hiring incentive program. San Francisco did not make a one-for-one coordinator alternative for McDaniel; as an alternative, the group promoted Bobby Slowik to offensive passing sport coordinator and added run sport coordinator to the title of Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster.
· The 49ers additionally noticed Quarterbacks Coach Wealthy Scangarello depart to change into the offensive coordinator on the College of Kentucky, they usually responded by giving former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Brian Griese his first teaching job. San Francisco additionally introduced on Anthony Lynn to function assistant head coach/working backs coach.
· The Niners tried to make a giant change on the quarterback place within the offseason, as they made their intentions to commerce their 2021 starter, Jimmy Garoppolo with a purpose to clear the trail for Trey Lance, for whom that they had traded a number of first-round picks to maneuver up and take third total within the 2021 draft. Nonetheless, sudden shoulder surgical procedure for Garoppolo in March and the next restoration course of made it troublesome for San Francisco to maneuver him and the 2 sides finally agreed on a reworked contract to maintain him round as Lance’s backup in 2022. Lance then sustained a season-ending ankle harm in Week Two, placing Garoppolo again within the driver’s seat. Garoppolo subsequently helped lead the 49ers to an 8-4 report and first place within the NFC West, however he suffered a season-ending foot harm in Week 13 in opposition to Miami. Now the 49ers are turning to rookie Brock Purdy, the final participant chosen within the 2022 NFL Draft.
· The 49ers talked veteran heart Alex Mack out of retirement in 2021 and he made it value their whereas by beginning all 17 video games and making his seventh Professional Bowl. Nonetheless, that was sufficient for Mack and he retired this offseason after 13 NFL seasons. The 49ers gave the job to Jake Brendel, who had been a reserve for them in 2021 after beginning 21 video games over three seasons in Miami. Beginning left guard Laken Tomlinson additionally departed after making the Professional Bowl, leaving for the Jets in free company. Aaron Banks, a second-round draft decide in 2021, has slid into that spot.
*How Related is the Niners’ QB Change? – *Because the final decide within the 2022 draft, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy acquired the annual “Mr. Irrelevant” tag however there is not any denying he has now change into extraordinarily related to the 49ers’ instant future. San Francisco signed journeyman Josh Johnson off the Broncos’ apply squad so as to add some depth and expertise to the quarterback room in Jimmy Garoppolo’s sudden absence, however Purdy ought to get the decision in opposition to Tampa Bay after his regular efficiency final weekend. The 49ers are absolutely assured of their younger passer, however he’s being thrust right into a troublesome spot for his first profession begin. Six different quarterbacks have confronted a Tom Brady-led group of their first profession begins, and all six misplaced. As Purdy himself famous earlier within the week, Brady has been taking part in within the NFL just about the complete time the 49ers’ rookie has been alive. And easily when it comes to wins and losses, the 49ers within the Kyle Shanahan period have been way more profitable with Garoppolo beneath heart than with out him. In Garoppolo begins, the Shanahan-led 49ers have gone 38-17 and produced a 99.0 passer ranking. In begins by another quarterback, they’ve gone 9-29 with an 81.3 passer ranking. As for the Niners’ final objective, solely 4 groups have ever made it to the Tremendous Bowl in a season during which they have been compelled to start out three completely different quarterbacks. A lot of it may come right down to how clear of a pocket the inexperienced Purdy is given to get by way of his reads. San Francisco ranks tenth in sacks allowed per move play and has maybe the NFL’s greatest offensive linemen in left sort out Trent Williams, however the Buccaneers’ protection is fourth within the league in sacks per move play.
*Can the Bucs Make Up Floor on the Floor? – *If Sunday’s sport at Levi’s Stadium does flip right into a low-scoring grinder, the group that may run the ball the perfect may achieve the slight benefit it wants to return out on prime. On paper, that is a transparent benefit for the house group. The 49ers are 14th within the NFL with 124.1 dashing yards per sport, and whereas working again Elijah Mitchell is presently sidelined by harm, the 49ers acquired maybe their greatest manufacturing but from newcomer Christian McCaffrey in final week’s win, as he racked up 146 yards from scrimmage and a landing. The Buccaneers even have an honest monitor report in opposition to the previous Panthers again, holding him to 50.6 dashing yards and 89.5 yards from scrimmage per sport in seven conferences, however he is a big-play risk each time he is on the sector. In the meantime, the Buccaneers’ Thirty second-ranked dashing assault must attempt to crack the NFL’s prime run protection (75.6 yards allowed per sport). Whereas that seems troubling for Tampa Bay followers, the latest emergence of rookie Rachaad White and the return of Leonard Fournette from a hip harm offers the Bucs a doubtlessly explosive backfield duo.
*Rekindling ‘Highway Warrior’ Methods? – *From Week 12 of the 2021 season by way of the primary two weeks of the 2022 marketing campaign, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers strung collectively six consecutive wins on the street. That was the longest such streak in franchise historical past. Nonetheless, the Bucs suffered important upsets of their subsequent two video games on the street in Pittsburgh and Carolina after which painfully let a possible win slip away in additional time in Cleveland two weeks in the past. Can the Buccaneers’ rediscover no matter it was that had made them so dominant away from dwelling within the Tom Brady period? Previous to this yr’s midseason swoon, the Buccaneers had received 17 of their earlier 22 street video games, together with the well-known three-game run within the 2020 postseason earlier than Tremendous Bowl LV. (Not technically included however nonetheless related is the Buccaneers’ Week 10 win over the Seahawks in Munich, Germany, which was thought of a house sport for Tampa Bay.) The group’s Week 14 journey is not a straightforward one during which to regain that street type, not solely due to the standard of the opponent however due to the size of the journey. The Buccaneers will depart for California on Friday afternoon with a purpose to give their gamers extra time to regulate to the time change however West Coast video games all the time add an additional layer of issue for groups touring in from the East Coast.
*Holding the Line – *The Buccaneers’ offensive line will likely be making an attempt to decelerate one of many NFL’s most potent move rush teams on Sunday. Led by Nick Bosa and his NFL-high 14.5 sacks, the 49ers rank fifth within the NFL with a sacks-per-pass-play price of 9.02%. Fifteen completely different San Francisco defenders have mixed to take down the opposing quarterback 36 instances in 12 video games, and Bosa is coming off the NFC Defensive Participant of the Week award after his three sacks helped maintain Miami’s explosive offense to only 308 yards and 0 profitable third-down conversions. The Buccaneers will counter with an O-Line that’s nonetheless lacking its All-Professional proper sort out after Tristan Wirfs suffered knee and ankle accidents in Cleveland. Veteran reserve Josh Wells stuffed in for Wirfs and helped maintain the Saints’ robust move rush to only one sack of Tom Brady, and he’ll get the decision once more in San Francisco. Head Coach Todd Bowles conceded that left sort out Donovan Smith didn’t have his greatest sport of the season in opposition to New Orleans, as he took two holding penalties on the Bucs’ two landing drives throughout a frenzied comeback within the fourth quarter. Smith is presently the one remaining starter from Tampa Bay’s very well-regarded offensive line in 2021, as Professional Bowl heart Ryan Jensen is injured, Professional Bowl left guard Ali Marpet retired and proper guard Alex Cappa left in free company. General, the Buccaneers’ blockers have executed a positive job of defending Brady, who has been sacked solely 18 instances, however they may face a stiff check on Sunday.
Placing a Lid On It – The Buccaneers’ protection deserves credit score for holding the Saints to 16 factors on Monday night time and limiting the guests to 3 area objectives on their three red-zone incursions. New Orleans was capped at 298 yards and solely transformed 5 of 14 third-down tries. The longest run by a Saints participant all night time was seven yards. Nonetheless, the protection did give up a 30-yard landing move to a wide-open Taysom Hill within the second quarter and was stung by 4 different Saints completions of 20-plus yards, together with a 40-yarder caught by undrafted rookie Rashid Shaheed. The Bucs largely stored the Saints from sustaining lengthy drives however these occasional large hits gave their opponent alternatives to construct a 16-3 lead anyway. Limiting large performs will likely be a key for the Bucs’ protection on Sunday because the 49ers are superb at turning fast completions into large positive factors with the run-after-catch talents of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Earlier than his harm, Garoppolo led the NFL within the share of his passing yards (63%) that had been gained after the catch.
1. Buccaneers T Donovan Smith vs. 49ers DE Nick Bosa
Donovan Smith will not be the one Buccaneer concerned within the group effort to decelerate the NFL’s sack chief, however he’ll actually be a key a part of it. Bosa is the closest factor the NFL has to unstoppable pressure this season, as he has recorded at the least one sack in all however one of many 11 video games during which he is performed. Along with the six sacks he has over the past 4 video games, he additionally has 14 quarterback hits in that span to offer him 34 on the season. That is 10 greater than the subsequent participant on the checklist. Since 2021, when the 49ers have had Bosa on the sector they’ve had a 33.3 quarterback stress price, in comparison with 23.3% with out him Bosa is listed on the 49ers’ depth chart as the proper defensive finish, which might put him in Smith’s neighborhood, however his pre-snap location warmth map on NFL Subsequent Gen Stats exhibits that he has truly break up his rushes fairly equally between the 2 ends of the road. Smith, after all, attracts a premier edge rusher almost each week and has been an enormous a part of the Bucs’ capacity to rank first in sacks allowed per move play this season and final yr, in addition to second in 2020.
2. 49ers WR Deebo Samuel vs. Buccaneers S Logan Ryan
Deebo Samuel has 37 dashing makes an attempt in 2022, probably the most by any participant listed as a large receiver within the NFL. He and Washington’s Curtis Samuel are the one wideouts within the league with greater than a dozen carries. Final season, Kyle Shanahan unlocked one other degree of manufacturing for Samuel by steadily placing him within the backfield and easily handing him the ball, as he ran for 365 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with his 1,405 receiving yards and 6 scores. Whether or not Samuel is working it or catching it on Sunday, safeties Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal are prone to be vital figures in preserving his yardage to a minimal. On working performs, with the Bucs corners occupied with extensive receivers, Ryan could also be requested to get to the road of scrimmage to assist maintain Samuel from getting across the edge. On passing performs, with the 49ers adept at getting the ball into their gamers’ fingers with open area to tack on some YAC, it’s the safeties who will be the final line of protection if Samuel and his teammate handle to run away from the corners and linebackers. Ryan, who simply returned to the protection after lacking seven video games with a foot harm, is a really good and heady defender who has performed all over the place within the secondary in his profession and has developed into a superb in-game communicator, could possibly be the important thing to creating positive the 49ers do not discover a option to get their playmakers into large gaps within the protection.
3. Buccaneers TE Cade Otton vs. 49ers LB Fred Warner
Rookie tight finish Cade Otton has shortly carved out a big position within the Bucs’ passing sport, significantly over the center and down the seams, and Tom Brady has chosen to look in his route in a number of high-leverage conditions. Within the comeback win over New Orleans, Otton was focused 10 instances, greater than another Buc apart from Chris Godwin, and caught six passes, together with a one-yard landing in the course of the Bucs’ large comeback. Otton has displayed good fingers, a really feel for zone defenses and a capability to carry onto the ball whereas taking large hits. Warner, the 49ers’ center linebacker, was a deserving first-team All-Professional choice in 2020 and he’s taking part in at a really excessive degree once more in 2022. He could also be the perfect linebacker within the NFL when it comes to defending the center of the sector on move performs, which is crucial when the 49ers try to remove large performs by taking part in Cowl Two with a pair of safeties deep. Based on NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, the 49ers have confronted the second-fewest targets to the intermediate center of the sector of any group within the league since they drafted Warner within the third spherical in 2018.
4. 49ers C Jake Brendel vs. Buccaneers DL Vita Vea
The 49ers’ offensive line is anchored by left sort out Trent Williams, broadly thought of the perfect O-Lineman within the NFL, and Mike McGlinchey has given the group a robust bookend on the opposite facet of the road since he was drafted ninth total in 2018. Just like the Buccaneers, the 49ers had one of many league’s sturdiest offensive strains in 2022, however they misplaced two 2021 Professional Bowlers within the offseason when heart Alex Mack retired and guard Laken Tomlinson departed in free company. The job on the pivot went to 30-year-old Jake Brendel, a former undrafted free agent who had began 21 video games for the Dolphins from 2016-18. Brendel signed with the 49ers in February of 2020 however opted to take a seat out that season beneath the COVID guidelines. He logged simply six snaps on offense final yr however received the job to start out this season and has opened each contest. If the Buccaneers have issue getting stress off the sides in opposition to the 49ers’ robust tackles, they might need to depend on an inside push to make rookie quarterback Brock Purdy uncomfortable in his first NFL begin. Vea leads the Buccaneers with 6.5 sacks in 2022, a profession excessive, and presents a critical problem for a single blocker to maintain him out of the backfield as a consequence of his measurement and power.
DNP: Didn’t take part in apply
LP: Restricted participation in apply
FP: Full participation in apply
· TE Cameron Brate (sickness) – WEDS: FP
· S Mike Edwards (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP
· CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quadriceps) – WEDS: LP
· NT Vita Vea (foot/shoulder) – WEDS: LP
· Antoine Winfield, Jr. (ankle) – WEDS: DNP
· T Tristan Wirfs (ankle/knee) – WEDS: DNP
· DT Arik Armstead (foot/ankle) – WEDS: LP
· DE Nick Bosa (hamstring) – WEDS: DNP
· G Spencer Burford (ankle) – WEDS: LP
· QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) – WEDS: DNP
· RB Christian McCaffrey (knee) – WEDS: LP
· S Tarvarius Moore (knee) – WEDS: DNP
· DT Hassan Ridgeway (pectoral) – WEDS: DNP
· WR Deebo Samuel (quadriceps) – WEDS: LP
· T Trent Williams (relaxation) – WEDS: DNP
Cloudy with occasional rain showers, excessive of 52, low of 40, 58% likelihood of rain, 78% humidity, winds out of the W at 10 mph.
Head referee: Brad Allen (ninth season, ninth as referee)
· Favourite: 49ers (-3.5)
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
Factors Scored: Okay Ryan Succop, 89
Touchdowns: RB Leonard Fournette, 6
Passing Yards: QB Tom Brady, 3,332
Passer Score: QB Tom Brady, 91.6
Dashing Yards: RB Leonard Fournette, 511
Receptions: WR Chris Godwin, 68
Receiving Yards: WR Mike Evans, 761
Interceptions: CB Jamel Dean/Mike Edwards, 2
Tackles: ILB Devin White, 94
Factors Scored: Okay Robbie Gould, 89
Touchdowns: WR Brandon Aiyuk, 6
Passing Yards: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 2,437
Passer Score: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 102.9
Dashing Yards: RB Jeff Wilson*, 468
Receptions: WR Brandon Aiyuk, 56
Receiving Yards: WR Brandon Aiyuk, 698
Interceptions: S Talanoa Hufanga, 4
Sacks: DE Nick Bosa, 14.5
Tackles: LB Dre Greenlaw, 88
(* now not with the group)
TEAM STAT RANKINGS
Scoring Offense: twenty seventh (18.1 ppg)
Whole Offense: Seventeenth (340.0 ypg)
Passing Offense: Fifth (266.8 ypg)
Dashing Offense: Thirty second (73.3 ypg)
First Downs Per Sport: t-14th (20.4)
Third-Down Pct.: nineteenth (39.3%)
Sacks Per Go Try Allowed: 1st (3.43%)
Pink Zone TD Pct.: twenty first (51.4%)
Scoring Protection: Fifth (18.3 ppg)
Whole Protection: eighth (313.8 ypg)
Passing Protection: Seventh (195.3 ypg)
Dashing Protection: 18th (118.4 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Sport: t-Third (17.5)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: ninth (37.3%)
Sacks Per Go Try: 4th (9.62%)
Pink Zone TD Pct. Allowed: twenty second (57.6%)
Turnover Margin: t-Seventeenth (0)
Scoring Offense: thirteenth (23.5 ppg)
Whole Offense: tenth (357.9 ypg)
Passing Offense: Twelfth (233.8 ypg)
Dashing Offense: 14th (124.1 ypg)
First Downs Per Sport: thirteenth (20.5)
Third-Down Pct.: Fifth (45.2%)
Sacks Per Go Try Allowed: tenth (5.96%)
Pink Zone TD Pct.: fifteenth (53.7%)
Scoring Protection: 1st (15.8 ppg)
Whole Protection: 1st (283.9 ypg)
Passing Protection: Twelfth (208.3 ypg)
Dashing Protection: 1st (75.6 ypg)
First Downs Allowed Per Sport: 1st (16.3)
Third-Down Pct. Allowed: sixteenth (39.7%)
Sacks Per Go Try: Fifth (9.02%)
Pink Zone TD Pct. Allowed: eleventh (53.9%)
Turnover Margin: t-Fifth (+4)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
· Quarterback Tom Brady continues to maneuver up the Buccaneers’ all-time passing yardage checklist and now stands fourth with 13,281. If he can get one other 254 yards in opposition to the league’s Twelfth-ranked move protection on Sunday he would move Josh Freeman (13,534) for third place on that chart, behind solely Vinny Testaverde (14,820) and Jameis Winston (19,787).
· Tight Finish Cameron Brate has 33 profession landing catches. His subsequent one will tie him with Ring of Honor member Jimmie Giles for second place in franchise historical past in receiving TDs and fourth place in total touchdowns.
· In the meantime, WR Chris Godwin has caught two landing passes this season to offer him 31 in his profession, plus 32 whole touchdowns (one dashing). He’s subsequently only one behind Brate in whole TDs and will tie him with one on Sunday.
· DL Will Gholston has performed in 148 video games as a Buccaneer. His subsequent one will break a tie with Shelton Quarles for ninth place in franchise annals.
· Head Coach Todd Bowles on the 49ers’ top-ranked protection: “They play arduous, primary. I believe [49ers defensive coordinator] DeMeco [Ryans] does an important job getting them able to play arduous. Kris [Kocurek] does an important job with the D-Line. Very basically sound within the secondary and at [linebacker] – they will see issues, they zone off effectively, they do a great job punching on the soccer. They will get stress with 4 or 5 guys – I believe if you may get stress with 4 guys, that helps out your protection immensely. They do a great job in any respect of that.”
· Guard Shaq Mason on how the offensive line has protected QB Tom Brady: “I believe continuity has quite a bit to do with it. All of us work arduous every day. I do know shedding ‘Tris’ (Tristan Wirfs) was a giant blow and [Josh] Wells did an important job stepping in and performed his tail off, which simply goes to point out how arduous he works every day, however I believe as a unit, we’re jelling effectively and we’re meshing. There’s nonetheless a variety of work to do, however I believe we’re taking steps in the proper route.”
· Security Logan Ryan on the flexibility of San Francisco working again Christian McCaffrey the 49ers’ different offensive weapons: “Yeah, he is all the time been the most effective working backs along with his versatility and skill to catch the ball. They use Deebo Samuel the identical manner – he runs routes, however he goes within the backfield, in order that they’re actually interchangeable gamers. You have acquired [wide receiver Brandon] Aiyuk, who’s an important route runner, you have acquired [fullback Kyle] Juszczyk, who’s the perfect fullback within the sport, you have acquired [tight end George] Kittle who’s a blocker and a move catcher. So, I believe what you see is that they’ve a variety of good soccer gamers on their group, they’re all versatile they usually use them interchangeably and we have got to be good, our expert gamers on protection must be good tacklers, must be good soccer gamers as effectively – our secondary and our backers. So, that is actually the place the matchup is – the D-Line and O-Line need to have their matchup as effectively.”
· Rookie working again Rachaad White on constructing the group’s belief in him: “I put the work in day in and time out on the apply area simply gaining ‘TB’s’ (Tom Brady’s) belief, Mike [Evans] – all of the vets. Coach as effectively – they belief the fellows to consider in me to have the ability to come to me about something, come to me for a play that we ran, issues like that. It is simply the consistency and the work you set in each week and day-after-day.”