Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Buccaneers head into a tough matchup on the road in Indianapolis against the surging Colts. Who do the experts think comes away with the win? Carmen Vitali
A week after the Buccaneers were the unanimous pick across the board, now the experts aren't so sure. NFL Week 12 will pit the league's number one rushing defense, allowing an average of just 78.4 yards per game, against the league's fourth-ranked rushing offense that's used to bullying their way to 147.9 rushing yards per game. That effort is led by emerging MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor, who in Indy's last three games, has gone well over 100 yards on the ground himself. Coincidence that the Colts are riding a three-game win streak? Not really. Any time Taylor has gone over 100 yards this season on the ground, Indianapolis has come away with a win.
To stop them, the Bucs might want to start there.
They are coming off a defensive performance that limited Giants running back Saquon Barkley to just 25 yards and the entire New York offense to just 66 yards rushing. The Giants had just 215 yards of total offense, in fact, and the Bucs' defense forced three turnovers.
That may not happen against the Colts, though. They are number one in turnover margin this year at +15, meaning they take care of the football. They also score more points than you probably think. Tampa Bay has the number one scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 30.9 points per game, but Indy isn't far behind, ranking fifth with an average of 28.1 points per game.
Translation: this matchup is closer than you think. And because of it, the experts have some differing opinions. See what they think below.
NFL.com, Greg Rosenthal - Buccaneers ESPN.com, Consensus - Buccaneers (split) USA Today (consensus) - Buccaneers (split) SB Nation, Consensus - Buccaneers (split) CBSSports.com, Consensus - Buccaneers (split)