The Bucs are 1-5 and still in the mix for an NFC South title. It's hard to believe. As a matter of fact, it's impossible to believe that is even a remote possibility until the Bucs play a complete game and get another win.
The Vikings come into Raymond James Stadium on Sunday as a team with their own struggles. They have a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater making rookie mistakes and a banged up offensive line that is one of the worst units in the NFL. I know Bucs fans are giddy about the new contract for Gerald McCoy, but perhaps he and Michael Johnson can "defend their pay" today.
The Vikings have been able to run the ball even with the absence of Adrian Peterson. Rookie Jerick McKinnon posted his 2nd 100-yard performance last week against the tough Bills defense. McKinnon is a tough runner with good burst and speed.
Although no official announcement has been made, the anticipation is that Mike Glennon will remain as the Bucs starting quarterback. The Bucs will be facing a tough defense in the Vikings. The Vikings rank 13th in total defense, but only 19th against the run. This might be the last chance for Doug Martin as the featured back. If he does not have an explosive game today, rookie Charles Sims might return from injury and take over that role for good.
Neither of these offenses are among the upper echelon in the NFL when it comes to points scored or explosiveness. I expect a lower scoring game that will come down to the 4th quarter. Lovie Smith and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer are both defensive-minded coaches who will be very conservative throughout the game.
The Commish's Official Prediction: Vikings Win 23-21
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