What a 1-2 punch for fans of the Buffalo Bills. First, the Bills suffered another deflating setback vs. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, falling 14-10 in blustery, snowy conditions during a Week 13 clash on Monday Night Football.
Now, with their playoff lives in desperate need of a spark, the Bills (7-5) head south to take on a familiar foe: the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3), who are quarterbacked by future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, who was Belichick’s signal caller during the Patriots’ 20-year reign over the AFC East.
Buffalo and Tampa Bay both entered the 2021 season with Super Bowl aspirations, but the Buccaneers have a four-game lead in the NFC South while the Bills fell 1.5 games behind New England in the race for the AFC East title.
These two teams square off as CBS’ featured late telecast for Week 14, with kickoff set for 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bills find themselves in seventh place in a crowded AFC playoff picture following the latest loss to New England. Buffalo dropped to 3-3 over its last six games and lost despite New England quarterback Mac Jones completing only 2 of 3 passes for 19 yards. Instead, Belichick and the Patriots turned back the clock, running 46 times for 222 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown scamper from Damien Harris.
Buffalo’s red zone woes resurfaced, converting only one of four trips to the red zone into a touchdown while failing to score any points on consecutive red zone appearances in the fourth quarter, when a touchdown would have given Buffalo the lead.
Brady and the Buccaneers recorded their third straight win and eclipsed 30 points in a game for the seventh time in 12 games, cruising past the Atlanta Falcons 30-17 in Week 13. Brady passed for four touchdowns (two to former Patriot Rob Gronkowski) and finished 38 of 51 passing for 368 yards. Chris Godwin hauled in a franchise-record 15 passes for 143 yards, while Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea each added two sacks for the first-place Buccaneers.
Sunday’s matchup is the 12th all-time between these teams. Tampa Bay holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series, including winning two of the last three meetings.
The last time the Bills took on the Buccaneers, Stephen Hauschka’s third field goal of the game with 14 seconds remaining lifted Buffalo to a 30-27 win in Orchard Park on Oct. 22, 2017.
LeSean McCoy scored two rushing touchdowns, Tyrod Taylor completed 20 of 33 passes for 268 yards and a TD, Deonte Thompson hauled in four passes for 107 yards, and then-rookie Matt Milano recorded a key interception to fuel the Bills to victory.
The last time Buffalo traveled to Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers earned a 27-6 win on Dec. 8, 2013. Buffalo has not won in Tampa Bay since the 1991 season, when Hall of Famer Jim Kelly hit Keith McKeller for a 29-yard score in the fourth quarter to snap a 10-all tie and give the Bills a 17-10 victory on Sept. 22, 1991.
Buffalo is listed as a 3.5-point underdog vs. Tampa Bay. The Bills will be wearing their white jerseys with white pants and white helmet. Here are all the ways to catch Sunday’s game from home:
Date: Sunday, December 12, 2021
Time: 4:25 p.m. EST
Channel: The game will be carried on CBS on WIVB and CFTO in Buffalo, WROC in Rochester, WKTV, WTVH, and WBNG in Syracuse, WBNG and WENY in Elmira, WKTV, WTVH, and WRGB in Utica, WKTV, WRGB and WCWN in Albany, WWNY in Watertown, and WSEE in Erie. View the broadcast map.
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter).
Streaming: FuboTV and the Buffalo Bills app (especially helpful for those with DIRECTV)
Location: Raymond James Stadium | Tampa, FL
Radio: WGR 550 AM (Buffalo), WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester), Fan 590 AM (Toronto), WKRL 100.9 FM and 106.5 FM (Syracuse), and the rest of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Eric Wood with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Online: NFL Game Pass, NFL.com Game Center
Line: Buccaneers by 3.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Twitter: Follow @BuffRumblings for complete Bills coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.
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Friday Injury Report
- Gameday status: Out: DT Star Lotulelei (toe), TE Tommy Sweeney (hip).
- Questionable: FB Reggie Gilliam (ankle), DE Efe Obada (hip).
- Will play: DT Ed Oliver (chest).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thursday)
- Full participant: WR Jaelon Darden (concussion), CB Jamel Dean (concussion), OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder).
- Limited participant: DL William Gholston (wrist/knee), G Ali Marpet (abdomen), DL Vita Vea (knee).
- Did not practice: C Ryan Jensen (ankle), S Jordan Whitehead (calf).