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Bucs-Jets: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

By Times staff
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws an interception during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Here are the Tampa Bay Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday against the Jets at Raymond James Stadium:

THE TEARS OF McCOWN

Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud: Remember the crying game back in 2014, when Josh McCown became emotional about the Bucs 1-8 start? Well McCown is back and much happier with the Jets, who could move to 5-5 today with a win over the Bucs. Tampa Bay will have Ryan Fitzpatrick under center and that may provide a good storyline or two. But the Jets defense will be the story on this game and McCown should benefit from good field position. Prediction: New York 27-19

SHORTHANDED SURPRISE

Greg Auman, @gregauman: These picks are in before we know the full extent of the Bucs’ injury woes at tackle and defensive end. As if no Jameis Winston and no Mike Evans weren’t enough adversity to overcome. The Bucs are a better team at home, and I think Fitzpatrick can surprise his old team with a healthy dose of DeSean Jackson. Prediction: Tampa Bay 23-21

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?

Tom Jones, @tomwjones: No Jameis. No Mike Evans. No problem. It’s Fitz-Magic time. Fitzpatrick will come back to beat one of the 47 teams he used to play for. Actually, this pick isn’t so much about having confidence in the Bucs, but having less confidence in the Jets. Somehow the Bucs find a way. Prediction: Tampa Bay 23-20

FITZ TO BE TIED

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: Logic says the Bucs should win the game, but I think logic is playing golf instead. The Bucs need to adjust to life without Winston and playing for next year. The 4-5 Jets were tanking, but now they’re in the AFC wild-card mix with a hungry, overachieving cast. Maybe cutting dead weight is a tactic that should be copied closer to home. Prediction: New York 24-19.

THE GAME YOU CIRCLED

Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you: The way the Bucs lost to the Saints left a bitter, lingering taste in the mouths of every Tampa Bay fan. But be honest, before the season started you didn’t look for them to win in New Orleans. But you did circle the home game against the Jets and put a "W" next to it. So did the players. They’ll rally with two of their best players out and pull off the upset. That it’ll be an upset says so much. Prediction: Tampa Bay 13-10

BAD VS. WORSE

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics: The Bucs can’t get ahead of opponents. In three of their past four games, they haven’t had a single lead. Maybe the Jets are the cure. They’ve had a lead in each of their past seven games but lost it three times. They’re allowing 10 fourth-quarter points per game, which is the third most. Prediction: Tampa Bay 19-9

Sunday

vs. Jets, 1 p.m., Raymond James Stadium


TV/radio: CBS; 97.9-FM


Line/OU: Jets by 2½; 43½