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Bucs vs. Rams: What they're saying, by the numbers

The poll

Does Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, whose original five-year, $26 million contract expires after the 2013 season, deserve an extension?

Yes, but it can wait: 43 percent

No: 35 percent

Yes, the sooner the better: 22 percent

Total: 837 votes

Inside the numbers

8-11 Bucs' record against the Rams, including 0-2 in the playoffs and 6-1 over the teams' past seven meetings

51 Rushing yards Doug Martin needs to pass James Wilder (1,300 in 1985) for second most in franchise history

377 Passing yards for the Rams' Sam Bradford last week against the Vikings, a career high

92 Rushing yards the Rams' Steven Jackson needs to surpass 1,000 for a franchise-record eighth consecutive season

60.8 Passer rating for the Bucs' Josh Freeman over the past three games compared with 94.3 for the first 11

What they're saying

Josh Freeman is so scattershot. You don't know what you are getting throw to throw much less quarter to quarter. Sam Bradford has a great arm but makes a lot of curious decisions.

Gregg Rosenthal

The Buccaneers play a lot of man-to-man defense. Their corners are vulnerable and can be attacked. The Bucs have allowed 27 touchdown passes. Only two NFL teams have given up more. The secondary has been scorched for 35 pass plays of 25-plus yards. Only two defenses have allowed more. The Rams' receivers should be able to exploit the man coverage. The offensive line should provide reliable protection. And QB Sam Bradford should be able to make plays.

Bernie Miklasz St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The picks

Greg Schiano can look at the team he almost coached (he was the Rams' bridesmaid to Jeff Fisher) and the one he's coaching. Not sure he'll like what he sees because the Bucs are slumping badly, but good programs can't be built in one year. Rams, 17-16.

Peter King Sports Illustrated

These two were eliminated last week, so where's the motivation? Did the Bucs quit on Greg Schiano last week? You know Jeff Fisher's team will be ready to go. But I think Tampa Bay bounces back at home. It's tough going on the road late with nothing at stake. Bucs, 24-17.

Pete Prisco

Since it's potentially cornerback Ronde Barber's final home game of his career, look for the Bucs to find a way to turn things around against a Rams team that saw its unlikely postseason run slam to a halt in Week 15. Bucs, 28-17.

Mike Florio

Bucs have stunk lately but have the run defense to limit Steven Jackson. Bucs, 21-17.

Greg Cote Miami Herald

Bucs vs. Rams

1 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Radio: 620-AM, 103.5-FM

Line, over/under: Bucs by 3, 43½

Bucs vs. Rams: What they're saying, by the numbers 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 7:28pm]
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