Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Week 7 previews, predictions

Bills vs. Jags (London), 9:30 a.m.

Line/OU: ???

First game to be streamed live solely on digital platforms, including nflstream.yahoo.com, AppleTV, XBox 360 and XBox One — except in Jacksonville and Buffalo. Bills have numerous injuries: Out are QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), DT Kyle Williams (knee), WR Percy Harvin (hip/personal issue) and RB Karlos Williams (concussion). But RB LeSean McCoy hopes to play through hamstring injury. Jaguars, who are 0-2 in London, could be without RB T.J. Yeldon (groin) for second straight week.

TOM Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Jets at Patriots, 1

Line/OU: ???

Patriots QB Tom Brady has beaten Jets twice in row, eight of past 10 and is 21-6 overall. WR Julian Edelman has banged-up finger and is going against league's No. 1 defense. Pats have scored franchise-record 183 points through five games. Jets trying for first 5-1 start since 2010, when they advanced to AFC title game. RB Chris Ivory leads NFL with 115.0 yards per game and is going up against No. 22 rushing defense. Brandon Marshall has 100 or more yards receiving in four straight games, first Jet to accomplish feat since Hall of Famer Don Maynard in 1968.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Texans at Dolphins, 1

Line/OU: ???

One of seven NFL series where one team has never lost to other, and only one such matchup involves more games, according to STATS; Eagles 10-0 against Jets. Texans' Brian Hoyer has passer rating of 110.5 in fourth quarter, and 111.1 on third down. DeAndre Hopkins leads NFL with 726 yards receiving on 52 catches, and he's facing a second with injury issues. Dolphins rank third in yards per rush (4.7) and third worst in net yards per pass (5.8).

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Falcons at Titans, 1

Line/OU: ???

Devonta Freeman leads NFL with 10 TDs, more than any Falcon scored all last season, and he's second in NFL with 505 yards rushing. Julio Jones leads NFC with 49 catches. Titans wrap up rare homestand with four home games and bye. They have NFL's longest home skid at eight straight. Titans QB Marcus Mariota (knee) is out and Zach Mettenberger will start.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Steelers at Chiefs, 1

Line/OU: ???

Third-string QB Landry Jones expected to start for Steelers, who are tied for first with three other teams in turnover differential at plus-6. Le'Veon Bell has 390 yards rushing since returning from suspension in Week 3, second in league to Atlanta's Devonta Freeman. Chiefs LB Justin Houston has four sacks through six games; he had 22 last season. Run defense held Vikings' Adrian Peterson to 60 yards on 26 carries last week, but injuries to DT Dontari Poe (ankle), DT Mike DeVito (concussion) and LB Josh Mauga (groin) make Chiefs porous up front.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Saints at Colts, 1

Line/OU: ???

Since 2009, only five teams have won more road games than Saints (28). Saints LB Hau'oli Kikaha leads NFL rookies in sacks (four). Colts 16-2 after a loss under coach Chuck Pagano. RB Frank Gore needs four carries to pass Fred Taylor for 23rd on NFL's career list. After throwing 26 consecutive passes last weekend, expect Colts to stick with Gore a little longer, especially against NFL's third-worst run defense.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Browns at Rams, 1

Line/OU: ??; ??

Rams' first home game since Sept. 27. Browns have gone to OT in past two games. Gary Barnidge is first Browns TE to catch TD pass in four straight games since Ozzie Newsome in 1981. Rams have 19 sacks, tied for third in NFL. Rookie Todd Gurley has rushed for 305 yards over past two games. Look for Gurley to get another heavy workload trying to exploit a run defense that has given up three 100-yard rushers in past four weeks.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Vikings at Lions, 1

Line/OU: ????

Vikings' Adrian Peterson had 134 yards rushing and 29 carries, season highs, last month against Lions. Teddy Bridgewater completed 14 of season-low 18 passes, threw for TD, ran for score and had second-highest career rating in that game. Stefon Diggs has 13 receptions and 216 yards receiving in first two games. Lions' Matthew Stafford is coming off eighth game of career with four-plus TD passes and has thrown 16 TDs, just five INTs and is averaging 257 yards in 11 starts against Vikings.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Raiders at Chargers, 4

Line/OU: ???

Might be last game in San Diego between original AFL teams if Chargers get wish to move to Los Angeles area. Raiders' Derek Carr has completed 96 of 150 (64 percent) in past four games for 1,110 yards and eight TDs. Amari Cooper leads NFL rookies in catches (28), receiving yards (386). S Charles Woodson, 39, is tied for first in NFL with four INTs. Chargers' Philip Rivers set club passing records with 503 yards, 43 completions, 65 attempts in loss at Green Bay. Raiders have allowed six TDs to tight ends, and Chargers' Antonio Gates has 18 catches for 187 yards and two scores in past two games.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Cowboys at Giants, 4:25

Line/OU: ???

Matt Cassel, making his Cowboys debut, was 41-of-71 for 425 yards, three TDs and four interceptions with Minnesota in 2014. Dallas' six points against New England was first time in four years it had gone without TD. TE Jason Wittennhas seven TDs in past five games against Giants. Cowboys defense had five sacks vs. Pats. Giants' Eli Manning has thrown nine TDs and one interception in past four against Dallas at MetLife Stadium. WR Odell Beckham has 10 catches for 146 yards and two TDs in three games against Dallas

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Eagles at Panthers, 8:20

Line/OU: ???

Eagles forced five turnovers and sacked Cam Newton nine times in last meeting. Sam Bradford has five interceptions in past two starts. DE Fletcher Cox has four sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in past two games. Panthers looking for first 6-0 start in franchise history. Newton has led nine career game-winning drives, including Sunday against Seattle. TE Greg Olsen leads Panthers with 24 catches for 374 yards and three TDs. Panthers have run for at least 100 yards in 16 consecutive regular-season games, most in NFL.

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Ravens at Cardinals, 8:30 Monday

Line/OU: ???

Ravens' Steve Smith has four 100-yard receiving games against Cardinals. His 866 yards and 54 catches vs. Arizona are his most against any team outside NFC South. Ravens are 19-19 since winning Super Bowl in 2012 season. Cardinals have 16 of 17 TDs in red zone in four wins, 2 of 9 in two losses. Arizona leads NFL in touchdowns (25).

Jones: ?????? Readers: ????

Game text from Times wires. Bye week: Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Packers

This season we've asked Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones and readers to forecast the NFL results. To make your picks, go to tampabay.com/bucs:

Bills vs. Jaguars at London, 9:30 a.m.

Line/OU: Bills by 4½; 41 First game to be streamed live solely on digital platforms, including nflstream.yahoo.com, AppleTV, XBox 360 and XBox One — except in Jacksonville and Buffalo. Bills have numerous injuries: Out are QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), DT Kyle Williams (knee), WR Percy Harvin (hip/personal issue) and RB Karlos Williams (concussion). But RB LeSean McCoy hopes to play through hamstring injury. Jaguars are 0-2 in London. RB T.J. Yeldon (groin), who missed last week's game, practiced late in week but is questionable.

TOM Jones: Bills 26 Jaguars 9 Readers: Bills 86.4 percent

Jets at Patriots, 1

Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 47½ Pats QB Tom Brady has beaten Jets twice in row, eight of past 10 and is 21-6 overall. WR Julian Edelman has banged-up finger and is going against league's No. 1 defense. Pats have scored franchise-record 183 points through five games. Jets trying for first 5-1 start since 2010, when they made AFC title game. RB Chris Ivory leads NFL with 115.0 yards per game and is going up against No. 22 rushing defense. Brandon Marshall has 100 or more yards receiving in four straight games, first Jet to accomplish feat since Hall of Famer Don Maynard in 1968.

Jones: Patriots 24, Jets 20 Readers: Patriots 81.8 percent

Texans at Dolphins, 1

Line/OU: Dolphins by 4½; 44½ One of seven NFL series where one team (Texans 7-0) has never lost to other, and only one such matchup involves more games, according to STATS; Eagles 10-0 against Jets. Texans' Brian Hoyer has passer rating of 110.5 in fourth quarter, and 111.1 on third down. DeAndre Hopkins leads NFL with 726 yards receiving on 52 catches, and he's facing a secondary with injury issues. Dolphins rank third in yards per rush (4.7) and third worst in net yards per pass (5.8).

Jones: Dolphins 23 Texans 7 Readers: Dolphins 84.1 percent

Falcons at Titans, 1

Line/OU: Falcons by 6; 46½ Devonta Freeman leads NFL with 10 TDs, more than any Falcon scored all last season, and he's second in NFL with 505 yards rushing. Julio Jones leads NFC with 49 catches. Titans wrap up rare homestand with four home games and bye. They have NFL's longest home skid at eight straight. Titans QB Marcus Mariota (knee) is out and Zach Mettenberger will start.

Jones: Falcons 31 Titans 13 Readers: Falcons 100 percent

Steelers at Chiefs, 1

Line/OU: Chiefs by 2½; 43 Third-string QB Landry Jones expected to start for Steelers, who are tied for first with three other teams in turnover differential at plus-6. Le'Veon Bell has 390 yards rushing since returning from suspension in Week 3, second in NFL to Atlanta's Devonta Freeman. Chiefs LB Justin Houston has four sacks through six games; he had 22 last season. Run defense held Vikings' Adrian Peterson to 60 yards on 26 carries last week, but injuries to DT Dontari Poe (ankle), DT Mike DeVito (concussion) and LB Josh Mauga (groin) make Chiefs porous up front.

Jones: Steelers 28 Chiefs 20 Readers: Steelers 77.3 percent

Saints at Colts, 1

Line/OU: Colts by 4; 52 Since 2009, only five teams have won more road games than Saints (28). Saints LB Hau'oli Kikaha leads NFL rookies in sacks (four). Colts 16-2 after a loss under coach Chuck Pagano. RB Frank Gore needs four carries to pass Fred Taylor for 23rd on NFL's career list. After throwing 26 consecutive passes last weekend, expect Colts to stick with Gore a little longer, especially against NFL's third-worst run defense.

Jones: Colts 30 Saints 21 Readers: Colts 65.9 percent

Browns at Rams, 1

Line/OU: Rams by 6½; 41½ Rams' first home game since Sept. 27. Browns have gone to OT in past two games. Gary Barnidge is first Browns TE to catch TD pass in four straight games since Ozzie Newsome in 1981. Rams have 19 sacks, tied for third in NFL. Rookie Todd Gurley has rushed for 305 yards over past two games. Look for Gurley to get another heavy workload trying to exploit a run defense that has given up three 100-yard rushers in past four weeks.

Jones: Rams 19 Browns 13 Readers: Rams 79.5 percent

Vikings at Lions, 1

Line/OU: Vikings by 1; 44½ Vikings' Adrian Peterson had 134 yards rushing and 29 carries, season highs, last month against Lions. Teddy Bridgewater completed 14 of season-low 18 passes, threw for TD, ran for score and had second-highest career rating in that game. Stefon Diggs has 13 receptions and 216 yards receiving in first two games. Lions' Matthew Stafford is coming off eighth game of career with four-plus TD passes and has thrown 16 TDs, just five INTs and is averaging 257 yards in 11 starts against Vikings.

Jones: Lions 20 Vikings 14 Readers: Vikings 65.9 percent

Raiders at Chargers, 4

Line/OU: Chargers by 3½; 46½ Might be last game in San Diego between original AFL teams if Chargers get wish to move to Los Angeles area. Raiders' Derek Carr has completed 96 of 150 (64 percent) in past four games for 1,110 yards and eight TDs. Amari Cooper leads NFL rookies in catches (28), receiving yards (386). S Charles Woodson, 39, is tied for first in NFL with four INTs. Chargers' Philip Rivers set club passing records with 503 yards, 43 completions, 65 attempts in loss at Green Bay. Raiders have allowed six TDs to tight ends, and Chargers' Antonio Gates has 18 catches for 187 yards and two scores in past two games but is questionable (knee).

Jones: Chargers 24 Raiders 20 Readers: Chargers 84.1 percent

Cowboys at Giants, 4:25

Line/OU: Giants by 3; 45 Matt Cassel, making his Cowboys debut, was 41-of-71 for 425 yards, three TDs and four interceptions with Minnesota in 2014. Dallas' six points against New England last week was first time in four years it had gone without TD. TE Jason Witten has seven TDs in past five games against Giants. Cowboys defense had five sacks vs. Pats. Giants' Eli Manning has thrown nine TDs and one INT in past four against Dallas at MetLife Stadium. WR Odell Beckham has 10 catches for 146 yards and two TDs in three games against Dallas

Jones: Giants 33 Cowboys 27 Readers: Giants 84.1 percent

Eagles at Panthers, 8:20

Line/OU: Panthers by 3; 45½ Eagles forced five turnovers and sacked Cam Newton nine times in last meeting. Sam Bradford has five interceptions in past two starts. DE Fletcher Cox has four sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in past two games. Panthers looking for first 6-0 start in team history. Newton has led nine career game-winning drives, including Sunday against Seattle. TE Greg Olsen leads Panthers with 24 catches for 374 yards and three TDs. Panthers have run for at least 100 yards in 16 consecutive regular-season games, most in NFL.

Jones: Panthers 28 Eagles 23 Readers: Panthers 81.8 percent

Ravens at Cardinals, 8:30 Monday

Line/OU: Cardinals by 8½; 49 Ravens' Steve Smith has four 100-yard receiving games against Cardinals. His 866 yards and 54 catches vs. Arizona are his most against any team outside NFC South. Ravens are 19-19 since winning Super Bowl in 2012 season. Cardinals have 16 of 17 TDs in red zone in four wins, 2 of 9 in two losses. Arizona leads NFL in touchdowns (25).

Jones: Cardinals 30 Ravens 20 Readers: Cardinals 95.5 percent

Game text from Times wires. Bye week: Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Packers

Comments
Bucs fill a need at running back on the first day of the draft…but it’s Charles Sims, who agrees to a 1-year deal

Bucs fill a need at running back on the first day of the draft…but it’s Charles Sims, who agrees to a 1-year deal

The Bucs landed a running back on the first day of the NFL draft.It wasn't Saquon Barkley or Sony Michel or Derrius Guice. Not just yet, anyway.Tampa Bay reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Charles Sims.The 27-year-old Sims was a third-r...
Updated: 1 hour ago
After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

The Bucs still don't have a third-round draft pick this weekend, but if they do trade for one, former Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia won't be the one to announce it.It's been a rough few days for Garcia, who played for the Bucs in 2007-08, ma...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

It's NFL draft day. John Clayton joins Rick Stroud to talk about how many quarterbacks will go early and who the Bucs will take with the seventh overall pick, considering their obvious needs on defense.Plus, the Lightning will face the Boston Br...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 6 hours ago
NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

TAMPA — From the department of the weird, also known as Bucs marketing genius — also known as if it bombs, we can blame Ed Glazer — the Bucs will use a … parrot to announce their fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, which kicks...
Published: 04/25/18
Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith has a big season ahead, going into a contract year as part of a reshuffled offensive line. Still only 24, he has started all 48 games in his three NFL seasons, and has made it a priority in the offseason to be more active in...
Published: 04/25/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Rick Stroud answers your NFL draft questions in this mailbag segment, including who the Bucs might take with the seventh overall pick, which running backs they might be looking at, whether Taven Bryan could slip to them in the second r...
Published: 04/25/18
Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

For months, NFL fans have wondered what the Bucs might do with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, producing a wide range of answers, each with passionate support from some of their fans.But as draft nears, and as the interest level in a talented gro...
Published: 04/24/18
Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Vita VeaPosition: Defensive tackleSchool: WashingtonHeight/weight: 6-4, 347Draft projection: Round 1Why Vita Vea makes sense for the Bucs: Vea's combination of size and quick feet is rare. He ran a 5.1 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 40 tim...
Published: 04/24/18