The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to travel to First Energy Stadium to take on the Cleveland Browns in a week twelve matchup. The Buccaneers come into the game with a record of 5-5 and currently hold a one game lead in the NFC South. While Tampa Bay has fallen well short of the expectations that were set for them this season and they appear to be a shell of the team that won a Super Bowl just two years ago, they are still on pace to win their division and once again make the postseason. On the flip side, the Cleveland Browns enter the contest with a record of 3-7 and are currently tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for last place in the AFC North. Although the first half of the year has been disappointing for both teams, this game could still be one that comes down to the wire and may be one of the must watch games through the 1:00 PM slate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Look to Hold Onto Slim First Place Divisional Lead In the NFC South
As previously mentioned, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still hold onto a very slim one game lead over the Atlanta Falcons for first place in the NFC South. This is a very scary spot to be for Tampa Bay as if they do not win their division, they most likely will miss the playoffs outright. This would be unthinkable considering that Tom Brady is on the roster and is still playing at a high level. This week, the offense is facing off against a very weak Cleveland defense. Although running back Lenard Fournette will be sidelined today for the Bucs, they still should have no trouble running against the Browns’ poor interior defensive linemen. Along with this, on the defensive end Tampa Bay should have little to no problem slowing down the Browns. As long as they can make Cleveland avoid the run game, there should be no reason the Bucs cannot leave Cleveland with a win. However, if they allow for Nick Chubb and the Browns to establish their rushing attack, Tampa Bay could be in for a long day.
Cleveland Browns Hope to Close Out the Jacoby Brissett Era On a High Note
This will be the final week that the Cleveland Browns will be forced to start Jacoby Brissett as a result of Deshaun Watson returning from his eleven game suspension. Over his first ten games as the Browns’ starter, Brissett has done a very solid job starting off the year as a game manager. While he has not played at an elite level, he has served the Browns well and they could not have asked for much more out of the veteran career backup. Today, the Browns hope to end the Brissett era on a high note and take down the Bucs and Brissett’s former teammate and mentor Tom Brady. If the defense can step up for the Browns and they establish the run game early, they could be in good shape to pull off the upset and still have a slim chance of playoff contention when Watson returns.