Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers both look to continue their winning ways as they meet Sunday in the Bay Area. The 49ers are -2.5 point favorites over the Buccaneers with an over/under point total set at 41.
The San Francisco 49ers have to be one of the more surprising teams thus far this year as they fell flat on high expectations last season and have exceeded the modest expectations of them thus far. Jim Harbaugh is hoping to work his same magic he worked at the college level at nearby Stanford and so far he has made the most of what he has to work with. QB Alex Smith is playing within himself completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 795 yards with four touchdowns and an interception despite being sacked 14 times. Frank Gore has been dinged up but even so he is averaging 3.7 yards per carry for 275 yards and two touchdowns and Kendall Hunter is already proving himself to be a capable backup averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Tight end Vernon Davis leads the Niners with 19 receptions followed by Josh Morgan with 10 and Michael Crabtree with nine. The San Francisco defense is allowing 358 yards per game with nine sacks, five fumble recoveries, and six interceptions. NaVorro Bowman leads the 49ers defense with 36 tackles, Patrick Willis has 28 tackles, and Dashon Gordon has 18. With the NFC West being somewhat soft it won’t take too much to put San Francisco in a position to contend for a playoff spot.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just missed the playoffs last season and they are determined to break through this season. Josh Freeman is developing into a quality QB and a leader as he has completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 969 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions while being sacked six times but he has also rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount is bruising opposing defenses averaging 4.4 yards per carry for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Fullback Earnest Graham leads the Bucs in receptions with 23 followed by Kellen Winslow with 17, Preston Parker with 16, and Mike Williams with 15. The Buccaneers defense allows 368 yards per game while recording 10 sacks, recovering six fumbles, and grabbing two interceptions. Mason Foster leads Tampa Bay with 26 tackles, Sean Jones has 23, and Geno Hayes has 22. Raheem Morris is the youngest coach in the NFL and the Buccaneers are the youngest team so they are potentially building the core of a team with some staying power.
San Francisco is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as a favorite, 3-0-1 against the spread in their last four home games, and 1-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against the NFC, 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, and 11-0 against the spread in their last 11 road games against a team with a winning home record. The home team has covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings of these two and the underdog has covered in four of the last five.
We have two teams who are going to go as far as their defenses take them and this game should be a physical war. With the total at 41 for this one the play is under as points should be very tough to come by.