On a national stage, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in a Thursday Night Football clash. Both teams endured losses in Week Seven and will vie to get back on track this week. Kickoff is slated for 8:15 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast via Prime Video. The Bucs and Bills currently sit at second place in their respective divisions and have lost two of their previous three contests. Tampa Bay will look to get into a rhythm offensively in Week Eight, after scoring just 19 points through their two-consecutive losses as pre-snap penalties killed momentum and stalled drives. The Bucs’ defense continued their red zone prowess against the Falcons and Thursday provides an opportunity to play complementary football in all three phases. After a week of preparation, here is what the Week Eight matchup comes down to:
4 Stats That Matter
- Buffalo is scoring inside the red zone at the second-highest rate in the league (71.4%) through seven games.
- The Bills are second in the league and third in the AFC with a plus-80 point differential and have allowed the fifth fewest points per game (16.9).
- The Buccaneers have allowed the fourth-fewest points (104) and are tied for the third-fewest touchdowns (nine) this season. Opponents have converted just two of their last 14 red zone drives into touchdowns versus the Bucs dating back to Week Three.
- Baker Mayfield is leading the league through Week Seven in passer rating on third down plays (121.6) and ranks third in completion percentage on third-down attempts (69.6%).
3 Lineup Notes
- On Wednesday, the Buccaneers ruled out guard Matt Feiler (knee) for the Thursday Night Football matchup with the Bills. Head Coach Todd Bowles confirmed that Aaron Stinnie will start in his place at left guard.
- In addition, on the injury report, receiver Chris Godwin, quarterback Baker Mayfield and nose tackle Vita Vea appeared with questionable injury designations. Bowles confirmed Godwin will be good to go for Week Eight and Vea will be a game-time decision.
- For Buffalo, three players were ruled out: tight end Dawson Knox, tight end Quintin Morris and linebacker Baylor Spector. Ed Oliver, the team’s defensive cornerstone, was listed as questionable. Head Coach Sean McDermott said it is “going to be close” as to whether Oliver will play. He missed the Bills’ loss against the Patriots on Sunday with a toe injury.
2 Challenges Presented by the Bills