The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can absolutely win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. It’s just going to be very, very difficult.
The 49ers are 6-3 and coming off of a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the best teams in the AFC. The Bucs also defeated an AFC South team, besting the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, but are still just 4-5 and fighting for a playoff spot and the division lead in the NFC South. The Bucs don’t need to win this game to do that, but doing so would be a huge playoff swing for the team.
Here is how our writers see Week 11’s big matchup going for the Bucs:
River Wells, Editor
There’s still time for the Bucs to turn things around this year. They don’t need this win, which is a good thing, because I don’t think they’ll get it — the 49ers are more talented, better coached and far more disciplined than the Bucs are. There’s always a chance Tampa Bay could shock them, but having to travel across the country is rough for the Bucs and their one-dimensional offense won’t fly against such a talented 49ers team. Bucs will probably lose this one, but they can reset next week for a winnable game against Indianapolis.
49ers 31, Bucs 19
Jason Kanno, Contributor
The Bucs may get a feeling of deja vu this week as they face a juggernaut 49ers team in the second half of the season much like they did last season. Brock Purdy took advantage of the Bucs’ penchant for letting rookie quarterbacks absolutely destroy them in Week 14 last year, and he appears to have only gotten better. With a clear talent gap between their rosters and arguably a gap in coaching, there should be little expectation for Tampa Bay to leave San Francisco with a victory. The Bucs’ only chance is to eliminate the mistakes, namely the penalties and busted plays, that have plagued them all season. Even then, a mostly healthy Niners team is likely too much for Tampa Bay to overcome.
49ers 28, Bucs 13
Luke Adragna, Contributor
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally returned to the win column after four straight losses. On Sunday, they’ll face their most difficult foe yet in the San Francisco 49ers. Despite the difficult task, the Bucs match up well against the 49ers’ lethal offense. All-Pro RB Christian McCaffery’s role should be minimized by Tampa Bay’s run defense. I also expect that the Bucs linebackers will be able to make things difficult for 49ers TE George Kittle. However, Tampa Bay hasn’t faced a more well-rounded team as San Francisco. The 49ers defense will give them enough opportunities to take over and defeat the Bucs at home.
49ers 28, Bucs 17