Game Scout: Bucs at Lions

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Detroit Lions (6-5)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Ford Field, Detroit - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
*Keys to the game: Bucs rookie QB Mike Glennon discovered points are easier to come by with a moving buddy last week. RB Bobby Rainey rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta, adding a big-play dimension lacking from the offense all season. The threat of Rainey busting free widened windows to get the ball over the top to WR Vincent Jackson, who caught 10 passes last week. Glennon is risk-averse, but at 6-7 can see over the oncoming rush to pick his best matchup and dissect Detroit's talent-starved secondary. The Lions are strong between the tackles -- consistent penetration pushed the Steelers to scrap the run last week. The Lions welcome the return of slot WR Nate Burleson (arm) as an intermediate target for QB Matthew Stafford. When the Steelers' umbrella coverage kept Calvin Johnson wrapped up last week, Stafford was limited to short throws to backs. RB Reggie Bush needs a bounce-back game. The Bucs will be without suspended S Dashon Goldson. Bush is the key to opening things up if the offensive line can contain DT Gerald McCoy and the Bucs pass rushers.
*Matchup to watch - Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Bucs CB Darrelle Revis -- The last time these two All-Pros hooked up was in 2010, and Revis limited Johnson to one catch in four targets, for 13 yards. Revis has since changed teams and undergone ACL surgery. Still, he has two interceptions and remains one of the best cover corners in the game.
*Player spotlight - Lions RG Larry Warford: Tasked with holding DT Gerald McCoy out of the pocket, the rookie will get some help but his ability to win isolation situations fully opens the playbook to Stafford.
*Fast facts: The Lions are 30th in passing defense; Tampa Bay is 30th in pass offense. ... Stafford is the fourth-fastest to achieve 100 TD passes (55 games) in NFL history.
The Lions strike early and often with Bucs S Dashon Goldson (suspension) not looming in the middle of the field, clearing QB Matt Stafford to attack inside-out. Rookie QB Mike Glennon isn't prepared to bring Tampa Bay back on his own.
*Our pick: Lions 30-20

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