1 – Tampa’s rushing attack versus San Francisco’s run defense
It’s no secret that the 49ers have had struggles stopping the run. They are ranked last and give up 174.5 yards per game while allowing a whopping 5 yards per carry!
Tampa Bay should have no problem grinding out yards with Jacquizz Rodgers and company. Doug Martin is out indefinitely, but it shouldn’t matter. Unless the 49ers can make an adjustment, Tampa should be able to control the clock.
2 – Colin Kaepernick versus Tampa Bay’s defense
If San Francisco is to have any chance in this game, they will need Kaepernick to be most of the offense. He will have to be efficient in the passing attack and also keep the chains moving with his legs from time to time.
Tampa’s defense is ranked 20th, but if the 49ers can’t mount a passing attack with Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kurley and Vance McDonald, then the Bucs should be able to control this game.
Gerald McCoy should be back and Tampa will need him as they give up significantly more yardage without him there.
3 – Jameis Winston versus San Francisco’s pass defense
Winston has been on and off this season. If the 49ers can get a pass rush going, he can be rattled. DeForest Buckner had a great week last week against Buffalo as he had two sacks, nine tackles and a fumble recovery.
Tampa will need to make sure they don’t allow Winston to get under pressure, or there could be a turnover or two.
Expect Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Adam Humphries to move the chains and make a number of big plays against San Francisco’s secondary.
The Bottom Line
The 49ers are just not playing good football at all and Tampa has a lot more to play for as they’re in the thick of the Wild Card race.
Tampa has a talented ball club and should be able to exploit San Francisco’s weaknesses.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 28, San Francisco 17
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