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A Preview of Week 15

This is it.
This is the home finale in a season that started 4-2. The jokes are there to be made. Josh Freeman on the gun range. The Buccaneers are in danger of giving up 2100 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons.

The Buccaneers need to put up or shut up.

When Dallas is throwing: This is the best receiving corps in the NFL, period. Miles Austin – in 7 games -, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson have combined for 1985 yards 21 TDs. The top three receivers for the Buccaneers have combined for 1602 yards and 8 TDs.  The Packers have a lot of great receivers but probably only two true playmakers in Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. The Cowboys have three playmakers, and a white-hot QB with a chip on his shoulder after all the criticism he got while playing with a jacket. I still think the secondary of the Buccaneers has talent and there is still a lot of youth on the Cowboys offensive line. That said, Tony Romo will get his. He does make occasional dumb throws. Edge: still Dallas.

When Dallas is running: The Bucs run defense has an opportunity to break out on national television, set the pace for the rest of the team, and save Raheem Morris’ job. Defensive lines often play better when they get rest, something the Tampa Bay offense hasn’t provided consistently since the Packers game. They had 2 turnovers, and 3 punts and one failed fourth down. Edge: even.

When Tampa Bay is throwing: The Cowboys secondary is decent yet still susceptible to big plays. I’m sure a lot of players are playing for their jobs, and I know Raheem is coaching for his. The competitor Josh Freeman is going to play like he’s got a lot to prove, and I think his starting job is at risk. His receivers will be up for it as Mike Williams will get the best of Mike Jenkins. Edge: Tampa Bay, slightly.

When Tampa Bay is running: Blount was bottled up against a tough Jaguars defense. This is a playoff game for the Cowboys and – other than a 3-game stretch in the middle of the season – teams have been shut down to 110 yards or fewer ever game. Edge: even.

PREDICTION: The Buccaneers lose, Raheem Morris gets fired, the Bucs spend on more than their own and a punter in free agency, and the Glazers laugh their way to the bank as Brian VanGorder comes in to rebuild this team.
Cowboys 21, Buccaneers 14.

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