Chargers vs. Buccaneers: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Austin GreenCorrespondent INovember 9, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In a battle of 4-4 teams, the San Diego Chargers will travel to Tampa Bay to take on Doug Martin and the Buccaneers on Sunday.

The Chargers haven't played since last Thursday, when they took down division rival Kansas City 31-13. Meanwhile, the Bucs have won three of their last four, including consecutive victories over Minnesota and Oakland.

Rookie running back Doug Martin has been phenomenal the last two weeks, rushing for 386 yards and five touchdowns. He's also caught seven passes for 100 yards and touchdown in his last two games.

Martin currently ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (794) and second in touchdowns (seven). If he continues to put up big numbers, the Bucs will continue their unlikely playoff push.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are still in contention in the AFC West despite a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season. They were able to get back on track last week, and if they can take care of the ball against Tampa Bay, they will move one step closer to winning their division.

Here is all the information you need to have for Sunday's game. 


When: Sunday, November 11 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL

TV: CBS (check local listings)

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket


Spread Info: Buccaneers -3

Over/Under: 47 1/2


Injury Report

Buccaneers - via ESPN (as of Friday, Nov. 9)

Michael Bennett - DE, Questionable  

Eric Wright - CB, Probable

Arrelious Benn - WR, Questionable


Chargers - via ESPN (as of Friday, Nov. 9)

Eddie Royal - WR, Probable 

Robert Meachem - WR, Probable


Fantasy Big Plays

Buccaneers: Doug Martin - RB

I mean, why not, right? The kid has put up some insane numbers the past few weeks, and with the Chargers allowing 84 rushing yards per game, I don't see him slowing down too much this Sunday.

He won't go crazy like his 251-yard, four-touchdown performance last week, but the Muscle Hamster will definitely make his presence felt.

Projected Stats: 23 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns.


Chargers: Phillip Rivers - QB

Rivers has been unpredictable this season, but after Carson Palmer put up 414 yards and four TDs on the Bucs last week, you have to think San Diego is going to attack through the air.

Rivers is currently sixth in the NFL in completion percentage (66.5) and he only threw two incomplete passes last week against KC. I don't expect him to be as good in that department this week, but look for his yardage numbers to increase.

Projected Stats: 24 of 37 for 228 yards and two touchdowns.


Key to Victory

Ryan Mathews

San Diego's explosive back has been far too quiet in recent weeks, averaging just 78.7 yards per game over his last three outings. He's also failed to find the end zone during that stretch.

Mathews is certainly capable of busting out a big game, and against Tampa Bay's porous defense, this week might be the perfect opportunity for him to do that. If he can have a strong game and give the San Diego offense some balance, the Chargers can prevail on the road. But if he no-shows again, the Chargers will be headed back to the west coast as a sub-.500 team.



I'm tempted to take the Chargers, but I'm riding the Bucs here. Josh Freeman has been too good this season (16 TDs, five INTs) and Doug Martin is an absolute freak.

The Chargers will hang tough, but in the end, Tampa Bay will improve to 3-2 at home.

Final Score: Buccaneers 24 - Chargers 20