While this isn’t the sexiest matchup you’ll watch this Sunday, this should be the knockdown, drag-out battle that makes football a great sport.
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
Which Team Will Win?
When: Sunday, October 9, 4:05 p.m. ET
Live Streaming Audio: NFL.com Audio Pass ($29.99 for year, $27.99 team specific, $9.99 a month)
Listen: Tampa Bay—WFUS 103.5/WDAE 620AM, San Francisco—KNBR/BONE, Sirius Satellite Radio
Betting Line: Over/Under—41, Spread—San Francisco -3
What's at Stake?
With both teams at 3-1, this game is a good measuring stick for the Buccaneers and the 49ers, but Tampa Bay needs the victory more. While San Francisco is going in the right direction, they are still in the NFC West where a 7-9 record can get you into the playoffs. Tampa Bay is in the tougher NFC South where their 10 wins last season didn’t get them into the playoffs.
Buccaneers’ Injury Report
James Lee, T, Out
Sammie Stroughter, WR, Out
Quincy Black, LB, Questionable
Zack Pianalto, TE, Probable
Josh Johnson, QB, Probable
Kellen Winslow, TE, Probable
49ers’ Injury Report
Braylon Edwards, WR, Out
Moran Norris, RB, Out
Frank Gore, RB, Questionable
Donte Whitner, S, Questionable
Mike Iupati, G, Probable
Michael Crabtree, WR, Probable
Fantasy: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: Mike Williams, Buccaneers
While Mike Williams hasn’t had the season fantasy owners had hoped for, there is still plenty of time to turn it around and there is no better place to start than against the mediocre secondary of the 49ers.
Sit 'Em: Frank Gore, 49ers
While breaking out for big yards against a terrible Philadelphia Eagles run defense gives fantasy owners hope, Frank Gore will not have the same success against a stout Buccaneers’ front seven.
Sleeper: Michael Crabtree, 49ers
As young wide receiver Michael Crabtree gets closer to 100 percent healthy and has the opportunity to shine with Braylon Edwards, look for him to start being the top receiver he should be.
What They're Saying
Knowing the competitor that Josh is, we’ll say hi before the game, give each other a big hug … then he’ll walk away and try to gouge our eyes out. He’s like a beloved son. And I hope he doesn’t beat us. We’ll be trying gouge his eyes out, too.
It’s difficult because it’s a shorter week. It’s a real short week because we leave on Friday. I think the only good thing is (practice) is a little lighter. It helps your body recover faster. Usually, I would have had two days off before today. I’m hurting a lot more. I’m a lot more sore than I would be if we would’ve played on Sunday. People have to take care of their bodies and we have to recover faster than we usually would and we have to put in that extra work with the game plan.
Key Matchup: Josh Freeman vs. San Francisco 49ers’ Secondary
Josh Freeman is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, and he makes his living coming from behind in the fourth quarter. If Freeman can beat the 49ers secondary, the game could be a blowout in favor of the Buccaneers.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-24, San Francisco 49ers-20
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