[4:25 PM] Buccaneers @ Chargers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5)

@ San Diego Chargers (5-6)


The Buccaneers, who trail first-place Atlanta by just one game and are one-half game behind Washington for the second wild-card spot in the NFC, are minus-15 in point differential and a disappointing 2-4 at home – although they’ve won their last two at Raymond James Stadium after posting a 14-5 triumph over Seattle last week.

San Diego resides in the basement in the AFC West despite winning two of its last three games, including a 21-13 triumph at Houston in Week 12. The Chargers have dominated the all-time series against the Buccaneers, winning eight of the first nine meetings before suffering a 34-24 loss at Tampa Bay on Nov. 11, 2012 in the most recent matchup.

Tampa Bay’s defense likely is salivating at the prospect of facing San Diego, as it has recorded 18 takeaways in its last seven games while the Chargers enter Week 13 leading the league with 23 turnovers. The team ranks 24th in total defense (369.3 yards per game) but is tied for 13th in scoring defense (264 points) as it has clamped down during its winning streak, allowing a total of 32 points in the three games after yielding 73 over the previous two contests. Jameis Winston has been on fire of late, throwing for 1,573 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last six games with only three interceptions, while Mike Evans is tied for the league lead with 10 TD receptions and has hauled in five scoring passes in his last five road contests.

Despite its turnover total, San Diego will provide a challenge to Tampa Bay’s defense as it possesses the fifth-best passing offense (271.5 yards) and fourth-ranked scoring offense (313 points) in the league. Philip Rivers is fourth in the NFL with 3,128 passing yards and tied for fifth with 23 touchdown passes but also is one interception off the league lead of 13. The veteran has eclipsed the 3,000-yard plateau for the 11th consecutive season, which has him tied for the fourth-longest such streak in NFL history.

San Diego’s Hunter Henry is second among NFL tight ends with five touchdown catches while CB Casey Hayward leads the league with six interceptions, including three in his last four games.


StreakSmarts Pick: San Diego Chargers

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick