Bengals visit struggling Bucs, aiming for 6th straight win
CINCINNATI (9-4) vs TAMPA BAY (6-7)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, CBS
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Bengals by 3½
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bengals 10-3, Buccaneers 3-9-1.
SERIES RECORD: Buccaneers lead 7-5.
LAST MEETING: Bengals beat Buccaneers 37-34, Oct. 28, 2018, at Cincinnati.
LAST WEEK: Bengals beat Browns 23-10; Buccaneers lost to 49ers 35-7.
BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (24), PASS (4), SCORING (7).
BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (11), PASS (20), SCORING (11).
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (32), PASS (5), SCORING (28).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (20), PASS (6), SCORING (9).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bengals plus-2; Buccaneers minus-2
BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Ja’Marr Chase, who’s back in the lineup after being sidelined a month because of a hip injury, had 10 catches for 119 yards and a TD against the Browns last week. It was the 22-year-old‘s eighth game with at least 100 yards receiving and a TD. That ties A.J. Brown and John Jefferson for the third most in the first two seasons of a career in the Super Bowl era.
BUCCANEERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Tom Brady leads the NFL in completions with 38 and is fourth with 3,585 yards. The Bucs, however, are only scoring 17.2 points per game after averaging 30 the past two seasons. Brady is looking to rebound after throwing a pair of interceptions in last week’s 28-point road loss to the 49ers and help first-place Tampa Bay remain alone atop the NFC South.
KEY MATCHUP: Bengals QB Joe Burrow vs. a depleted Buccaneers secondary that played without three injured starters — S Antoine Winfield, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, S Mike Edwards — at San Francisco. Burrow has thrown for 3,685 yards, 27 TDs and nine interceptions.
KEY INJURIES: Bengals WRs Tee Higgins (hamstring) and Tyler Boyd (finger) were limited in practice early in the week. ... Murphy-Bunting (quadriceps) was a full participant for Tampa Bay, however Winfield (ankle), Edwards (hamstring), LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (hip) were limited. ... CB Jamel Dean left last week’s game with a toe injury. RT Tristan Wirfs looks as if he’ll miss a third consecutive start with a high ankle sprain.
SERIES NOTES: The Bengals have won the past two meetings between the teams. Cincinnati visits Raymond James Stadium for the first time since beating the Bucs 14-13 on Nov. 30, 2014.
STATS AND STUFF: Burrow has accounted for 17 touchdowns — 15 passing, two rushing — while only throwing four interceptions in seven road starts this season. He’s 3-0 with 10 TDs — seven passing, three rushing — in three games against NFC South opponents. ... LB Logan Wilson had a career-high 17 tackles in last week’s win over Cleveland. ... RB Joe Mixon has had some big games against the NFC South, including 138 scrimmage yards and two rushing TDs, the previous time the Bengals faced the Bucs. ... Brady is 7-1 and has 17 TD passes vs. three interceptions in eight starts against the Bengals. ... WR Chris Godwin leads the Bucs in receiving with 73 receptions for 702 yards, however he only has two TD catches. ... RB Leonard Fournette is fourth in the league among running backs with 55 receptions. ... The Bucs are ninth in scoring defense at 19.5 points per game, however they’re 28th in scoring offense at 17.2 points per game.
FANTASY TIP: With Brady struggling to get WR Mike Evans involved in the offense, Godwin (73 catches, 702 yards, 2 TDs) has emerged as Tampa Bay’s most consistent receiver. Godwin has at least five receptions in 10 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL.
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