The Predictions: For a day, Fitz can fix Bucs’ flaws

by Gary Shelton on November 3, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Saturday, 3 a.m.

The franchise quarterback has been benched. The losing streak continues. The defense plays chase.

Can Ryan Fitzpatrick fix it all?

The defensive coordinator has been canned. The kicker has a crooked foot. The running game struggles to gain an inch.

And again, you wonder. Can Fitzpatrick fix the flaws?

The Carolina Panthers are on a roll. They're at home. They have Luke Kuechly on defense.

And again. It's Fitzpatrick to the rescue.

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How many shortcomings can an aging, backup quarterback repair? If you are the Bucs, you're hoping that it's a few. The Bucs are in danger of seeing their season slip away. To help turn it around, they have to upset someone at some point.

The Bucs have a puncher's chance in this one. The Panthers aren't so electric on offense that they should be able to take advantage of a weak secondary. Cam Newton will be fairly accurate throwing the ball (aren't all opposing quarterbacks of the Bucs), but if the defense can hold Carolina to 21 or fewer points, this is a winnable  game. The Bucs' receivers never seem more dangerous than when Fitzpatrick is behind center.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Carolina 21.


Green Bay vs. New England: It seems to happen every year. New England stumbles out of the gate, but then they turn it on and the wining begins. The Patriots have won five in a row. They should squeeze past the Packers, too. Prediction: New England 27, Green Bay 24.

Rams at Saints: At the halfway point of the season, it's easy to see this one as preview of the NFC title game. The Rams are 8-0 and the Saints are 6-1 with six straight wins. Here's betting on Brees. Prediction: New Orleans 24, Los Angeles 20.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore: The Ravens got off to a good start, but they've lost three of their last four. Pittsburgh has won three straight. But Baltimore is at home, which could help make things close. Prediction: Pittsburgh 28, Baltimore 27.

State Colleges

Tulane at USF: The Bulls aren't as special now that they've lost one, but their record does look a little more truthful. The USF defense has been awful, but it should still be good enough to win a close one over Tulane. Prediction: USF 33, Tulane 28.

FSU at N.C. State: It's a bad year for FSU. It might get worse. Prediction: N.C. State 27, FSU 21.

Missouri at Florida: Florida still has a long way to go, but I like the way Dan Mullen is squeezing offense out of some average players. Prediction: Florida 27, Missouri 14.

FAU at FIU: FIU is in control of its division. FAU shouldn't change that. Prediction: FIU 20, FAU 14.

Duke at Miami: The Hurricanes are going to struggle as long as it's undecided about a quarterback. But Miami's defense should hold. Prediction: Miami 30, Duke 20.

National Games of Note:

Alabama at LSU: Everytime you think LSU has a shot, you remember the way the Tigers were dominated by Florida. Alabama has too many weapons. Prediction: Alabama 34, LSU 17.

Penn State at Michigan: After an opening loss to Notre Dame, Michigan has been on a tear. They should get past this one, too. Prediction: Michigan 20, Penn State 14.

Georgia at Kentucky: The Wildcats can keep their special season going with a win, but the Bulldogs have most of the talent. Prediction: Georgia 26, Kentucky 17.



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