49ers favored to defeat Tampa Bay

by Gary Shelton on December 10, 2022

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

The juxtaposition is amazing. Mr. Fantastic against Mr. Irrelevant. The legend against the rookie. The man of seven Super Bowls against the kid with zero starts.

And yet, there is so much more that favors the San Francisco 49ers over the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday.

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The 49ers, despite losing quarterbacks through the season, are sailing. They've won five in a row, and they haven't given up more than 17 points in a game while doing it. They are the team of Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuels and Christian McCaffery and George Kittle.

A lot of people connect the 49ers to this year's Super Bowl.

And the Bucs? Not so much these days.

Despite a couple of thrilling wins lately (against the Rams and Saints), the Bucs are a .500 team. They struggle to run the ball. They don't block very well. The tackling comes and goes, and the secondary can lose receivers from time to time.

So, yeah, it's a quarterback's league, and Brady trumps Brock Purdy.

But the thing is, Purdy doesn't have to be great. If he can make a couple of plays, the 49ers will eventually run the ball. They'll play great defense. They'll rush the passer.

The Bucs? Who knows?

Hey, I still think the Bucs will be 8-8 going into the final weekend.

First, though, they'll be 6-7.

Prediction: San Francisco 20, Tamla Bay 14.

In other NFL games:

Buffalo 31, New York Jets 20.

Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 13.

Dallas 50, Houston 10.

Baltimore 21, Pittsburgh 20.

Green Bay 24, Atlanta 14.

And in the college game:

Navy 20, Army 16.

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