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NFL

Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: five players to watch

Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers can make sure of a playoff berth when they host the Buffalo Bills in NFL Week 14 on Sunday.

Update:
Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: five players to watch
Kevin C. CoxAFP

One of the most exciting duels of the 2021 NFL season is in prospect on Sunday, as the Buffalo Bills visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium at 4:25pm ET.

The Bills have the NFL’s best defence in terms of yards allowed, with 272.3 per game, and the second best when it comes to points allowed, having given up just 16.3 per match. Meanwhile, the Bucs’ offence has the highest points average, with 31.4, and the hosts could make sure of their spot in the playoffs if results go their way in Tampa and elsewhere.

Here are the five players to watch in the Week 14 matchup between the Bills and the Buccaneers:

Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers

During his time as the New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady came up against the Bills on 35 occasions and won 32 of them. According to the NFL’s statistics service, no other QB has racked up as many victories against a single opponent.

The last time Brady lost against the Bills was in Week 17 of the 2014 season. In that game, TB12 was involved in just 48% of the available plays and completed eight out of 16 throws for 80 yards.

Josh Allen, QB, Bills

Since Josh Allen became the Bills’ starting quarterback, Buffalo have faced Brady three times and haven’t been able to beat him. Although the visitors now have the best defence in the league, things won’t be easy for the Wyoming graduate as he’ll have to run for his life in the face of the constant pressure of Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers

Leonard Fournette is behind only Brady in terms of importance to the Bucs’ offence. The running back is the only Tampa Bay player who has more than 100 offensive touches (210) and 1,000 yards from scrimmage (1,067). Because of his versatility, Fournette is among the players the Bills must keep the closest eye on.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Leonard Fournette (left) holds off A.J. Terrell of the Atlanta Falcons.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Leonard Fournette (left) holds off A.J. Terrell of the Atlanta Falcons.Todd KirklandAFP

Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

If the Bills want to defeat the Buccaneers, they will need wide receiver Stefon Diggs on his game. One of the advantages for Buffalo is that Tampa Bay’s secondary defence has been hit by injuries throughout the season and it’s not certain that cornerback Jamel Dean will play, after suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons.

Carlton Davis, CB, Buccaneers

Cornerback Carlton Davis returned for the Bucs a week ago and impressed against the Falcons, allowing just four receptions for 70 yards from nine passes thrown in his direction. Now, he and Sean Murphy-Bunting will be tasked with keeping Diggs in check.

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