The 49ers face off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 7. It is the 49ers final game before their week 8 bye. Coming into the game the 49ers are 1-5 and the Buccaneers are 2-3. Although the 49ers are one of the three worst teams in the NFL, they are favored to win this game. Here are the predictions by the 49ers staff writers:
The key for the 49ers this week will be to contain the run game. Tampa Bay running back Jacquizz Rodgers earned 101 yards on 30 carries two weeks ago against Carolina, presenting the San Francisco defense with another hefty challenge that it hasn’t been able to meet in the last four games. Chip Kelly has announced “run stopper” inside line backer Gerald Hodges will make the start on Sunday to try and boost the defensive efforts, so his ability to cover Rodgers will have a major impact on the result. If the defense can stop the run and limit the Bucs to field goal attempts (place kicker Roberto Aguayo is just 4-8 on field goal tries this season), the 49ers have a real shot at coming away with the win. As for the offense, Kaepernick will need to exploit Tampa Bay’s weak secondary with some good passing. The 49ers will look for Torrey Smith to shine Sunday afternoon, as he is matched up with CB Brent Grimes, who hasn’t been playing well so far this year. Bottom line: the door is open for San Francisco to try and make their 2016 record a little less humiliating this week. Although the 49ers should be fairly productive offensively, one change to the defensive front line may not be enough to solve all of its issues.
49ers – 17 Buccaneers – 14
Over the last couple of the days, the betting line for the game has swung dramatically. As early as Thursday, the 49ers were a one point underdog, now they are a one point favorite. Why the sudden shift? I have no clue. Carlos Hyde, the 49ers best offensive weapon will miss the game and the Buccaneers are coming off their bye. Although their starting running back Doug Martin will miss the game, Jaquizz Rodgers is more than capable of picking up the slack. Colin Kaepernick will continue to get a shot at being the starting quarterback and he brings upside to the offense. With that being said, I still don’t believe the 49ers can pull this one out.
Bucs 20 49ers 13