The Tampa Bay Buccaneers make the long distance trip to Santa Clara for a date with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Week 7 of the NFL regular season. The 49ers are hoping that Colin Kaepernick’s second start of the season can get them their second win of the season. Since they beat the Rams in Week 1, the 49ers have yet to win their next game. The post-Jim Harbaugh era is in full-swing in San Francisco. Harbaugh is having fun in Ann Arbor, directing the Wolverines to the top 4 in the national college football rankings. Meanwhile, the 49ers have gone from being a Super Bowl contender, to more focus being placed on Kaepernick and his antics, rather than the on-field product.
There really hasn’t been much to get excited about with the 49ers, who will look to stop the bleeding today after five straight losses. Blaine Gabbert was pulled, as he failed to ignite the offense and get things going in the right direction. It isn’t entirely Gabbert’s fault here. Gabbert has improved mightily over the last two years. Not to the level that he’s going to turn the 49ers into a playoff team but he was a serviceable option. I don’t think the 49ers improve much with Kaepernick at the controls, but the idea is that maybe it lights a spark under this team.
The 49ers would love to steal the quarterback on the other side of the field and throw a jersey on him. After all of the bust talk surrounding Jameis Winston, he’s responded to his critics by playing superior football. His first pass in the NFL was a pick-6, which just caused the bust talks regarding him to hit their apex. However, Winston has seemed to ignore the hate and has played a great brand of football. Best of all for the Buccaneers, Winston has been able to avoid trouble off the field. He has seemed to grow up and focus more on his craft than act like a fool out in public. Winston will square off with Kaepernick in Santa Clara.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. 49ers -1(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Buccaneers vs. 49ers Pick:
Winston has had the Buccaneers’ offense in order so it seems. The Bucs have been searching for a franchise quarterback for the greater part of the last decade. There is still a long way to go in the career of Winston. Who knows, maybe he pulls a Vince Young or Colin Kaepernick and falls apart soon after he has success. However, Winston is a pocket passer unlike the above-mentioned quarterbacks. There is only so much a guy like Kaepernick can do, before other teams watch game film and zero in on the few strengths of a running quarterback. It’s exactly what happened to Robert Griffin, too. With that said, Winston still has some work to do, though.
Winston has thrown for 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, so he isn’t writing his name in the Hall of Fame with these kind of numbers. He needs to show improvement from his 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions a year ago. Right now I would say he hasn’t improved. Winston also rushed for 6 touchdowns in 2015. The Buccaneers got a win before they went on a bye week, defeating the spinning out of control Panthers, a 17-14 win to prevent four losses in a row.
The 49ers did just that, losing their fifth in a row against the Buffalo Bills. It was a blowout in favor of Buffalo, with the Bills winning 45-16. Kaepernick was booed and verbally attacked from Bills Nation because of his protest. It didn’t seem to impact his play on the field, as he had 187 yards and a touchdown. Not great by any means, but he didn’t get forced into mistakes by the Bills’ defense. He also rushed for 66 yards on the ground. Buccaneers’ defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was held out of last game and is questionable to play this week. Robert Ayers will also be out for yet another week. The Bucs are allowing 28.4 points per game, so they could need the extra help.
Tampa are 1-4 ATS in their last five in San Francisco. The home team has won this matchup six out of eight times. It makes sense with all of the travel involved. I expect the Bucs to come out a bit flat after this long distance trip. This is a glorious chance for the 49ers to respond after falling flat on their face last week. San Fran takes it, giving Kaepernick his first win of the season.
PICK: 49ERS -1 (-110)