TAMPA BAY (6-8) AT ARIZONA (4-10)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Bucs by 7 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Buccaneers 3-10-1, Cardinals 6-8.
SERIES RECORD: Cardinals lead 11-10.
LAST MEETING: Buccaneers beat Cardinals 30-27 on Nov. 10, 2019, at Tampa Bay.
LAST WEEK: Bengals beat the Buccaneers 34-23; Cardinals lost to Broncos 24-15.
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (32), PASS (4), SCORING (28)
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (17), PASS (t5), SCORING (t10)
CARDINALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (20), PASS (18), SCORING (18)
CARDINALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (13), PASS (23), SCORING (32)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Buccaneers minus-5; Cardinals minus-1.
BUCCANEERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Tom Brady is playing on Christmas for the first time in a 23-year career. The Bucs have lost two in a row to fall two games under .500, but are still clinging to first place in the NFC South. Brady turned the ball over four times in last week’s loss to Cincinnati and has thrown five interceptions over the past three games. The seven-time Super Bowl champion is one win shy of becoming the first player in NFL history with 250 regular-season victories. He’s also one defeat away from finishing a regular season with a losing record for the first time.
CARDINALS PLAYER TO WATCH: DL J.J. Watt is having his best season in several years. He had three sacks in last weekend's loss to the Broncos and now has 9 1/2 sacks this season, which is his most since 2018. The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year has struggled with injuries during the last half of his career but has played in 13 of 14 games this season.
KEY MATCHUP: Brady might have a chance for a big passing game against the depleted Cardinals cornerbacks group. The team's top three corners — Antonio Hamilton, Byron Murphy Jr. and Marco Wilson — all missed last week's game with injuries and it's unclear if any will be able to return on Sunday.
KEY INJURIES: Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs, an All-Pro last season, has missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain. He was limited in practice early in the week and could be a game-time decision. CB Jamel Dean (toe), S Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle), LB Carl Nassib (pectoral), LT Donovan Smth (foot), DT Vita Vea (calf) and S Keanu Neal (toe), did not practice Wednesday and will be evaluated as the week progresses. ... The Cardinals are down to their third-string QB Trace McSorley. Starter Kyler Murray (knee) and backup Colt McCoy (concussion) are out. CBs Hamilton (back), Murphy Jr. (back) and Wilson (neck) all missed the Broncos game. Coach Kliff Kingsbury was hopeful that Hamilton and Wilson could return against the Bucs. ... DE Zach Allen (hand) is expected to miss his second straight game. RT Kelvin Beachum (knee/ankle) didn't practice on Wednesday.
SERIES NOTES: The Cardinals have won three of the past four matchups. It's the first game in the series on Christmas Day.
STATS AND STUFF: Brady is 103 yards away from tying Peyton Manning for the most seasons with 4,000 yards passing (14). ... WR Mike Evans needs 112 yards receiving to become the first player in league history to begin a career with nine consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving. He has 13 receptions, while averaging 19 yards per catch and 82.3 yards per game, in three career outings against the Cardinals. ... WR Chris Godwin, who’s less than a year removed from surgery to repair both the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee, has a team-leading 81 catches for 785 yards and three TDs. He has five-plus receptions in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL. ... The Bucs rank seventh in total defense, allowing 314.7 yards per game. They’re tied for 10th in scoring defense (20.6), however the Brady-led offense has had difficulty getting into the end zone. Tampa Bay is scoring 17.6 points per game — 28th in the league — after averaging more than 30 the past two seasons. ... The Cardinals will be playing their fourth game on Christmas and are playing on the holiday for a second straight season. The Bucs are making their Christmas debut. ... James Conner has run for 379 yards and five TDs over the past five games ... Brady has played at least three games against 30 of the 32 teams in the NFL. This will be just the third time Brady plays the Cardinals. ... Brady has played in 332 games. Cardinals punter Andy Lee has played 294 games. They rank Nos. 1 and 2 for active players in games. ... The Cardinals have had 78 players play in at least one game this season. That ranks No. 2 in the NFL behind the Titans, who have used 80. ... Arizona has started 10 different offensive line combinations this season.
FANTASY TIP: Conner is almost certainly going to get a bunch of chances to have a big game. The Cardinals are down to third-string QB Trace McSorley and it makes sense that Kingsbury would have a ground-heavy approach to keep the pressure off McSorley.
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