NFL Week 13: Bucs vs. Broncos


Nov 2012

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) @ Denver Broncos (-8) Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 4:05 p.m. ET

After undergoing multiple surgeries to repair nerve damage in his neck, four-time NFL MVP and one-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts due to the fact that the franchise felt his best days were behind in and Stanford standout Andrew Luck was there for the taking in the 2012 NFL draft with the first overall pick. With Luck receiving rave reviews as arguably the most talented quarterback and NFL-ready player to come out of college since John Elway, the Colts were confident the rookie quarterback could get the team back on track after Manning’s absence under center. Fortunately for Indianapolis, franchise has made the right choice with Luck exceeding expectations thus far and apparently on his way to clinching a playoff berth in the AFC. As for Manning, the perennial Pro Bowler decided to sign as a free agent with the Denver Broncos. It was absurd to say the lease whether or not Manning would still be able to play at a Pro Bowl level in the Mile High City, but just like Luck in Indianapolis, Manning has been a success in Denver. Coming into Week 13, the Broncos will face-off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a matchup that may result in a playoff berth for Denver. The Broncos will win the AFC West division title with a win over the Bucs or a loss or tie by the San Diego Chargers. With a playoff berth almost certainly on horizon for the Broncos, Manning and company will want to get the best of Josh Freeman’s Bucs on Sunday in order to concentrate on the playoffs after Week 13. Although Tampa Bay has been solid football team over the past few weeks and experienced resurgence with Freeman at the helm, the Bucs still a ways to go before contending with the best of the best in the AFC or NFC. Rookie running back Doug Martin has been impressive to say the least this season while being one of the main reasons for the team’s recent resurgence. Martin and Freeman may be a lethal one-two combination, but might not be enough to hold off Manning’s Broncos. At this point in time, the Broncos are favored to get the win at home with a -8 point spread. Tampa Bay will put up a fight, but Denver should come out on top.

Prediction: Bucs +8

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