NFL Week 12: Bucs @ Ravens

Not since 2002, when head coach Jon Gruden was able to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship against his old team in the Oakland Raiders, have Bucs really been relevant in the NFC conference.

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 28:  Micheal Spurlock...
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Back to the beginning of the decade, the Bucs had arguably one of the best defenses in the league and were without a doubt a force to be reckoned with in the NFC Conference every single season, but it seems with every passing season this team has just continued to fall apart with one of the worst offenses in the league and a defense that has been mediocre at best.

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This season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into the year without much hope for the future as they had seemingly the same team only won three games throughout all of last season. Even though no one expected much from this young Bucs squad, they have totally exceeded expectations at this point as they will have a 7-3 record coming into their Week 12 matchup with the Super Bowl title contending Baltimore Ravens.

Despite having an impressive 7-3 record coming into Week 12, Josh Freeman and company are sitting in third place in the NFC South division and will need to get as many wins as possible from here on out in order to contend with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints (8-3, 2nd place) and the Atlanta Falcons (8-2, 1st place).

So with all the pressure of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face coming into this matchup and then facing off against the first-place Atlanta Falcons next week, the Bucs have their work cut out for them as they will be taking on two of the best teams in the league in consecutive weeks.

As for the Baltimore Ravens, they are looking to maintain their lead in the AFC North division with a win of their own over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though they are arguably the best teams in the AFC Conference and in the AFC North division, they will have a tough road ahead of them to finish the season as the Pittsburgh Steelers are also sitting at 7-3 and the Baltimore Ravens will have to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints over the next four weeks.

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 28:  Kellen Winslow #...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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Despite the Tampa Bay Bucs obviously being a much better team and maybe even playoff bound this season, the Baltimore Ravens are heavily favored in this matchup with a -7.5 point spread in their favor.

Personally, I can’t see Joe Flacco and company losing this football game as they are without a doubt the better team on both sides of the football, but taking them to cover the -7.5 point spread is risky to say the least in my opinion as the Bucs are being underestimated here and could make this a very close game.

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