Week 7 Preview: San Francisco 49ers v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The San Francisco 49ers (1-5) have found themselves in unchartered territory after losing their fifth consecutive game. A team that looks lost, defeated, and unmotivated at times, it’s certain that will need to change this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3).

Luckily for the 49ers, they have a great coaching staff led by HC Chip Kelly despite what ESPN Analyst Stephen A. Smith may say.

Let’s be honest, you need to have the horsed on the field to sustain wins week in-and-week-out. Unfortunately for the 49ers they don’t. Instead, they have a group of young core players who are learning as they go. Last week, I said DE DeForest Buckner needed to start elevating his game, and he responded in a big way with 2.0 sacks and a team-high (defensive lineman) nine tackles. It’s this type of production that needs to show up on game days on a consistent basis.

Look for Buckner to have another big game this week, as he’s starting to look the part of an All-Pro player. I spoke to many fans earlier this week, and they said they’re extremely frustrated with Bucker’s inconsistency in run-fits. While that may be true, look for that to change moving forward, as I believe Buckner has cleaned that up, and it all starts today.

VIDEO: Chip Kelly Sticks With Kap As Starter: “I Think He Kept A lot of Plays Alive.”

In fact, I believe De-Fo will record another sack for the second consecutive week! Write it down. He’s on a mission and he’s hungry. Let the man eat!

But what about the 49ers rush defense? They are dead last in the NFL and allowed Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy to run wild and free! Look for DE/OLB Ronald Blair to play a huge role in setting the edge this week, as 49ers DC Jim O’Neil told me he needs to get ‘Optimus Prime,’ more involved.

Sakamoto: What Happened To Promising Rookie Ronald Blair? New Role Could Be OLB!

Blair will likely be used in sub-packages, but the Bucs love to use a balanced attack, so scattering in some inside runs will likely be in the cards. Look for Blair to respond in a big way as he makes a few plays at or near the line of scrimmage while picking up a sack in the process.

Plus, the Bucs have no running game to speak of as Bucs RB Jacquizz Rodgers has been a non-factor all year.

While the 49ers defense does their part in making Bucs QB Jameis Winston one-dimensional, look for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and the team’s offense to do theirs.

Kaepernick quietly pieced together a nice game despite what the stats may indicate. I think Kap will have a better stat line this time around as he goes up against the Bucs 27th ranked defense. A unit that gives up 28.4 points per game, you can be sure Kelly is licking his chops as Kap should have a big game. Look for Kap to have a BIG game despite his early struggles as I predict him to finish with a stat line around 20 of 34 for 225 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Sure the team is without third-year RB Carlos Hyde but do not underestimate second-year RB Mike Davis and RB Shaun Draughn as both should combine for well over 120 plus rushing yards.

With the 49ers looking to get back in the win column, I expect that to happen this week, as the 49ers win in convincing fashion 27-16.


Vegas Odds

Sakamoto: 35-19 (Over/Under) 

2016: 2-4

With the total points set at 45.5, I would take the under. In a game where I see the 49ers putting up at least 24 points on the board, I can’t see the Bucs scoring more than 20.

Sakamoto: 33-21 (ATS)

2016: 4-2

With the 49ers being -1 point underdogs, I’m rolling with the 49ers!

Fantasy Football (56/158)

2016: 11 of 18

As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks:

RB Shaun Draughn

TE Vance McDonald

WR Mike Evans 


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.