National Football League
Tampa Bay at San Diego
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers refuse to give up on their quest for the top spot in the NFC South despite a losing record at home and a negative point differential. Tampa Bay, which also is in the hunt for a wild card, attempts to extend a pair of winning streaks and at worst remain one game back in the division when they visit the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

The Buccaneers, who trail first-place Atlanta by just one game and are one-half game behind Washington for the second wild-card spot in the NFC, are minus-15 in point differential and a disappointing 2-4 at home - although they've won their last two at Raymond James Stadium after posting a 14-5 triumph over Seattle last week. Tampa Bay, which has won three straight overall, will be right where it wants to be Sunday as it owns a 4-1 road record and has captured three in a row away from home. San Diego resides in the basement in the AFC West despite winning two of its last three games, including a 21-13 triumph at Houston in Week 12. The Chargers have dominated the all-time series against the Buccaneers, winning eight of the first nine meetings before suffering a 34-24 loss at Tampa Bay on Nov. 11, 2012 in the most recent matchup.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Chargers -3.5. O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (6-5): Tampa Bay's defense likely is salivating at the prospect of facing San Diego, as it has recorded 18 takeaways in its last seven games while the Chargers enter Week 13 leading the league with 23 turnovers. The team ranks 24th in total defense (369.3 yards per game) but is tied for 13th in scoring defense (264 points) as it has clamped down during its winning streak, allowing a total of 32 points in the three games after yielding 73 over the previous two contests. Jameis Winston has been on fire of late, throwing for 1,573 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last six games with only three interceptions, while Mike Evans is tied for the league lead with 10 TD receptions and has hauled in five scoring passes in his last five road contests.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (5-6): Despite its turnover total, San Diego will provide a challenge to Tampa Bay's defense as it possesses the fifth-best passing offense (271.5 yards) and fourth-ranked scoring offense (313 points) in the league. Philip Rivers is fourth in the NFL with 3,128 passing yards and tied for fifth with 23 touchdown passes but also is one interception off the league lead of 13. The veteran has eclipsed the 3,000-yard plateau for the 11th consecutive season, which has him tied for the fourth-longest such streak in NFL history.


1. Buccaneers DE Noah Spence, who leads all NFC first-year players with 5.5 sacks, was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November after posting 2.5 sacks, 11 tackles and two forced fumbles.

2. San Diego's Hunter Henry is second among NFL tight ends with five touchdown catches while CB Casey Hayward leads the league with six interceptions, including three in his last four games.

3. Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin is coming off a game in which he rushed for 87 yards while averaging 3.8 per carry - both season highs.

PREDICTION: Chargers 33, Buccaneers 27
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Tampa Bay 6-5 W3 22.6 24.0 2-4 4-1 5-5 0-0 - - 5-3
San Diego 5-6 W1 28.5 26.5 3-2 2-4 4-5 0-0 - - 4-5
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay San Diego
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/11/12 SD 24 TB 34 279 74 205 426 103 323
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tampa Bay J. Freeman 70.0 210 2 0
San Diego P. Rivers 78.4 337 3 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay D. Martin 19 68 3.6 0
San Diego R. Mathews 17 54 3.2 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay M. Williams 2 64 32.0 0
San Diego D. Alexander 5 134 26.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Tampa Bay D. Clark 1
San Diego D. Alexander 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tampa Bay J. Winston 61.3 2900 22 11
San Diego P. Rivers 62.9 3128 23 12
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay J. Rodgers 88 393 4.5 1
San Diego M. Gordon 234 908 3.9 9
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay M. Evans 73 1020 14.0 10
San Diego T. Williams 51 790 15.5 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Tampa Bay M. Evans 10
San Diego M. Gordon 11