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Sunday, Dec 17, 2017
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Bucs-Vikings: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday's game

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX. Here's the Times' Buc coverage team's predictions:

MINNESOTA FLATS

The Bucs won't be as sharp as needed on offense and take a step up in the NFL weight class. But they do just enough to beat the Vikings. Question: Will they be back in February for the Super Bowl? Prediction: Bucs 23-20.

— Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud

EVEN BETTER

The Bucs blew out the Bears last week and, you know, they didn't even play that great on offense. Look for the offense to be more impressive this week and the defense to be dominant again. Another solid victory. Prediction: Bucs 30-14.

— Tom Jones, @tomwjones

MINNESOTA'S STRENGTH: DEFENSE

Holy mediocre quarterback, Batman! First Mike Glennon, now Case Keenum. And next week: Eli Manning. As for Sunday, a young and talented defense will help the Vikings overcome their limitations at quarterback. Prediction: Vikings 24-14.

— Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics

MAKE IT TWO

Look for the Bucs offense to make that Game 2 jump -- better red zone, better deep ball. If the defense is anything close to Week 1, Bucs are in good shape for 2-0. Prediction: Bucs 31-24

Greg Auman, @gregauman

VIKING FUNERAL ENOUGH

Important statement game. Bucs defense, born again, should be able to crowd line of scrimmage and slow down Dalvin Cook — unless Bradford starts. Conservative offensive approach should allow Bucs to avoid turnovers that fuel a good Minnesota defense. Prediction: Bucs 20-17.

— Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly

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