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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Matchups: Buccaneers vs. Bears

Buccaneers rookie T Donovan Smith is finishing his debut season in strong fashion, but he faces another tough task this week with a gang of Bears pass-rushers led by Willie Young.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) will look to win their final home game of 2015 on Sunday when they take on the 5-9 Chicago Bears at Raymond James Stadium. Here are a few individual matchups that could play a key role in determining the outcome of Sunday's game:

RB Doug Martin vs. LB Shea McClellin


Martin is in a two-way battle with Vikings' RB Adrian Peterson for the 2015 rushing title. Martin currently has 1,305 rushing yards this season, just nine behind Peterson. His 5.1 yards per carry is more than any other back in the league with at least 150 carries. McClellin leads the Chicago Bears in total tackles with 81 this season.

WR Mike Evans vs. CB Kyle Fuller


Last week, Evans broke the century mark for the fifth time this year, hauling in nine passes for 157 yards. In games when WR Vincent Jackson is sidelined, he is averaging seven catches and 120 yards per game. He could see a lot of Fuller who has two interceptions this year. The Bears defense allows just 216.1 passing yards per game, third fewest in the NFL.

OT Donovan Smith vs. LB Willie Young


Young leads the Bears in sacks with 6.5 on the year and has racked up 5.5 of them in the last five games. He'll need to get around rookie Donovan Smith and the Bucs offensive line that has allowed only two sacks over the last three weeks. The Bucs are also coming off their best passing game of the season with 363 yards through the air.

CB Sterling Moore vs. WR Alshon Jeffery


Moore has done a solid job this season matched up against the opponent's top receiving threat. This week, that should be Jeffery, the Bears leading receiver who has 54 receptions for 807 yards and four scores. He currently ranks eighth in the NFL with 89.7 receiving yards per game.

LB Lavonte David vs. RB Matt Forte


Lavonte David continues to climb the NFL ranks, now sitting in fourth with 126 total tackles this season. He has come on strong in the second half of this season. Since Week 9, David leads all NFL players with 68 tackles. He also has seven passes defensed, three interceptions and a sack in that time frame. Forte is a weapon in both the air and ground games with 1,100 total yards and six touchdowns this season.

DE Jacquies Smith vs. QB Jay Cutler


If a key to the game is takeaways, then that starts with pressure from the defensive line, starting with Smith coming off the edge. He has seven sacks on the year and three forced fumbles. Cutler has just eight interceptions this year and has lost five fumbles.

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