The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their "statement win" in Week Six. Now they'll have the league's spotlight in Week Seven when they face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football at the brand-new Allegiant Stadium.
The Buccaneers improved their record to 4-2 and took over sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a rousing 38-10 win over the previously-undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday. As it turns out, they'll be facing an opponent that also just got a statement win, as the Raiders broke the Kansas City Chiefs' 13-game winning streak in Week Five with a 40-32 win against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Raiders then had time to enjoy the win and get rested for Week Seven as they enjoyed their bye this past week.
The biggest statement was made by Tampa Bay's defense, which allowed the Packers, who were averaging 445.5 yards and 38.0 points per game prior to Week Six, to gain just 201 yards and 10 points on Sunday. That crew, now brimming with confidence, will take on a Las Vegas offense that ranks seventh in the NFL and is also averaging more than 30 points per game. Surrounded by a new cast of young pass-catchers, including speedy first-round pick Henry Ruggs, quarterback Derek Carr is completing 73.1% of his passes and has a 115.9 passer rating. The Raiders also feature a talented young running back in Josh Jacobs, another former first-rounder who has run for 377 yards and five touchdowns through five games.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers' offense will bring a healthier group to Vegas after wide receivers Chris Godwin and Justin Watson and running back LeSean McCoy returned to action against Green Bay. Running back Leonard Fournette may also be ready to go by next Sunday night. Tampa Bay's offense scored 31 unanswered points in the win over Green Bay, with Brady making sure all four of the Bucs' red zone possessions ended in touchdowns.
View photos of Tampa Bay's Week 6 matchup against Green Bay.
That group will face a largely rebuilt Raiders defense that includes hard-hitting safety Jonathan Abrams and new linebacker Cory Littleton, one of the best coverage 'backers in the league. Maxx Crosby leads that group with 4.0 sacks. Las Vegas, however, is allowing 30.4 points per game and has been involved in several shootouts.
The Bucs' Week Seven trip to Las Vegas is the first of three straight prime-time contests, as they will follow that with a Week Eight trip to New York to play the Giants on Monday Night Football. In Week Nine, the Buccaneers will return home to Raymond James Stadium but again play before a national audience as they take on New Orleans in another Sunday night showcase.