Both the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know how crucial a win come Sunday is. Tampa Bay sits at second in the NFC South, winning three of its last four match ups. They’ll need to win its final four games in order to even be considered for playoff contention.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts are currently at third in the AFC South. If the Colts can win its last four games of the season, it might just have a playoff berth.
The two teams face off Sunday, and here’s what it’s going to take for each squad to walk away with a win.
Keys for Tampa Bay
Tampa (5-7) need to figure out how to win at home. This year, they’ve won just one of four home games. With three of its final four match ups in Raymond James Stadium, the team needs to utilize its home field advantage.
Both Quarterback Jameis Winston and Linebacker Shaquil Barrett will also need to be at the top of their games come Sunday. Both have excelled this season.
Winston, in his fifth season with the Bucs, is nearing 3,700 passing yard on the year. That’s second best in the league, behind Dak Prescott. Winston has helped the team average just over 28 points a game. They’ll need to excel on offense come Sunday.
Meanwhile, Barrett has put in his hard work on the defensive end. He’s got 38 tackles and 14.5 sacks this season – the best in the NFL.
Barret played five season with the Denver Broncos before heading to Tampa Bay ahead of the 2019 season. He said that so far, he’s enjoyed being a member of this squad.
"This could be home for me. I like it here a lot. I like my teammates. I would love to stay down here."
➡️: OLB Shaq Barrett pic.twitter.com/V0Q8okBvBb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 5, 2019
Keys for Indianapolis
Meanwhile, the Colts (6-6) need to start turning things around as the final stretch of the season looms. Indianapolis has lost four of its last five games – if it wants to stay in playoff contention, a win Sunday is crucial. But the team has only won two games on the road this year.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett will need to utilize his receivers and avoid sacks coming from Tampa’s Barrett. Brissett, who replaced veteran Andrew Luck at the beginning of the 2019 season, has held his own to keep his squad in on the skirts of playoff contention. He’s also a former Gator.
He’s thrown 16 touchdowns and just six picks on the year. He’ll also need to utilize receivers Jack Doyle and T.Y Hilton. The two are both nearing 400 receiving yards on the year, and combine for nine touchdowns.
Hilton, who’s in his eighth season with the Colts, has been named a finalist for the 2019 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award – which is considered one of the most prestigious in the game.
Both teams have plenty riding on Sunday’s game. Be sure to watch at 1 p.m. on CBS