The 49ers travel across the country to face the Buccaneers in a key game for San Francisco. If the postseason started today, the 49ers would be the last team in thanks in large part to their recent three-game winning streak.
While the Niners are favored, the Bucs won't be a pushover after winning four of their last five games after a rough start to the season. The big question facing Greg Schiano is which Bucs' defense will show up. Will it be the group that shut down Buffalo last weekend, limiting the Bills to 214 yards while forcing five turnovers, or the group that allowed an average of 412 years in the previous three games?
Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers will be hoping the latter group takes the field, giving Colin Kaepernick another chance to get on track going into the playoffs. A win on Sunday in Tampa Bay, combined with a Arizona loss and a loss by Dallas or Philadelphia, would clinch a playoff spot for the defending NFC champions.
The six experts on our SB Nation panel are all picking the 49ers to get the playoff-clinching victory, and they're hardly alone. Over at CBS Sports, just one of their panel of experts is picking the Buccaneers to pull off the upset, and at ESPN each expert has San Fransisco.