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49ers vs. Buccaneers: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the 49ers Week 15 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers head back on the road in Week 15 to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This marks the 22nd time these two teams have squared off, with the 49ers holding a 16-5 edge. The 49ers have won three of the last four, with the most recent coming in 2011. That game saw the 49ers demolish the Bucs 48-3 at Candlestick Park. A now notable fact is that Colin Kaepernick had his first three career completions in that game. He made his first appearance the week before against the Philadelphia Eagles, but had his first opportunity to throw against the Bucs.

Speaking of notable stats, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis had one of his greatest career performances four years prior. The 49ers hosted the Bucs in Week 16 of a disappointing season. It was Willis' rookie season, and as we saw frequently, he made a name for himself that day. Willis finished the game with 20 total tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass deflection. Not too shabby.

This week, the 49ers face a Bucs squad that is 31st in total offensive yards, but 13th in total defensive yards. We're not the biggest fans of total yards as a measuring stick, but it's always mildly interesting to consider that. Per Football Outsiders, the Bucs offense is bad, but at least a little more consistent mediocre than downright godawful. FO ranks them 24th in offense and 22nd in variance. Not inspiring, but not second to last in the league bad.

Where the Bucs make their bones is on defense. Per Football Outsiders, they rank sixth in overall defense, seventh against the run and eighth against the pass. Of course, it's interesting to note that they rank 27th in variance, which means only five teams vary more widely in weekly DVOA performance. So, it's a little Jekyll and Hyde for this unit. They do rank No. 1 in interceptions, and that secondary could prove troublesome on Sunday.

Ahmad Brooks

  • Tallied a career-high 14 total tackles during his 1st career start at TB (10/15/06) as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Vernon Davis

  • Caught his 25th-career TD vs. TB (10/9/11). Davis finished with 2 TDs and 39 yds. on 3 recepts.

Frank Gore

  • Recorded 20 carries for 125 yds. and 1 TD vs. TB (10/11/11).

Colin Kaepernick

  • Recorded the first regular season completion of his career on an 11-yd. pass vs. TB (10/9/11).

Ray McDonald

  • Registered his first career sack vs. TB (12/23/07) by taking down Bucs QB Jeff Garcia for a 6-yd. loss.

Carlos Rogers

  • Recorded a 31-yd. INT for a TD vs. TB (10/9/11). The score marked the second of his career and his first as a member of the 49ers.

Donte Whitner

  • Posted a career-high 76-yd. INT return for a TD off QB Byron Leftwich vs. TB (9/20/09) as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

Patrick Willis

  • Has registered 45 tackles and 4.0 sacks in 3 career games vs.TB.
  • Recorded 20 total tackles vs. TB (12/23/07) during his rookie season

Series Highlights
Matchups: 21
Series Record: 49ers lead series 16-5
49ers Away Record vs. Buccaneers: 49ers lead series 4-3
First Meeting: 10/30/77, 49ers win 20-10, at SF
Last Meeting: 10/9/11, 49ers win 48-3, at SF
Current Streak: Won 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 9 (12/4/83 - 10/23/94)
Longest Buccaneers Win Streak: 2 (8/31/97 - 1/12/03)
Most 49ers Points: 48 (10/9/11): 49ers win 48-3, at SF
Most Buccaneers Points: 35 (11/21/04): Buccaneers win 35-3, at TB
49ers Shutouts: None
Buccaneers Shutouts: 1 (11/21/10), Buccaneers win 21-0, at SF

2013 Statistics

49ERS (rank) BUCS (rank)
9-4 (2nd NFCW) Record 4-9 (3rd NFCS)
24.3 (t-11th) Points per game 18.8 (30th)
311.5 (28th) Total Offense 291.5 (31st)
133.2 (6th) Rushing Offense 110.7 (21st)
178.3 (32nd) Passing Offense 180.8 (31st)
30:10 (16th) Possession Avg 30:39 (10th)
16.5 (3rd) Points allowed/gm 22.4 (t-11th)
308.0 (4th) Total Defense 342.1 (13th)
104.0 (10th) Rushing Defense 103.7 (9th)
204.0 (4th) Passing Defense 238.4 (17th)
32 (t-16th) Sacks 31 (t-18th)
48.7 (1st) Punting Avg (Gross) 43.5 (24th)
+6 (t-9th) Turnover Differential +13 (2nd)