Denver Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What's with the Number 13?

Jennifer EakinsContributor INovember 29, 2012

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 18:  Supporters fly the flag of the Denver Broncos after they scored a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 30-23.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The number 13 seems to have a mixed connotation for different people. While some consider it to be unlucky, others find it favorable and actually seek it out.

While researching the brief history of games played between the Bronco and Buccaneer franchises, I found that 13 seems to be a prevalent number in these matchups.

Denver and Tampa Bay have faced each other only seven times dating back to their first meeting in 1976. The Buccaneers' final score in four of those games was 13. In fact, the past three games between the two have resulted with a final Tampa Bay score of 13—in 1999, 2004 and 2008.

So we now find ourselves fittingly in Week 13 with another faceoff between these two squads. Will history repeat itself and are the Bucs destined to finish with a final score of 13 on the scoreboard?

Bronco fans sure hope so. If the Denver offense continues to put up the kind of numbers it has for most of the season, that 13 points will be crushed by halftime.

The 2012 Tampa Bay defense is very unbalanced, currently ranking 30th in total defense. The Bucs are dead last in the league against the pass and first at defending the ground attack. That works out nicely for this Peyton Manning-led offense that will focus primarily on moving the chains via the air and balance it out with some ground game.

Denver owns the lead in this series, coming out victorious in five of the seven times the two franchises have met. Although Denver and Tampa bay do not have a direct rivalry, both are thinking postseason and would love to secure a victory on Sunday.

Will the number 13 come into play again during this matchup on Sunday? I know I will certainly be paying close attention to the numbers.