Buccaneers in Charlotte for Monday Night Football

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Well my team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play on Monday Night Football on ESPN tonight in Charlotte against another team I like a lot, the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are minus Cam Newton this evening, and enter the game as six point favorites.

Both teams are 1-3 and the Buccaneers are desperately in need of a win as today there are rumblings about the safety of Head Coach Dirk Koetter’s job.

More than anything, how about a turnover-free game from Jameis Winston for a change? That would be nice. He’s without Doug Martin and Sims the backup running back with Jacquizz Rodgers getting the start.

 

 

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Cam Newton & Panthers wrap up 15-1 dream season with 38-10 win over Tampa

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[Gamebook]

[Cam Newton Highlights]  [Charlotte Observer]

Cam Newton went 21 of 26 for 293 yards and two passing touchdowns to end the season on 35, and two more rushing touchdowns. The Panthers blew away Tampa Bay in Charlotte with the game being a 4:25 PM start time, so it made for a nice little Sunday after watching Tom Coughlin’s presumptive finale in New York earlier in the day with my wife.

Jameis Winston didn’t throw any touchdown passes today, he did rush for one; but he also threw for 325 more yards to eclipse 4,000 on the season. He also got on his teammates after the game, questioning their fire to win.

If this was the last Panthers win of the season, it was such a wonderful regular season. It’s hard to imagine again in his career that Cam Newton and Carolina will string together a season in which they go 15-1, win 14 in a row, and Newton puts up eye-popping numbers that wins him an MVP award.

Newton hit touchdowns to Devin Funchess and Jericho Cotchery on beautiful throws in this game. There’s just no one in the game of football that throws the ball in a prettier fashion than Cam Newton.

Now, Carolina waits for a date with likely either the Seattle Seahawks or; well it’s going to be the Seahawks. A team I fear that will knock them off after disposing of the Minnesota Vikings next week.

Tampa Bay falls in home finale to Chicago 26-21

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[Gamebook]

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found a way to lose a similar type game that they have fallen victim to losing many times this season. It was a winnable game, and Tampa was off and rolling when Doug Martin punched in a short touchdown to go up 7-0 and Jameis Winston hit Charles Sims on a broken down coverage for a 50-yard touchdown. Tampa held a 14-13 lead at that point, but Winston threw a damning interception late and Chicago proved to be plenty scrappy under John Fox to hang onto the lead.

Battling until the end of the game and trying to keep folks like me alive in their fantasy football playoffs, Jameis Winston kept firing until he found Austin Seferian-Jenkins on a Hail Mary at the end of the game even with the outcome determined. Winston has done this two weeks in a row. The guy has the heart of a Lion and simply never stops battling no matter how far his team is down. This may be his best quality I have seen this rookie season where he has thrown now 22 touchdown passes; his guile and his guts. The Buccaneers close out their home schedule but clearly have an arrow pointing up next season.

Winston finished 15 of 29 for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. This throw to Cameron Brate was just one of the good ones that will get lost in memories in the losing effort.

It wasn’t a Jameis Winston Christmas

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[Gamebook]
[Video Highlights]

A week before Christmas eve, and on the day I found out I was having my second child; Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers fell on Thursday Night football 31-23 in the (possible) final game in the dome in St. Louis to the Rams who were -1 favorites.

Winston threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He’s fun to watch because he absolutely never gives up. But two touchdowns from Tavon Austin and another to Kenny Britt had this game as a runaway really before it began to be a game at all.

In the past this has been an absolutely magical game for me, the Thursday nighter right before Christmas with the tree lit in the living room. I will remember this one.

Mike Evans had 9 catches for 157 yards. Winston hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Luke Stocker for touchdowns. Doug Martin had 91 yards rushing in a game where the Buccaneers had to abandon the running game.

All those in the land far and wide came to know the man called Famous Jameis

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[Gamebook]

[Jameis Winston Highlights] [Pewter Report] [Rick Stroud] [Joe Bucs Fan]

As with all greats, the wins and stories of legend are beginning to pile up. From the Tampa Bay Times:

Aside from going 4-for-4 for 42 yards on the final drive, Winston turned in one of the most spectacular individual plays of the season, scrambling 20 I-can’t-believe-he-wasn’t-down yards on third and 19. In the huddle three plays later, he asked who wanted to score the winning touchdown. When receiver Mike Evans said, “Me, me, me,” Winston obliged, hitting Evans with a 6-yard TD pass with 1:01 left.

Jameis Winston is a racehorse that is worth a lot of money because he often wins. That’s how I felt about him when he played on Saturday’s and it’s happening again at the next level. He did it again today with 1:39 left in the game, hitting Mike Evans with the game-winner. Leap-frogging the Atlanta Falcons and in fact; sweeping them.

The Buccaneers are 6-6, at .500 once again. Jameis Winston has his first career game-winning drive and 4th quarter comeback. In a game where there are constantly players who are the latest and greatest, this kid is absolutely showing that he’s the player I’ve waited on to arrive. It’s not about his stats. He had a very Winston like day; 18 of 27, 227 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He rushed for his fifth touchdown on the season.

But it’s maybe THIS PLAY in which Jameis Winston is best evidenced and summed up. A 20-yard run on 3rd and 19 with the game on the line. His refusal to lose or go down. It was ugly, but he got it done. As I am typing this post, I hear analyst and former head coach Tony Dungy say on Sunday Night Football that ‘the Buccaneers may not make the playoffs, but they have a winner in Jameis Winston’.

It’s been a fun season, and you can just tell that this is going to be the long-term guy for the Buccaneers. First December game, a big win for Winston and the Buccaneers.

They won this game without Gerald McCoy and Jacquies Smith. When I saw those two guys were out, I figured there was no chance the Buccaneers win this game which opened basically as an even spread.

This was probably the best home win yet for Winston – I have a feeling it’s going to be replaced by a lot of games in the not so distant future.

Bucs lose a snoozer to Colts in Naptown

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[Gamebook]

This is one of those games to me that when the Buccaneers barely miss the playoffs, you look back and see that the Bucs had a very winnable game they were a part of and couldn’t come away with. Jameis Winston went 20 of 36 for 245 yards, a touchdown and an interception I somehow missed.

Winston made many of the throws you’re starting to become accustomed to seeing him make at the NFL level. They aren’t high RPM-type lasers, but rather just really good winning throws.

In the end of this 25-12 loss on the road though; the Buccaneers just showed the mark of a team that could not finish.

Jameis Winston has a career day in Philadelphia

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[Gamebook]

[Joe Bucs Fan] [Jameis Winston Highlights]

Jameis Winston had the game of his career last week. He threw five touchdown passes in a game, becoming the first Buccaneer to ever do so, and only the third rookie in NFL history. He sits at 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions on the season. The Buccaneers were an absolute blowout winner, and I lost my teaser because of them.

It’s unbelievable, but the Buccaneers are to .500 on the season at 5-5, and they’re in the thick of the NFC playoff race. I just wanted to get this post up, as it’s the most incredible game of Winston’s career to date. He threw the five touchdowns to five different receivers.