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Miami Keeps Rolling, Brady Defeated Again, and Jags Upset Ravens!

Kevyn Bryant II

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Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins just keep on rolling.    The Dolphins picked up their 5th win in a row by defeating the Texans 30-15.    The final score wasn’t indicative of how much of a rout this was.

The Dolphins ended up leading 30-0 at halftime against the listless Houston Texans.  Tua Tagovailoa had another error-free day.   He was 22 of 36 for 299 yards and a touchdown.   Tua Tagovailoa has 18 TDs and 3 INTs for the year.    His performance today only solidifies his place in the MVP Conversation.

The dynamic tandem of Tyriek Hill and Jaylen Waddle made an impact as they both had 85 yards receiving.   However, the Miami defense stepped up in a big way.  They forced 3 Houston Texan turnovers and got a defensive touchdown.  This occurred when Xavien Howard recovered a fumble at the Texans 16-yard line and returned it for a touchdown.   This put the game out of reach as the Dolphins went up 27-0 in the second quarter.

The Miami Dolphins are still tied for 1st place in the tough AFC East.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland Browns.

A serious question must be asked.   Does any team want to win the NFC South?    It seemed like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were poised to seize control of this less-than-stellar division.   However,  they fell short to Jacoby Brissett and the Cleveland Browns in OT 23-17.

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The kryptonite for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the running game for the Cleveland Browns.  In particular, it was Nick Chubb.   Nick Chubb had 26 carries for 116 yards and the game-winning 3 yard touchdown in overtime that finished the Buccaneers off. The Browns had 189 total rushing yards.

Tom Brady was 29 of 43 for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns in a losing effort.    Chris Godwin had a stellar game as he had 12 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.   Mike Evans surpassed 10,000 career receiving yards during the contest.

Amazingly enough, the Buccaneers are still in first place in the NFC South at 5-6.

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Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars.

In what could be one of the finest moments of Trevor Lawrence’s career, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Baltimore Ravens 28-27.    Trevor Lawrence was 29 of 37 for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns.   However, it was his performance in the last two minutes that will have smiles on the faces of many Jaguars fans.   After Lamar Jackson put his team ahead 27-20 with a TD and 2-point conversion, Trevor Lawrence responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive in the final 2 minutes despite not having any timeouts.    Marvin Jones’s clutch 10-yard TD will be remembered for quite a while.

Not surprisingly, Doug Pederson rolled the dice by going for 2.   Lawrence threw a game-clinching pass to Zay Jones for a successful two-point conversion.

This win should serve to make Jaguars fans much more hopeful of the franchise’s future with Trevor Lawrence at the helm.

 

Predictions:

Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers.

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It is not out of the realm that the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers may be two of the most dangerous teams in all of football.   With this matchup, worlds will collide and there’s no way that any football fan can be upset about it.

It is no secret that the defense of the San Francisco 49ers has been absolutely stellar.  The 49ers defense has shut out their opponents on offense in the second half of each of the last four games.  That statistic is quite frightening.   For Dolphins fans, it’s particularly concerning when you consider that the Miami Dolphins did not score a second-half point against the lowly Houston Texans last week.

However, the 49ers’ last four opponents were the Rams, Chargers, Cardinals and Saints.  Other than the LA Chargers, their opponents as of late aren’t necessarily anything to write home about when it comes to offense.

The Miami Dolphins will present the toughest challenge that the 49ers have had since they faced the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct 30th.

However, there is a flipside to this coin.   While Tua has been absolutely terrific the last 5 games, the games have been against the Steelers, Lions, Bears, Browns and Texans.   None of those teams are sniffing the postseason.  Therefore, the 49ers will also be the toughest challenge that the Dolphins have had.

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However, the Dolphins will benefit from the fact that coach Mike McDaniel was a long-time assistant of both Mike and Kyle Shanahan.   Therefore, it stands to reason that he will have a leg up in preparations with regards to figuring out their tough defense.

No matter how promising the 49ers offense may be,  this game will come down to the QB matchup.  I have much more faith in Tua Tagovailoa as opposed to Jimmy G.   The 49er defense will have a tough test facing the dynamic WR duo of Tyriek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.     This will be a close game, but the Miami Dolphins will pull it off.

I pick the Miami Dolphins to beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17.

 

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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This divisional game would be a marquee matchup in recent years.  While it will be competitive, the quality of football will definitely not be the same as it once was.     The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear poised to be without the services of RT Tristan Wirfs.   If that is the case, expect DE Cameron Jordan to play a bigger defensive role for New Orleans.

The Buccaneers managed to have an inconsistent performance against Cleveland.   New Orleans won’t be any easier.  It will indeed be physical.   Expect the Saints secondary to attempt to jam up on Mike Evans and the other physical Tampa Bay wide receivers.

Even though the offense of the New Orleans Saints is better than the Buccaneers, they had no answer for the 49ers defense last week.  I can’t imagine their offense being this bad again.  I feel the Saints will be motivated to pull off a win and throw this division into more chaos.   We have the makings of an ugly game in an ugly division.  New Orleans will take this one.

The New Orleans Saints will beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12-10.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs Detroit Lions

One can expect that this game will be a high scoring affair.

I believe that Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars offense will carry the momentum of last week’s game into this matchup against the Lions.

The Detroit Lions’s offense has managed to hold its own all season. Despite being 5 games behind the Vikings in the NFC North they’ve managed to outsscore the Vikings when it comes to points.   Their kryptonite is defense.   They are at the bottom of the league when it comes to stopping teams from scoring.   Expect the Jaguars to have a good day offensively.

However, the Lions will put their offensive firepower on display as well.  They will be a tough test for the Jaguars defense.

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In the end, I expect Trevor Lawrence to have a big-time game and lead the Jaguars past the Lions in a shootout.

I pick the Jacksonville Jaguars over the Detroit Lions 38-31.

 

 

 

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs host 10th annual “Cut and Color Funds the Cure”

Robert Brumfield

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Photo Courtesy of: www.buccaneers.com

Thursday at AdventHealth Training Center saw some staff and players take part in one of the most fun yearly rituals here in Tampa, the “Cut and Color Funds the Cure” benefit. The event, held for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF), is in it’s tenth year, and it brought out a huge group of Bucs legends.

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During the event, Buccaneers current and former players, staff, and even hall of famers have their heads or facial hair shaved or colored red by pediatric cancer patients . This year even brought out Buccaneers COO Brian Ford to take part in the festivities.

In the ten year tradition, the team has raised over $700,000 for the NPCF and created many more priceless memories. For the first time this year, the event was open to the public, with seating access and signed photos going to fans that donated at least $100 to the cause.

Current or former staff members in attendance this year were GM Jason Licht, Head Coach Todd Bowles, former coach Bruce Arians, Assistant General Managers Mike Greenberg and John Spytek, and others. Players like Mike Evans, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield Jr., Cade Otton, and Yaya Diaby sat while patients sheared or died their hair while the press took photos and fans interacted with staff and members of the NPCF.

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Former players notably involved this year included Rob Gronkowski (of course), Mike Alstott, Ronde Barber, Barry Smith, Dave Moore, Richard “Batman” Wood, Jimmie Giles, Martin Gramatica, Michael Clayton, and Dexter Jackson.

Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford was quoted, “Every year we try to give an afternoon to some very courageous children and their families to forget about what they are up against, and you just see smiles all around.”

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a non-profit based right here in Tampa. The purpose of the organization is to raise awareness and fund research to try to eliminate childhood cancer. It uses research initiatives to combat cancer early on in some cases and fund targeted treatments in collaboration with the nation’s leading hospitals. Cancer is the number one disease based cause of death to children in the U.S. and everyday, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer in this country.

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More than 95 percent of childhood cancer survivors experience significant health-related issues by age 45 due to the current treatment options, something the NPCF is trying to change. Sadly, only 4% of the billions of dollars allocated for cancer research by the federal government is specifically for treating childhood cancer.

Thanks for reading and getting your Bucs news here at Sports Club Florida! Make sure to follow us and go check out some of our other great contributors for more on your favorite Florida sports teams.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers officially add Ryan Jensen to the Retired/Reserve list, marking end of an era

Robert Brumfield

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Photo Courtesy of: www.buccaneers.com

This week marked the official end of an era for former Buccaneers Center, Ryan Jensen, though it was mostly a formality at this point. Jensen had announced his intent to retire back on February 2nd after playing nine seasons as a professional.

Jensen was the centerpiece of an offensive line that dominated for most of his tenture in the Bay. Notably, the team’s four highest scoring seasons were from 2018 to 2021 with Jensen snapping the ball. He also anchored the line for Tom Brady in Super Bowl LV.

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The Baltimore Ravens drafted Ryan Jensen in the 2013 NFL Draft with the 203rd overall pick (Sixth Round) out of Colorado State (Pueblo). Jensen played four seasons as a Raven, with 2017 being his final season after starting all 16 games and being noticed by other teams around the League. That is when Tampa Bay entered the picture.

Jensen was signed by the Buccaneers entering the 2018 campaign. He immediately became the starter and one of the most dominant centers in the NFL. Throughout his five years played in red and pewter, Jensen was the linchpin for an offensive line that led the NFL in passing yards per game (305.0), as well as second ranked overall in third down conversion rate (44.5%), yards per play (6.1), first downs per game (23.2), points scored per game (28.6), and total yards per game (400.9). His offensive lines also yielded sacks at the fifth lowest rate of any team during this span.

Sadly, in a painfully ironic twist of fate, Jensen suffered a season ending knee injury during the Buccaneers last preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens of all teams. General Manager Jason Licht announced shortly after that Jensen would miss the entirety of the season. While the February announcement makes the retirement itself merely a formality, seeing Jensen’s name officially added to the retired list marks the end of a proud era for this offensive line that powered the Greatest QB of All-Time to a Super Bowl just a few short years ago.

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Jensen finishes his career with 100 games under his belt, including 90 starts. His 5,307 snaps played between the 2017 and 2021 seasons are the most played by any player. We as fans will now wait the mandatory five years and hope that in the distant future, Jensen will be named to the Hall of Fame in Canton. He sure has earned it.

Thanks for reading and getting your Bucs news here at Sports Club Florida! Make sure to follow us and go check out some of our other great contributors for more on your favorite Florida sports teams.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All-Pro Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. signs record breaking new deal

Robert Brumfield

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Photo Courtesy of: www.buccaneers.com

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht placed the Franchise tag on Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. almost immediately during this off-season. Winfield Jr. had been voted First Team All-Pro after a stellar season and was as much of a priority to keep on the roster as Baker Mayfield or Mike Evans were. Franchise tagging a player doesn’t necessarily guarantee an extended stay, however. Ideally, a tag is a stop-gap measure to keep the player on until a contract agreement can be reached.

Bucs Nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief now after the team and Winfield Jr. reached an agreement this week to a four-year, $84.1 million contract that makes the 25 year old the highest paid defensive back in NFL history. This marks the first time a safety has held the highest paid slot at DB, usually reserved for cornerbacks. The deal includes a $20 million signing bonus with $45 million guaranteed, keeping Winfield Jr. in Tampa Bay through 2027. When he spoke to the media after the signing, Winfield said his best football was yet to come.

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The Buccaneers in recent years have a seemingly great rapport with their players when contract time comes up, due alot in part with the excellent management of Jason Licht and his staff. Twice in the past three years a franchise tagged player has signed a long-term extension with the Buccaneers, with the most recent example being in 2022 with wide receiver Chris Godwin.

Winfield Jr. was selected with the 45th overall pick during the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. After winning a Super Bowl during his standout rookie season, his play has continually improved and the statistics back it up.

In 2023, Winfield Jr. set new personal season records in tackles (122), sacks (6), forced fumbles (6), fumble recoveries (4), AND interceptions (3). Social media absolutely caught fire when Winfield was initially not chosen for the Pro Bowl, yet that was ultimately overshadowed by his First Team All-Pro selection, which is the gold standard of NFL personal season achievements. As he begins his fifth season as the star safety for the defending NFC South Champion Bucs, look for plenty of highlights from #31 in 2024.

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Thanks for getting your Buccaneers news here at Sports Club Florida! Make sure to go check out some of our other great contributors for more on your favorite Florida sports teams.

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