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Week 8: Is Tampa Doomed, Jaguars Fail Again, & Tua Rises Above Lions!

Kevyn Bryant II

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Photo Credit: pambeachpost.com

Ravens vs Buccaneers

Well,it’s official. No, I’m not talking about the end of Tom and Gisele. I’m talking Bout how it’s officially time to start worrying about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Baltimore Ravens handed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their 5th straight home loss in their last six games.

The Buccaneers raced out to a 10-3 lead at the half keyed by a 1 yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette in the 2nd half .

In the second half, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense imposed on a Tampa Bay defense that was ultimately found wanting. Lamar Jackson led drives of 77, 80 and 83 yards. The Ravens did not punt once in the 2nd half.

Tom Brady threw for 325 yards and 1 touchdown. He had a fine game statistically. However, the Ravens put up 231 yards on the Buc defense and won the time of possession battle by nearly 17 minutes.

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The Bucs are fortunate that they are in the worst division in football. Nevertheless, the Bucs train is going off the tracks.

Jaguars vs Broncos:

It dosent looking to be getting any better for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos beat the Jaguars 21-17 in London to improve to 3-5.

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The Jaguars would put the Broncos in a 10-0 hole after a touchdown pass by Trevor Lawrence to Evan Engram. However, Russell Wilson would shake off the slow start and lead the Broncos to drives of 75 yards and 98 yards.

After the Jaguars took a 17-14 lead, Wilson orchestrated a 7 play, 80 yard game winning drive.

The Jaguars wasted a 24 rush, 156 yards difference by Travis Etienne. The stingy Denver Broncos held to Trevor Lawrence and held him to 2 INTS and less than 150 yards.

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Things are getting from bad to worse for the Jags.

Lions vs Dolphins:

Fewer teams can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory quite like the Lions could. In spite of jumping out to a 14-0 lead and a 27-17 lead at halftime, the Lions would blow the lead and lose to the Dolphins 31-27.

As predicted, the dynamic tandem of Tyriek Hill and Jaylen Waddle would wreak havoc on the Lions secondary. Tyriek Hill would have 12 receptions for 188 yards while Jaylen Waddle has 8 receptions for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Tua feels like his old self again as he threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns. The Dolphins now improve to 5-3.

Predictions:

Dolphins vs Bears:

Now that the Miami offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders again, they should continue their momentum against a Bears team who was shredded by the Cowboys offense this past week. The Bears offense wont win a shootout with anyone, especially not the Dolphins.

Dolphins will beat the Bears 35-17.
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Raiders vs Jaguars:

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This matchup will not wet the appetite of most football fans. Both teams are struggling mightily. In particular, the Raiders are underachieving and Josh McDaniels seat is hotter than 100 degree weather.

The Jaguars cannot seem to put together a consistent game together on either end. This will be a close game, but the Jaguars tend to lose close games. I feel the Raiders will be fueled by the criticism that they will undoubtedly receive this week.

The Raiders will beat the Jaguars 23-20.

Rams vs Buccaneers

This is a battle between the last 2 winners of the Lombardi Trophy. However, both teams are playing at a much lower level than they were in their championship years. The Rams have a clear case of the Super Bowl hangover. On top of that, Cooper Kupp’s injury against the 49ers invites more questions for an offense that just simply isn’t measuring up. The Buccaneers are having their own woes. However, Brady did put up solid numbers and I feel that the Rams present a favorable matchup for him. I just can’t imagine that the Buc’s losing streak is going to continue. This game is a “put up or shut up” game for both teams.

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I think Brady and the Bucs will pull it off.

The Buccaneers will beat the Rams 24-17.

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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