NFL Week 12: Things I learned about the Bucs while reading my colleagues

Bucs tight end O.J. Howard has caught four touchdown passes this season, which is tied for the team lead. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Bucs tight end O.J. Howard has caught four touchdown passes this season, which is tied for the team lead. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
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Happy gameday! Did you miss some of the Times’ Buccaneers coverage during Thanksgiving week? I’ll catch you up. Here are some things I learned while reading my colleagues:

• Tight end O.J. Howard has caught half as many passes as Cameron Brate but has been on the field for more plays.

• In a story about Bucs rookie safety Justin Evans, Rick Stroud noted that Keith Tandy, who had four interceptions in Tampa Bay’s final five games last season, didn’t play a single defensive snap against the Dolphins last week. Overall, Tandy has seen a significant dip in playing time. He played on 38 percent of the defensive snaps last season but has played on just 17 percent of defensive snaps this season.

• Falcons receiver Julio Jones has had six 100-yard receiving games against the Bucs. Only one player has had more.

• Ever wonder how many game balls the NFL requires teams to supply before each game? Greg Auman has the answer.

• Only Richard Sherman has more interceptions (20) than Brent Grimes (19) in the past five seasons.

• The Falcons have recorded nearly twice as many sacks as the Bucs this season.

• Columnist Martin Fennelly found some shafts of light in an otherwise disappointing season.

And here are a couple of things I learned while researching the Bucs and Falcons this week:

• The 2016 Falcons scored on 55.8 percent of their drives. That was the highest rate since the 2007 Patriots — the 18-1 Patriots — scored on 57.0 percent of their drives. In case you missed it, here’s the Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Bucs-Falcons. In the scouting report, I debunk a popular claim, answer a couple of frequently asked questions, break down some game film, examine a key matchup and offer a prediction.

The Browns are the second team to start 0-10 in consecutive seasons. The first team? The 1976 and 1977 Bucs.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.

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