Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Chiefs report card: Tampa Bay excels in every way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Want to know why the Bucs beat the Chiefs on Sunday? Because they were the better team. Simple as that. They deserved to win. They were better on offense. On defense. On special teams. They won the turnover battle, had way more yards (442-343) and dominated the time of possession (35:18-24:42). The final score was 19-17. It easily could have been something like 31-17. Or worse. Here's our game report card. Get ready for plenty of good grades for our star pupil, the Bucs:

Good times

If Bucs receiver Mike Evans was distracted by his controversial week in the aftermath of his national anthem protest before the previous game of Donald Trump's election as president, it didn't show. He stood for the anthem, then went out and played a heck of a game. He had six catches for 105 yards. None was bigger than his catch to give Tampa Bay a first down with just more than two minutes left to all but ice the win. "It feels awesome,'' Evans said. This guy is proving to be among football's best. GRADE: A

Cheering for the other guy

The Chiefs fans are considered among the loudest in the league, but boy, did they mess up big time. They didn't realize that their "war chant" is the same as Florida State's, the chant that used to pump up Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston in his college days. "It made me feel at home,'' Winston said. He even did the chant with the fans at the beginning of the game. Grade for Chiefs fans: F

Kicking the habit

How about that Roberto Aguayo? The Bucs kicker, the target of criticism and ridicule in the first part of the season, has become Mr. Reliable. He made all five of his kicks Sunday, four field goals and an extra point. And he was perfect in less than ideal conditions. As coach Dirk Koetter said, it wasn't like he was kicking in Siberia, but with the temperature in the 40s and a stiff breeze blowing, it wasn't Florida, either. Aguayo has made eight of his past nine field goals and looks like, well, a second-round draft pick. He had a much better day than most NFL kickers. Grade: A

Mellow yellow

Coach Dirk Koetter wouldn't bite on it after the game, but his team was much more disciplined than it had been in recent memory. Last week against the Bears, it was penalized nine times for 85 yards. The week before that against the Falcons, it was flagged 11 times for 85 yards. Sunday? Just seven times for a mere 42 yards. Not only do the Bucs deserve a good grade, but the officials do, too. They didn't take over the game, as we've seen officials do this season. The Bucs, Chiefs and refs all deserve high marks. Grade: A

Traffic jam

There might not be a more lovely sports complex in America than what Kansas City has with Arrowhead Stadium and Royals Stadium sharing a giant parking lot. They are two old stadiums — both built in the early 1970s — that have more than stood the test of time. They are as pleasing to the eye as any venue in football or baseball. But if you're going to a Chiefs game, you might want to leave early. Like five hours early. Or else you'll be stuck in traffic, frustratingly seeing Arrowhead through the thick haze of tailgaters' grills cooking up the best barbecue in the country. It's right there, oh so close, but actually getting to it takes forever on the one road leading to the stadium. Can we get another road or two? At the least, could someone hand us a chicken leg while we sit in traffic? GRADE: D

Comments
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

The Bucs had four extra coaches during organized team activities last month as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including former Tampa Bay receiver Lawrence Dawsey.Dawsey, 50, played for the Bucs from 1991-95, finishing his time ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18
Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Times wiresVISTA, Calif. – Former Bucs and Hurricanes tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was jailed without bail Friday after pleading not guilty to nine counts of kidnapping, rape and other charges.If convicted on all counts, Winslow, 34, could face...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

TAMPA — The last pass thrown by Jameis Winston in a regular-season game was his best. The perfectly arced, 39-yard strike to Chris Godwin for a touchdown with nine seconds left gave the Bucs a 31-24 win over New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

The first Bucs home game of the 2018 season is still three months off, but the franchise is busy getting Raymond James Stadium ready with the fourth phase of its $160 million renovation, highlighted by a new East Stadium Club.Construction continues t...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

The Bucs wrap up minicamp as Gerald McCoy sounds off on the team getting help for him, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner yelling at the veteran defensive tackle and advice for the young players who now have five weeks off before training camp.Plu...
Published: 06/15/18
Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

TAMPA — On the last day of minicamp, DT Gerald McCoy made it clear that the new additions to the defensive line are what the entire team needed, not just himself."It's not about me. It's about the team," McCoy said of the addition of five new l...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

Bucs hit summer break with optimism, eager for training camp

TAMPA — This week's three-day minicamp was the final push in the Bucs' offseason, with about six weeks now until the team reconvenes in late July for training camp and the real preamble to the 2018 season.So what, if anything, can be gleaned fr...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Maybe 2018 is the year the Bucs take that step forward

Maybe 2018 is the year the Bucs take that step forward

TAMPA — The Bucs wrapped up a three-day minicamp on Thursday.“I’m going on vacation,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.The next time we see the Bucs will be in five weeks. Just around the corner. That’s when, official...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18