Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grading the Bucs' 26-20 loss to Dallas

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Man, that's a big scoreboard. Sorry, we're supposed to be talking about the Bucs game and that valiant and entertaining yet ultimately disappointing 26-20 Tampa Bay loss to the Cowboys.

But, man, is that scoreboard big.

The crown jewel of the NFL's biggest and most expensive stadium is a scoreboard and video screen that turns the cavernous AT&T Stadium into a man cave for 93,000 fans.

When the game is going on, you don't know whether to watch the field or the scoreboard.

Whichever you watched Sunday, it show the same thing: a Bucs team that played fairly well after a shaky start. Here's a report card from Sunday's game.

Man, that's a big scoreboard

Did I mention how big that scoreboard is? Put it this way: If they ever make the Grand Canyon into a sports stadium, they can use this as the scoreboard. Man, is it big. Officially, it's 160 feet wide and 72 feet high. Unofficially: really stinkin' big. GRADE: A

Play of the game

Here's a play that, in a weird way, might have cost Tampa Bay a good chance to win. Fourth quarter and Tampa Bay had the ball at the Dallas 46. The Bucs had just recovered a fumble and trailed 23-20. On second and 11, QB Jameis Winston threw a screen to Charles Sims. It was a perfect call and it looked like it had potential for a huge gain. But tackle Gosder Cherilus didn't make a key block, and the pass produced only 6 yards. After an incompletion, the Bucs punted. And that was Tampa Bay's last best chance. All that might have separated the Bucs from an upset was one good block. GRADE: D-minus

Baby, it's cold outside

Good thing this was 2016 instead of 2006. If it had been 2006, the Cowboys would have played in a stadium with a hole in the roof. And that would have meant the Bucs would have played with temperatures dipping into the low 20s. Talk about crazy weather. The high Saturday in Dallas was 72. By game time Sunday night, it was 21. But, thankfully, the Cowboys now play indoors, where it's always comfortable T-shirt temperatures. GRADE: A

Prime time

When NBC moved Sunday's game to prime time, some Bucs fans might have been a bit worried. After all, there was a chance the Bucs could have been blown out and, surely, NBC would have serious doubts about scheduling the Bucs for any future Sunday Night Football games. But the Bucs handled themselves quite well, enough that NBC could not have been scared off from future Bucs games in prime time. GRADE: B-plus

Comments
Oh Gahd, the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl! Don’t worry, lots of new story lines for LII vs. E-A-G-L-E-S

Oh Gahd, the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl! Don’t worry, lots of new story lines for LII vs. E-A-G-L-E-S

TAMPA – Unless you are a Chowd who drives the cah wicked fah and pahks in the yahd, you probably aren't all that jacked up about the Patriots returning to Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis. Anybody but Bill Belichick...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Patriots, Eagles bring plenty of local ties to Super Bowl

Patriots, Eagles bring plenty of local ties to Super Bowl

The Bucs aren't playing for a Super Bowl, and the game itself won't come to Tampa for three more years. But there's no shortage of cool local connections and ties on the Patriots and Eagles' rosters. You've already heard some of these stories, and yo...
Published: 01/22/18
Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

TAMPA — Next victim, please.Shouldn't we just start penciling the Patriots into the Super Bowl before every season?It would save us a lot of time.Mind you, the rest of the NFL is fighting Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and this foregone conclus...
Published: 01/22/18
Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Published: 01/22/18
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Published: 01/21/18
Updated: 01/22/18
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Published: 01/21/18
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Published: 01/21/18
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Published: 01/20/18
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Published: 01/20/18

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7˝; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Published: 01/20/18