Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Week 10 preview capsules

Chiefs at Panthers, 1

Line/OU: Panthers by 3; 44

Chiefs QB Alex Smith is back from a week in the concussion protocol. K.C. has kind of become a big deal without much fanfare. In the top-heavy AFC West with the Raiders (7-2) and Broncos (6-3), K.C. has won four straight. Stack that against a Carolina team that has won 15 of its past 17 at home.

Texans at Jaguars, 1

Line/OU: Jaguars by 2; 42

When QB Brock Osweiler said that signing with the Texans gave him the best chance to succeed, he must have been referring to these semiannual galas with Jacksonville. It should be said that Osweiler's Texans hold first place in the AFC South despite three losses; his former team, Denver, also has three losses but sits third in its division.

Broncos at Saints, 1

Line/OU: Saints by 3; 49

The Saints' Drew Brees is the NFL's leading passer, at 336.1 yards per game, but why risk life and limb with Denver LB Von Miller turning the corner at full rage? The best route through the Broncos defense is the rushing lanes, where Oakland rolled up 218 yards last week.

Falcons at Eagles, 1

Line/OU: Falcons by 1; 50

The Eagles' four losses, all on the road, have come by a total of 19 points. If they are to stay unbeaten at home, they must solve a Falcons team that has won four of its five road games. Atlanta WR Julio Jones is a 30-yard reception short of 1,000 yards.

Rams at Jets, 1

Line/OU: Jets by 1; 40

It's the Hot Seat Bowl, where Rams coach Jeff Fisher and his Jets counterpart, Todd Bowles, must rely on unreliable QBs. The Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick will start if his injured knee holds up, even if he has produced the NFL's last-place QB rating. The Rams go with Case Keenum, a space-holder for Jared Goff, this year's No. 1 overall draft pick whom Fisher seems in no hurry to promote.

Packers at Titans, 1

Line/OU: Packers by 3; 50

Marcus Mariota is why Tennessee is in the AFC South hunt and why it's not leading. He has 17 TD passes while trending toward a 3,900-yard passing season. He also has eight INTs and committed five turnovers returned for TDs. He has to be stellar against the NFL's No. 1 rushing defense.

Vikings at Redskins, 1

Line/OU: Redskins by 2½; 41½

Gravity has kicked in, pulling the Vikings to where everyone assumed they would be when Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson went down. They still lead the NFC North after three straight losses, but the Vikings are likely to keep sinking under the league's worst offense in total yardage.

Dolphins at Chargers, 4

Line/OU: Chargers by 4; 48

Remember when these two teams were 1-4, elbowing their way to prime draft position? San Diego has surged to match its 2015 win total in just eight games as RB Melvin Gordon's 11 total TDs lead the league. Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is aiming for his fourth straight game of more than 100 yards.

49ers at Cardinals, 4:25

Line/OU: Cardinals by 13½; 48

The 49ers defense has acquiesced to a 100-yard rusher for an NFL-record seven consecutive games, and the Cardinals cannot wait to see 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, who threw four INTs the last time he went to the desert in 2015.

Cowboys at Steelers, 4:25

Line/OU: Steelers by 2½; 49½

QB Tony Romo has officially returned to the roster from a preseason back injury, but rookie replacement Dak Prescott remains the starter. Under Prescott, the Cowboys have beaten seven straight teams since a one-point loss in the opener. But none of those seven has a winning record today.

Seahawks at Patriots, 8:30

Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 48

Seattle ranks 25th in time of possession, leaving its defense to wilt from overexposure to even the milder elements (see 30 first downs granted to the Bills last week). QB Russell Wilson can do only so much with his collection of injuries (knee, pectoral muscle). The Pats have not thrown an INT in their first 249 throws of the season. Only the 1960 Browns have opened a season with nine INT-free games.

Times wires

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Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 2 hours ago
McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

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TAMPA — Why wait until Monday Night Football? We got former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland, the field analyst for the ESPN crew, to break down the Bucs-Steelers matchup. In his straight-forward, brutally honest style, McFarland dissects...
Updated: 7 hours ago
How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa FM station to ‘Monday Night Football’

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Published: 09/22/18
Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Defensive tackle Vita Vea made it through practice this week, his first since straining his left calf muscle July 29. But coach Dirk Koetter was pretty non-committal about how much, or if, Vea will play Monday night against the Steelers."When you've ...
Published: 09/22/18

How Tampa Bay is savoring its FitzMagic carpet ride

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Published: 09/22/18
Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

TAMPA — When placekicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter at New Orleans and a point-after attempt last week against the Eagles, he left the door open for a possible comeback by the Saints and Eagles.The Bucs...
Published: 09/21/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

TAMPA — Shortly after he learned he would be starting the first three games this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick saw the opportunity to do something few thought would be possible.No, not take Jameis Winston's job.The Bucs starting quarterback was susp...
Published: 09/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

It's our mailbag episode, with questions about how many games the Bucs can win this season, the reason for their offensive explosion and what we can expect from Vita Vea this week against the Steelers.Plus, what moves should the Rays make this offsea...
Published: 09/21/18
FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

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It feels like there's FitzMagic in the air everywhere these days, even in Cleveland.When Baker Mayfield came off the bench Thursday night to lead the Browns to a 21-17 win over the Jets — Cleveland's first victory in 635 days — he became ...
Published: 09/21/18
Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

TAMPA — For the first time in seven weeks, Vita Vea played football Thursday.At least it looked like the rookie defensive tackle was playing football when he walked to the Bucs' practice field wearing a helmet and full pads and took a three-poi...
Published: 09/20/18