Saturday, September 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers-San Diego Chargers predictions from the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team

Greg Auman, @gregauman

Can the Bucs win their fourth straight? You won't confuse this with the defensive win against Seattle, but expect big plays and huge swings on turnovers. Don't underestimate what the 1-2 punch of Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers can do in their first real game together, and can Brent Grimes possibly get an interception off Philip Rivers for the fourth year in a row? Prediction: Tampa Bay 34-27.

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics

The Bucs have won in San Diego only once, a 25-17 upset in 1996. The Yucks, as ESPN host Chris Berman called Tony Dungy's 2-8 team, had lost 19 of 20 games on the West Coast. A decade later, Tampa Bay is in the midst of a three-game winning streak, a run that we might one day describe as a turning point, a statement much like the 1996 win over the Chargers. These Bucs are getting better, but they will face bumps in the road. Philip Rivers, who is not Stan Humphries, will be one of them. Prediction: San Diego, 28-24.

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly

This the letdown game. Bucs fly across-country and run into a San Diego team with a deceiving 5-6 record, with Philip Rivers at quarterback, with a Chargers defense that is gaining steam with rookie pass rusher Joey Bosa, among others. This is going to be a tough test for the Bucs, and they'll come up short. They're due for one of those games. Prediction: San Diego 31-20.

Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you

What's that? Gerald McCoy is banged up? The Bucs must muster a pass rush to force turnovers and stifle Philip Rivers. Without McCoy, the task will grow more difficult. With McCoy, it's still too tall of an order. Prediction: San Diego 28-21

Tom Jones, @tomwjones

Bucs are playing their best ball of the season having won three in a row, but traveling out west against good teams has always been something of a chore for these guys. With QB Philip Rivers, the Chargers have the best offense Tampa Bay has faced in a month. That will be the difference. Prediction: San Diego 24-21.

Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud

The only reason for this pick is momentum. The Bucs have it. They are 4-1 on the road this season. But injuries to Gerald McCoy and the loss of Chris Conte could be big factors against a quarterback like the Chargers Philip Rivers. Prediction: Tampa Bay 24-17.

Comments
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

FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

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
Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Have you fallen under the spell of FitzMagic?Are you growing a beard? Naming your dogs (or your kids) after Ryan Fitzpatrick? We want to hear from you.Let us know what you're doing to celebrate the hottest player in the NFL — Tampa Bay's own Ry...
Published: 09/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud on today's podcast to discuss if and when Jameis Winston might regain his job as starting quarterback of the Bucs.Plus, they talk about what Tony Dungy, who is set to be inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor, has met ...
Published: 09/20/18
Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Just when you thought it was fun to be a Bucs fan again. Just when you were blissfully under the spell of FitzMagic. Just when the Bucs were becoming the cool kids in the NFL with the latest greatest show on turf.Just as the good times have arrived, ...
Published: 09/19/18
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Published: 09/19/18
Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

It's Ryan Fitzpatrick's world, and the NFL is just living in it.For the second straight week, the Bucs quarterback was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week.Fitzpatrick becomes the first Bucs player to ever to win that award in back-to-back we...
Published: 09/19/18