Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Thursday NFL games: Previews, predictions

TODAY

Eagles at Lions, 12:30, Ch. 13

Line/OU: Lions by 2; 45 Lions host Philadelphia on Thanksgiving for first time since 1968. Eagles' Ryan Mathews has a rushing TD in three straight games. Philly has league-worst passer rating of 60.9 in blitz situations. Lions' Matthew Stafford trying for fourth straight 300-yard passing performance on Thanksgiving. Calvin Johnson has eight receiving TDs on Thanksgiving, most in league history. Lions have league-worst turnover differential of minus-10.

Tom Jones' Pick: Lions 31, Eagles 27 Readers: Lions 66.7 percent

Panthers at Cowboys, 4:30, Ch. 10

Line/OU: Cowboys by 1½; 45 Panthers playing on Thanksgiving for first time, while Cowboys are 29-17-1 on holiday. Panthers have beaten Cowboys just once in regular season. Other two wins were in playoffs. Carolina has rushed for at least 100 yards in franchise-record 21 straight games, tied with Seattle for longest active streak. QB Cam Newton has 30 career games with pass and rush TD, one shy of Hall of Famer Steve Young's NFL record. TE Greg Olsen has six TDs in past eight games. According to STATS, Cowboys' Tony Romo is only QB in NFL history with multiple wins over teams with 9-0 records or better. He beat Indianapolis (9-0) in 2006 and New Orleans (13-0) in 2009. He's 4-0 against Panthers. Jason Witten needs six catches to join Tony Gonzalez as only tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards. WR Dez Bryant has three TDs in past three Thanksgiving games.

Jones: Cowboys 23, Panthers 20 Readers: Panthers 58.3 percent

Bears at Packers, 8:30, Ch. 8

Line/OU: Packers by 8; 44½ Game marks 192nd meeting in NFL's oldest rivalry. Bears have lost six of past seven at Lambeau Field. Jay Cutler 0-4 in career at Green Bay, having thrown three TDs, 12 INTs with QB rating of 41.1. Matt Forte has five TDs and averaging 150.8 yards from scrimmage over past five games against Packers. LB Pernell McPhee has five sacks and interception in past seven games. Packers playing first home Thanksgiving game since 1923. QB Aaron Rodgers is 13-3 in career against Bears, including postseason. Davante Adams has 20 catches and 208 yards over past three games. Defense leads league with three games of six-plus sacks.

Jones: Packers 38, Bears 21 Readers: Packers 95.8 percent

Game text from Times wires

Comments
NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

TAMPA — So much for needing a franchise quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.Sure, the Patriots Tom Brady is back in his seventh straight conference championship game and his 12th overall. But check out the other schlubs under center SundayIt's ...
Published: 01/19/18
Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Fifteen years ago today, cornerback Ronde Barber made what's considered the greatest play in Bucs  history, returning an interception of Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb 92-yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 27-10 win in the NFC Championship...
Published: 01/19/18
Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, only weeks removed from a disappointing 2017 season, had a relevant but larger message for teenagers on Friday morning: Don't let small setbacks keep you from your dreams."If you have a phone, if you have a pen and pa...
Published: 01/19/18
Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Happy Friday, Tampa Bay.Fifteen years ago today, Ronde Barber intercepted Donovan McNabb to shut down Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and send the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Times columnist Tom Jones and many others consider this the greatest moment in ...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones look back at last week’s playoff games to break down the upcoming conference championship games.Rick and Tom agree that New England should roll over Jacksonville but disagree on Minnesota-Philadelphi...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Rick Stroud that he cringed at some of the preseason expectations last season, and the outrage from some fans has been more than he expected.In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down what it a...
Published: 01/18/18
DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

Receiver DeSean Jackson stopped short of saying he regretted his decision to sign a three-year, $33.5-million contract as a free agent with the Bucs last March. But he certainly is disappointed in his lack of chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston...
Published: 01/17/18
Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Kwon Alexander is headed to the Pro Bowl.The third-year Bucs linebacker, who led the NFL in solo tackles a year ago, was announced Tuesday as an injury replacement for Seattle's Bobby Wagner.Alexander, 23, won't have to go far, as the game is back in...
Published: 01/16/18

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. Sunday TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 45NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 p.m. Sunday TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38½Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6...
Published: 01/15/18
Updated: 01/19/18

Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

ST. PETERSBURG — Salesi Uhatafe is back in his hometown, and though he moved to Texas when he was still a baby, it’s very much a homecoming as the former Utah offensive lineman plays in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field."I’ll probab...
Published: 01/15/18