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Ups, Downs of a season

Going into Thursday's late game against the Rams in St. Louis, the Bucs already had shown significant improvement over last season's 2-14 debacle. Yet at 6-7 the Bucs left many fans feeling that the team, as young as it is, had squandered opportunities to be better (blowing a 24-0 lead to an equally mediocre Redskins team and being blown out at home by the Titans would tend to leave one feeling that way). Highlights included a long-awaited victory at home, then two more, plus a blowout win on the road over the Eagles. — Jim Tomlin, Times staff writer

Ups, Downs of a season 12/17/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2015 6:56pm]
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  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  2. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  3. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings
  4. USF journal: Record night for QB Quinton Flowers

    College

    TAMPA — They've pulled it off with offensive fizz and defensive flatness, and vice versa. They've achieved it on North Dale Mabry and neutral sites. They've attained it sloppily and convincingly.

    Bulls wide receiver Tyre McCants finds a holes in the Temple defense for a 24-yard reception during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.
  5. Joey Knight's takeaways from Thursday's USF-Temple game

    College

    Even when they do catch a break, the Bulls' beleaguered special teams can't hold on to it. After having four kicks blocked in their first three games, USF managed a positive special teams play in the first quarter when Kano Dillon got a piece of an Alex Starzyk punt. But redshirt freshman Craig Watts fumbled the …