Friday, May 25, 2018


Thomas Bassinger, Times staff writer

Thomas Bassinger, Times staff writer

It all began late 1991 with a Nintendo controller and a game cartridge that read, in gold block letters, "Tecmo Super Bowl" (Ready! Down! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut!). That's when a young Thomas Bassinger discovered the fearsome Ronnie Lott, the dominant QB Eagles and the superhuman Bo Jackson and spent countless hours taking their 8-bit counterparts up and down the football field (Remember Wayne Haddix, Bucs fans?). He's been hooked on football and statistics ever since. Today, he contributes to coverage of the Buccaneers and the NFL for the Tampa Bay Times. He is the author of the Turning Point postgame analysis and studies All-22 game film for the weekly scouting report of the Bucs' upcoming opponent. Follow him on Twitter during the games @tometrics.

Lightning left wing Chris Kunitz has played in a team-high nine Game 7s. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

As the Lightning and Capitals prepare for their series finale Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, here's a by-the-numbers look at each team's Game 7 history.5-2The Lightning's record in Game 7s. It has never lost at home...
Published: 05/22/18
The Bucs open the 2018 season by facing playoff teams in four of their first five games. [Getty Images]

Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Saints, Eagles, Steelers.Three games against three playoff teams to open the NFL season.Who in the league scheduling office did the Buccaneers tick off?What an injustice!Or not.Maybe the league did the Bucs a...
Published: 05/21/18
Mike Evans (13) and Jameis Winston (3) have connected on 19 touchdowns since 2015. [Associated Press]

Mike Evans, Jameis Winston among top 25 players under 25, Pro Football Focus says

Mike Evans and Jameis Winston are two of the 25 best young players in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.In the website's Top 25 Under 25 list, Evans...
Published: 05/18/18
Jameis Winston's completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating improved last season. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Jameis Winston: Most underrated quarterback of 2017?

To the casual observer, Jameis Winston had a disappointing 2017 season. He missed three games because of a shoulder injury, and in the games he did play in, the Buccaneers had a 3-10 record.Did Winston regress? No. In fact, he might...
Published: 05/17/18
If Las Vegas' point spreads for the upcoming NFL season prove to be accurate, the playoff drought for Gerald McCoy and the Bucs will continue. [Getty Images]

NFL point spreads are out. Here are the best Bucs bets.

Las Vegas continues to be down on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.First, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook set
Published: 05/16/18
Signs for Monmouth Park are displayed in a bar at the racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., Monday, May 14, 2018. The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) NJSW115

On sports betting, Florida’s nowhere near as close as New Jersey

With the Supreme Court's decision Monday striking down a federal ban on sports gambling, some states are poised to take bets in a matter of days.One New Jersey venue — Monmouth Park —
Published: 05/14/18
Quarterbacks completed just 49.1 percent of their passes to receivers in Carlton Davis' coverage last season. The Bucs drafted the Auburn cornerback with the 63rd pick in April's draft. [Getty Images]

The Bucs don’t play press coverage, so why’d they draft a cornerback whose specialty is press coverage?

No team allowed more catches last season than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Kendall Wright caught the first one. Michael Thomas caught the last, the 371st.At some point between, the Bucs realized there would be no quick fix for their...
Published: 05/11/18
In serious need of an upgrade at running back, the Bucs chose Ronald Jones II in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft. Tampa Bay averaged about one explosive run per game last season, down from 2.6 per game two seasons ago. [Getty Images]

The Bucs’ run game has been among the NFL’s worst. Can Ronald Jones II fix it?

Explosiveness.It’s a major reason why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose running back Ronald Jones II in the second round of April’s draft.“He’s a real explosive runner,” general manager Jason Licht said...
Updated one month ago
Based on point differential, the Bucs underachieved last season. Teams with comparable differentials usually win seven games, not five. [Getty Images]

2018 NFL over/under win totals: Predicting where Vegas is right and where it’s wrong

The Buccaneers will field a new and improved defensive front next season, but will it be good enough to put them back in the playoff hunt?No, says the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, which
Published: 05/04/18
Updated: 05/10/18
Defensive tackle Vita Vea of Washington hugs commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday after the Bucs chose him with their No. 12 pick. [Getty Images]

2018 NFL draft: How the Bucs turned a disadvantage into an advantage, and other takeaways

The NFL draft is amazing.Once, the commissioner announced picks in a hotel lobby. Now, it’s a three-day miniseries broadcast on multiple television networks. The reading of 256 names has never been more popular.This year’s...
Updated one month ago