Thomas Bassinger - Sports Data Reporter

Sports Data Reporter

I am the sports data reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, and here are some of the things I believe: • Tecmo Super Bowl is the greatest sports video game of all time. • The eye test is bogus. It’s just a way to make your opinion sound more credible. • Football teams should almost always go for it on fourth and 1 and fourth and 2.

  1. So you're skeptical. That's understandable. But there really is a path to the playoffs for the Bucs. And, no, we're not on drugs.
    Let Jamel Dean’s game-changing interception against Arizona serve as a reminder: Anything is possible. Even in Tampa Bay.
  2. After hauling in six passes for 74 yards Sunday, Bucs receiver Chris Godwin remains on pace to catch more than 100 passes this season.
    Thomas Bassinger: The Bucs were resilient Sunday, repeatedly bouncing back after surrendering leads and committing turnovers. The reward: their first home win of the season.
  3. With first-round draft pick Kyler Murray as their quarterback, the Cardinals already have won as many games this season as they won all of last season.
    There’s more at stake than just a game Sunday. It’s a referendum on the Bucs’ years-long rebuild and commitment to Jameis Winston.
  4. Tanking feels wrong. So let's call it something else.
    Why the Bucs’ last eight games matter: It’s time to stop thinking about wins and losses and time to start thinking about “asset collection and evaluation.”
  5. O.J. Howard will return to the Bucs lineup Sunday. After catching 11 touchdown passes over his first two seasons, he has yet to catch a single one this season.
    Why the Bucs’ last eight games matter: Tampa Bay would be wise to get its tight end more involved in the pass offense, even if it doesn’t plan on keeping him.
  6. Jameis Winston is on pace to gain 4,800 passing yards and throw 32 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. After such a performance, would the Bucs want to retain him for the 2020 season?
    An online sportsbook suggests Winston has a 60 percent chance of starting next season on some team’s bench.
  7. Bucs coach Bruce Arians says the final five minutes of games tell the story of a season. Well, right now the story of Tampa Bay's season is a whole lot of missed opportunities. [SCOTT EKLUND | AP Photo]
    When Tampa Bay cut Seattle’s lead to 34-33 late in the fourth quarter Sunday, the Bucs made the controversial call to settle for the extra point. They had a powerful ally: Math.
  8. Thomas Bassinger: The Bucs, when presented the chance to steal a victory in Seattle, chose to settle for a tie. That decision came back to haunt them.
  9. Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels, the backup to James Conner, is widely available in most fantasy football leagues, but he won't be for long.
    In this game, fortune favors those who look ahead. Get a head start on Week 10 and scoop up these players.
  10. Russell Wilson's MVP campaign (NFL-high 17 touchdown passes and an NFL-low one interception) is masking the Seahawks' defensive deficiencies.
    Don’t dismiss Tampa Bay’s chances. The Seahawks aren’t who you think they are. The wild card, as always, is Jameis Winston.