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Thomas Bassinger - Newsletters Editor

Newsletters Editor

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. Titans running back Derrick Henry is the first player to gain 377 rushing yards in his team’s first two playoff games.
    “If only we had Derrick Henry” would be the wrong conclusion.
  2. Running back Jacques Patrick is one of 30 Tampa Bay Vipers players who had ties to Florida before they joined the team. He played college football at Florida State for four seasons.
    A look at the Vipers’ plan to connect with the community and maintain fan interest.
  3. Carson Palmer and Jameis Winston played against each other twice, once in 2016 (a 40-7 Cardinals win) and once in 2017 (a 38-33 Cardinals win during which Winston suffered a shoulder injury).
    Hint: He made a similar claim last year. It didn’t come true.
  4. The XFL begins its 10-week regular season Feb. 8, one week after the NFL's Super Bowl.
    Hello, nine-point touchdowns and overtime shootouts. Goodbye, kneel downs and ties.
  5. Madden's forecasts are pretty spot-on. Its portrayals of NFL coaches? Not so much. Is that Bruce Arians or Benjamin Button?
    The video game has accurately predicted Tampa Bay’s record for five straight seasons.
  6. Linebacker Shaquil Barrett is one of 25 Bucs players who are set to become unrestricted free agents in March. Re-signing him is one of Tampa Bay's top offseason priorities.
    Tampa Bay will enter the offseason with about $90 million in cap space, the third-largest amount. It’s going to dry up quickly.
  7. No matter where he is playing next season, Jameis Winston is likely to see his salary increase to about $25 million.
    Franchise tag? Transition tag? Freeze tag? Short-term contract? No contract? We break down every realistic possibility.
  8. Jameis Winston threw a team record 33 touchdown passes this season, but he also threw an NFL record seven pick-sixes.
    Among the things we learned this season: Tampa Bay has a defense, but it still doesn’t have a kicker.
  9. Linebacker Lucas Wacha, now with the XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers, played for Wyoming from 2013 through 2016, for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys during summer of 2017 and for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2018.
    Earlier this year, Lucas Wacha began to wonder whether his playing career was over. Thanks to the XFL, it’s not.
  10. Bucs safety Andrew Adams returns an interception Sunday against the Lions. Over the past month, Tampa Bay has recorded the third-most takeaways (10) in the NFL.
    Jameis Winston is playing out of his mind, and the Bucs have won three of their past four games by double digits. Is this real or too good to be true?