(Our Paul Stewart, Editor of BucPower.com, the definitive historical website of the Tampa Bay Bucs, is back with some of his favorite and important meetings in the Buccaneers previous match-ups with the New England Patriots)
The all-time series with the Patriots is now led by the AFC team 6-2 after wins in their last three encounters. The 2009 game was a Tampa home game but was played in London, England as part of the NFL’s International Series. The first meeting came in the final game of the Buccaneers’ expansion season and completed their winless campaign.
Because of the current NFL scheduling changing in 2002 and the 2009 game taking place overseas, this will be the Patriots’ first visit to Tampa Bay for a regular season game in 20 years, the longest-such streak of any team visiting any other in NFL history.
12 December 1976
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 New England Patriots 31
The expansion season of Tampa Bay football had not been a good one and naturally John McKay’s team completed their winless 0-14 campaign with a season-ending loss to the play-off bound Patriots. But they gave a good account of themselves, being tied at 14-14 in the fourth quarter before the game got really strange.
The Bucs were driving for the go-ahead score when Sam Hunt intercepted Steve Spurrier and returned it for a touchdown. British kicker John Smith added a fieldgoal to extend the lead later in the final period to put the Patriots 24-14 ahead and they had the ball again in the dying seconds of the season.
Instead of taking a knee to run out the clock, New England called a time out with seven seconds left to allow QB Steve Grogan to score a record 12th rushing touchdown of a season by a quarterback. LB Steve Zabel then replaced Smith to boot the extra point.
There were surprisingly no complaints from McKay after the game and he focused on the end of a trying season for his first-year team. ” We are 0-14, I can’t say much more than that. I’ll probably take a little time off and go and hide somewhere.”
16 November 1997
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 New England Patriots 7
1997 was the first year of Pewter Power as the Bucs had a new logo, new uniforms and a new stadium taking shape across the way from the Old Sombrero. And under second-year head coach Tony Dungy, they had a new attitude as well.
This game was not even close as until Dungy called the dogs off on defense in the fourth quarter, Drew Bledsoe’s offense had gained less than 100 yards, suffered five sacks and two interceptions. The Bucs led 27-0 after three quarters as they moved to 8-3 on the season on their way to their first playoff berth in 15 years.
“I was mad about losing the shutout,” DT Warren Sapp almot jokingly said having sat out the fourth quarter. “I’ve already choked Steve White a couple of times, and I’ve slapped Regan (Upshaw) around. I’ll get to the rest of them Monday.”
25 October 2009
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 New England Patriots 35
This was the third game to be played in London, England as part of the NFL International Series (See Above) and the first time the Buccaneers had played a regular season game outside of the USA. They did play a 2003 exhibition game against the Jets in Tokyo.
The Bucs were 0-6 coming across the Atlantic under first-year coach Raheem Morris and were 17-point underdogs against the powerhoue Patriots. The game naturally followed expectations and outside of a 33-yard touchdown pass from QB Josh Johnson to WR Antonio Bryant late in the second quarter, it was all New England. Late in the fourth quarter, rookie QB Josh Freeman saw his first live action in preparation for what would be his first NFL start a fortnight later after the bye week.
The only Buccaneer success of the weekend came a day before the game when a team of British Buccaneer fans defeated their Patriot counterparts in a touch-football game organised by NFL UK, their team bolstered by Super Bowl winners RB Mike Alstott and LB Shelton Quarles, and coached by Hall of Fame DE Lee Roy Selmon.
Fantasy Football “Start/Sit” for Florida players Week 14
Everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, that is if you had a good season. The fantasy playoffs are here, and if you made it, chances are some Florida players helped get there.
This week the Buccaneers will host the reeling Colts. The Jaguars will host the under-performing Chargers, and the Dolphins travel to play the ever-disappointing Jets.
The Buccaneers will entertain the Colts, who have the 13th overall defense. The Colts are 1-4 in their last five games and desperately need a win. Last week, they were torched on the ground by Titans RB Derick Henry. However, this was the first 100-yard rusher against the Colts this season.
The Bucs again surprised fantasy players last week, when Ronald Jones was benched in the first half for not picking up a blitz. This led to Peyton Barber scoring two touchdowns, while Jones had zero points. The Colts have surrendered two passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. Last week the Tampa Bay offense didn’t have to do nearly as much as usual.
This week, expect the Bucs vertical passing to be back throwing the ball at least 35 times. With a stout run defense, Jameis Winston will need to be at the top of his game in a big test for this Bucs team.
The Jaguars offense has been rough through the air with Nick Foles back. Now, Foles is back on the bench in favor of rookie, Gardner Minshew. The Chargers come into town with the 4th ranked pass defense, but let Drew Lock and Cortland Sutton connect for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers own the 18th ranked rush defense, and that is music to the ears of Leonard Fournette.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the running back facing some stout run defenses. This weekend look for Fournette to get back on track. With the return of Minshew means the D.J. Chark becomes even more attractive. Chark was still the top guy with Foles in, but he and Minshew have a good connection.
The Dolphins are coming off one of the stunners of the year beating the Eagles in a 37-31 shootout. This week they set their sights on the Jets, who just gave the Bengals their first win. The Jets have the leagues’ best-run defense, which is usually significant. However, the Dolphins can’t run the ball effectively at all.
That means Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing a lot against the 19th ranked pass defense.
Last week Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker destroyed the Eagles secondary. This week they will have all the opportunities to do the same thing to the Jets. With the tight end position a mess, Mike Gesicki is an option again, who has scored in two straight games.
Colts Kicker Adam Vinateri out for Bucs game
The Colts are traveling to Tampa Bay but will likely take on the Bucs without their future Hall of Fame Kicker, Adam Vinatieri.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2019
Before the matchup last week against the Titans, Vinatieri had began to experience a bit of pain in his left knee, the leg he plants to kick with his right leg. He told reporters that the pain began to increase through the week which led him to be placed on the Colt’s injury report for the first time this season.
Later Friday afternoon, Indy made Vinatieri’s “out” status official:
Per Coach Reich, RB Marlon Mack and WR Parris Campbell are expected to play Sunday.
More on who's in and who's out for #INDvsTB:
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 6, 2019
Vinatieri who is currently the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, has struggled to be consistent this season and has made a career-low 68% of his field goal attempts. He’s cost the Colt’s a couple of games in his missed eight field goals and six extra points.
Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday that Vinatieri saw some doctors and got scans to figure out the severity of the problem. From there, they’ll consult with doctors and make a decision, which could potentially end his career. He’s currently sitting at 599 made FGs in his 24 seasons, just one shy of the 600 mark.
Earlier this week, Indianapolis secured rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and the 45 year old Pro Bowler had said on Thursday that if he got the go ahead from everyone, he’d take the field on Sunday.
“Docs and trainers and everybody will put their two cents in and we’ll see if we can go,” Vinatieri said. “If I can go, I’ll go.”
Obviously, he did not get good news, and that means the rookie McLaughlin is in to kick at Raymond James Stadium.
The Colts are looking to stay in the race for the AFC wild card spot, in a similar situation as the Bucs, so this Sunday (and really every Sunday from here on out) is a do or die for both teams.
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