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Tracking 2019 schedule leaks for Bucs Dolphins and Jaguars

Florida Football Insiders



Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL will reveal its 2019 regular season schedule in full coming up Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time. However, as has become customary in the last few years, with the internet and social media it’s almost impossible for the teams to keep a lid on their opponents, the dates and the times until the official reveal by the league.

Plus, the league has already begun to announce pieces of the schedule including on Wednesday morning.

So with that in mind, here we go with what we already know about where the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars are going to be headed and when, so far:

The NFL simultaneously announced its “International Games” schedule and dates for October. We already knew that both the Jaguars and the Buccaneers would be playing home games in the U.K.

We now know that the Buccaneers matchup with NFC South rival Carolina will take place on Sunday October 13th at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, as a standalone national game. The game will also be played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and not at London’s Wembley Stadium. That’s where the Buccaneers played their to previous London Games in 2009 against the Patriots and 2011 against the Bears.

Next, the Jags will play against the Houston Texans in their annual home game abroad. This game will be the latest on the calendar that Jacksonville has ever played in London, as the game will be on November 3rd at Wembley Stadium and also a 9:30 a.m. Sunday kickoff.  This is the seventh year in a row the Jaguars will play a “U.K. home game.”

Part of the scheduling complication for Jacksonville playing in November is that the Florida-Georgia classic rivalry college football game is played the final weekend every October at TIAA Bank field. And, in doing so, there are thousands of temporary seats added into the configuration for the Gators and Bulldogs season ticket allotments. And, that also takes more than a week to construct and several days to deconstruct.

Usually, the Jaguars have been playing their London game either that weekend of the Florida-Georgia game or have been on their bye week after having played the London game.

So with that in mind, we deduce it’s obvious the Jaguars will not be playing a home game on Sunday October 27th. Further, the likelihood is their bye week will be after the London game on the weekend of November 10th. So, look for the Jags to be somewhere on the road on October 27th.

We will keep watch on further information leaking on opponents and dates for all three of the State NFL teams as Wednesday unfolds before the official announcements tonight and update it on this story link….

Updates for the Dolphins:

The Sun-Sentinel’s Joe Schad has the info on the opener:

And, this tip is that the defending champion Patriots will be playing at Hard Rock Stadium in week two and that Miami will close at Foxboro in Week 17.

Further, the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero is reporting that the week three game will be in Dallas (not Thanksgiving Day, as some erroneously reported earlier), and the Fins will wrap the first month of play at home against the L.A. Chargers.

Next, the New York Daily News reports that Miami will host the Jets in Week 9 and then, the Dolphins play the divisional rematch at Metlife Stadium at Week 14.

That leak also shows that the Jets will play in Jacksonville in Week eight of the season.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley added this prime time game nugget:

Update on Bucs schedule: has gotten a look at the Giants schedule and it has them playing at Raymond James Stadium against the Buccaneers in week three with a 4:05 p.m. kickoff. Tampa Bay also hosted the G-men in an early season out of division, 4 p.m. game two years ago. The two teams played a November game at Metlife Stadium in 2018.

That same item has the Giants hosting the Dolphins at 1 p.m. in week 15, which means, in a quirk, Miami would play Jets and Giants in back to back weeks at the Meadowlands.

And, this report from San Francisco says that the 49ers will open at Tampa Bay in week one for the Bucs opener. This is the first time in five seasons that Tampa Bay will open at home, and they will do so against an opponent, the Niners, that their new coach Bruce Arians frequently went against and defeated in Arizona.

This report says the Bucs will play in Charlotte for Thursday Night Football prior to playing them in London:

Update for the Jaguars:

Here’s a report out of Denver that shows that the Jaguars are their week four opponent at Mile High


Time for concern after XFL TV ratings declined again last week?

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive week, the XFL televison ratings continued to slide in the wrong direction. And, the troubling part is that if the trend continues, the XFL will have no leverage for sponsors and revenue to keep it going long term.

First, here are the specifics on the bad viewership news: According to all four XFL broadcasts last Saturday and Sunday afternoon had lower ratings in their slot than the previous week.

That includes the Tampa Bay Vipers home debut against Houston, which was the early game on ABC Saturday. And, while that window had 400,000 less viewers than week 2, the bigger concern is ABC has lost almost 40% of the audience from the 3.3 million average that watched their Week one debut game on Saturday afternoon.

The ratings downward trend is following the same pattern as last Spring’s Alliance of American Football, where the ratings dwindled to under a million fans for broadcasts by week five and eventually the league shut down after just eight weeks. This was in part because of concerns on how the AAF could make any revenue, through television in specific, if they had very little audience for the end of year one and to sell off of for year two.

Now, WWE owner Vince McMahon, who folded the XFL the first time in 2001 in large part because the television audience plummeted over the course of the first month or so of its existence and never recovered, has the same issue in 2020.

And, as we wrote previously, this audience decline while negative is far less McMahon’s original XFL and it’s first season of 2001.  That’s when, it debuted on its first Saturday night on NBC with a massive 10.1 rating, which translated 18 years ago to more than 9.5 viewers on network TV. A Smashing success.

However, the XFL’s ratings plummeted starting the following week and had fewer than 25% of that opening night audience just a month later with the games still being shown on a Saturday night coveted slot on NBC. It doomed the league from a P.R. and sponsor standpoint and McMahon pulled the plug.

Now, in 2020, McMahon reportedly has money to burn and is apparently prepared to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in year one. So, even if the XFL TV ratings continue come down significantly, it will not spell the end of the XFL (like it did nearly 20 years ago) after just a single season.

At least, that’s what we think.

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Vipers better but drop third straight game in home opener

Florida Football Insiders



Mary Holt- USA Today Sports

Although their play was improved offensively, in the end it wasn’t enough for the Tampa Bay Vipers after they dropped their third straight XFL game to start the season 34 – 27 to Houston Saturday afternoon in Tampa.

Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, as Houston scored early in the fourth quarter to go up by seven and held off the Viper the rest of the way.

The Vipers offense came to life after they had failed to score in the offensive touchdown in either of their first two games. Both of which were losses on the road. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius, subbing for starter Aaron Murray who missed his second straight game with an injured foot, once again had modest numbers 16-31 for 193 yards 1 TD, 1 INT.

However, he did pull the game even at 18 – 18 at the half after scoring on a one yard QB sneak and Tampa Bay got the two-point conversion.

Still, the former Oklahoma State quarterbacks day was inconsistent and the home crowd at Raymond James Stadium began to chant the name “Flowers, Flowers” for former USF Star Quarterback Quinton Flowers, who played sparingly for the third straight game in a reserve role.

Flowers got Tampa Bay’s first offensive TD on the young season with a seven yard run in the first quarter, but only played QB sparingly in the game, again. He was just 4-6 for 57 yards passing with 29 yards on six attempts on the ground.

Meanwhile, the former Temple star Walker found receiver Cam Phillips for the third of their three touchdown hookups from 17 yards out to give Houston a 34 – 27 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Phillips devastated Jerry Glanville’s Vipers defense for 194 yards receiving on eight catches with the three TDs.

The Vipers look like they were going to have a chance to re-tie the game when Cornelius (above) completed a pass to his top target on the day, Jaylen Tolliver, at the two-yard line. However just like a week ago in Seattle when a critical fourth quarter drive stalled and Tampa Bay came away with no points in a 17 – 9 lost the Dragons, the Vipers got no points after Cornelius threw incomplete on second, third and fourth downs.

Many in the crowd and observers in the media were curious, as to why coach Marc Trestman didn’t go to Flowers as the dual threat running QB to at least try something different on one of those plays? Flowers even questioned why he did not play more after the game to the media.

The Vipers got the ball one final time, but Cornelius was picked off near midfield with just over a minute left to seal the defeat.

The Vipers played the first spring professional football game in Tampa, since the closing of the USFL 1985 season. That’s when Steve Spurrier’s Tampa Bay Bandits were a popular item at Old Tampa Stadium. Saturday’s home opener drew and announced crowd of 18,117.

However it’s little consolation for former Bears and CFL coach Trestman and his team, as they remain winless on the season. The L.A. Wildcats playing Sunday are the other 0-2 team in the league, currently.

And, you have to wonder whether Trestman will be forced to go to Flowers for the start when they host the D.C. Defenders next week.

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