The Cardinals and Bucs each made a notable acquisition last week. One of them mattered Sunday.
Arizona's new running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Tampa Bay's new kicker .....
Wait, where was the new kicker? Did anyone actually see him?...
Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 38-33 loss at Arizona on Sunday:
Bucs points through three quarters.
Bucs points in the fourth quarter, most in any quarter in the team's 41-year history
Largest deficit the Bucs have ever overcome in a win (Nov. 2, 2008, vs. Chiefs). They trailed the Cardinals by 31 points....
Let's fact-check some stereotypes about Arizona.
1. There are cactuses everywhere. True. They're outnumbered only by Kangol cap enthusiasts.
2. It's a great place to settle when you turn 65. True. Just ask Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Johnson and, now, Adrian Peterson....
Now that the Buccaneers are 2-2 and a quarter of the way through the regular season, it's time to check in on the rest of the NFC. What does Tampa Bay's path to the playoffs look like? Let's size up the competition (playoff odds courtesy of Football Outsiders).
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With 10 days between Buccaneers games, there's plenty of time to spin their 19-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday Night Football into a positive.
They were a pass away from upsetting the defending Super Bowl champions! They held the New England offense to 19 points! They learned they needed a new kicker! The extra rest will help them bounce back!
About that last one, the so-called mini bye …...
Blame it on the kicker.
Argue Nick Folk's three missed field goals cost the Buccaneers a win against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football.
The general manager and head coach may very well agree. They're lining up potential replacements as we speak.
Teams should replace unreliable kickers. There are plenty of good ones out there.
But if the Bucs really want to solve their kicking problem, there's another solution, and one that has nothing to do with kicking: Score more touchdowns....
Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 19-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday:
Times in the past 20 years in which a Bucs kicker missed three field goals in a game. Martin Gramatica did it in 2004, Kyle Brindza did it in 2015 and Nick Folk did it Thursday night.
Consecutive passes Tom Brady had attempted without throwing an interception before Bucs safety Justin Evans picked him off in the first quarter. That was the second-longest streak of his career....
The NFL schedule is full of oddities. Tonight, for example, will mark the Patriots' first visit to Tampa to play the Buccaneers since 1997. They were the "visiting team" in 2009, but that game was in London.
Here's another: It has been nearly five years since the Patriots last played on the road on a Thursday night. Since the start of the 2013 season, 29 of the NFL's 32 teams have had at least one turn as a visitor. The Steelers have had a league-high four turns. The Bucs, by the way, have had two. The Eagles and Lions are the other teams who haven't had any....
You've seen the movie before.
The bogeyman chases the babysitter through the house. She stabs him. He falls to the floor. She reassures the children. He sits up. He chases her through the house again.
So it is with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Just when you think their run is over, they get back up and coldly resume terrorizing defenses. There's no better example than their Super Bowl LI comeback....
Giants-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 4: Jameis Winston, Cameron Brate and a play years in the making10/02/17Bucs
The clock shows that the Buccaneers' comeback against the New York Giants on Sunday evening began with a little more than nine minutes left.
To tell the complete story of the comeback, though, you need to consult more than a clock. You need a calendar.
Circle May 21, 2014. The Bucs sign undrafted tight end Cameron Brate....
Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 25-23 win against the Giants on Sunday:
Jameis Winston touchdown passes, one each to Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. He now has 56 career touchdown passes.
Times Winston has thrown three touchdown passes in a game....
At least 28 quarterbacks will take a snap Sunday.
Some are fill-ins. Some are bridges. Some are unquestioned starters.
Only about a handful have earned the label "franchise quarterback."
Sorry Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Maybe one day. But not now.
To earn such a designation, a quarterback must demonstrate maturity and leadership, but above all else, he must perform. And at a high level over a long period of time....
Defending Odell Beckham Jr. is a daunting task in itself, but could you imagine if the Bucs had to defend Beckham, Sterling Sherpard and DeSean Jackson this Sunday?
Well, it was close to happening.
When Jackson hit free agency in March, he initially had three suitors: Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia. Feet up at his Newport Beach, Calif., home, Jackson waited as the bids rolled in....
The first mistake wasn't a play call or a bad decision.
It was an assumption.
It was the assumption that there was no way career backup Case Keenum could beat the Buccaneers three games in a row.
Coaches tell us all the time that the NFL is a week-to-week league. Just because something happened last week — let alone a season or two ago — doesn't mean it will or won't happen again. In many ways, each game is its own season....
The NFL, it'll humble you. In a hurry.
Just a week ago, the Bucs were the talk of the league after they dominated the Bears. By 3 p.m. Sunday, that talk had shifted.
The Vikings were in complete control, jumping out to a 28-3 lead. Instead of taking another step forward, Tampa Bay regressed — all the way back to 2014.
The reaction on social media to the 34-17 loss was, as expected, measured and thoughtful. A summary: The Bucs are trash and need to make changes ASAP....