Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL playoffs: Eagles overcome wind, Falcons; Patriots rout Titans

PHILADELPHIA — Fly Eagles Fly. With the wind and against it.

With Nick Foles engineering several long drives, Jake Elliott converting three field goals, and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC Championship Game with a 15-10 victory over the Falcons on Saturday.

Foles directed drives of 74 and 80 yards in the second half — one into the whipping wind, the other with it — and Elliott atoned for missing an extra point by converting from 53 yards at the end of the second quarter, and from 37 and 21 in the second half. Then the Eagles (14-3) held when Atlanta (11-7) got to the 9-yard line with a first down, and to the 2 on fourth down.

When Matt Ryan’s final pass sailed through a leaping Julio Jones’ hands in the end zone, Philly celebrated its first playoff victory since the 2008 season.

"I mean, we just kept believing in each other," said Foles (23-of-30, 246 yards), who became the starter when Carson Wentz injured his knee in December. "That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an amazing job, special teams — that’s just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together."

The top-seeded Eagles embraced their underdog role. All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson wore a dog mask while teammates barked after the game.

"It’s what makes sports fun," Johnson said. "Anything more we can use to motivate us, we’ll use."

Receiver Alshon Jeffery said of Foles: "We never doubted him. We believe in anybody lining up back there at quarterback. We believe we still have 21 other guys out there."

Jones had nine receptions for 101 yards, and Ryan was 22-of-36 for 210 yards.

Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all game, said of Atlanta’s final drive: "Man, just stay calm.’’

Before the final incompletion to Jones, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had one thought racing through his mind. "This is the season," he told his defensive teammates. "One play. Two yards."

Ryan said of the play: "Certainly in those situations you want to go to your best players. Had an opportunity to Julio. It just didn’t work out."

Receiver Nelson Agholor, a former Berkeley Prep standout, had a 21-yard run on an inside counter that helped set up Philadelphia’s first touchdown.

PATRIOTS DOMINATE: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski achieved milestones as the host and top seed Patriots fell behind 7-0, then scored 35 straight and rolled past the Titans 35-14. Brady had his 10th playoff game with three or more passing touchdowns, passing Joe Montana for the most in NFL history. It’s the 21st time Brady has thrown for at least two touchdowns in a postseason game, extending his record. Gronkowski’s 10th postseason touchdown tied five others for third all time. It’s the most for a tight end. He also moved into second all time for a tight end with 835 postseason receiving yards, passing Keith Jackson. He trails Dallas Clark. "A great team win overall,’’ Gronkowski said. Tennessee opened the scoring on Marcus Mariota’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis, who made a one-handed catch in the end zone. Mariota added an 11-yard TD pass with 1:55 left to play.

49ERS: Linebacker Reuben Foster is free on bond after his arrest Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on a charge of second-degree possession of marijuana. The team said it is gathering facts in the incident involving the 2017 first-round pick out of Alabama.

SEAHAWKS: Brian Schottenheimer will be named offensive coordinator, according to reports. In nine NFL seasons as a coordinator, with the Jets and Rams, the former UF backup quarterback’s units ranked as a top-10 scoring offense once.

TEXANS: Brian Gaine was hired as general manager, getting a five-year deal, and coach Bill O’Brien had his contract extended four years through 2022. Gaine has 19 years of NFL personnel experience. This season he was Bills VP of player personnel.

Comments
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Published: 07/16/18
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Published: 07/16/18
Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Former Bucs coach and current NFL analyst Tony Dungy said Friday that quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension is disappointing, but he still hopes the 24-year-old can learn from his mistakes moving forward."Obviously, it's disappointing, a...
Published: 07/13/18
Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be a complicated study in the off-field behavior of pro athletes, doing things that draw criticism and praise, sometimes even in the same hour.Winston drew criticism from some fans today for posting video ...
Published: 07/13/18
Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

So training camp is less than two weeks away, and you're beginning to feel hopeful. Why not the Buccaneers, right?To which Pro Football Focus might respond, "We'll tell you why not."The analysts at the website are not high on the revamped offensive l...
Published: 07/13/18
Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

As we roll out our own choices for "Mount Rushmore" honors for Tampa Bay sports teams, one of our readers was reminded of a similar treatment for the Bucs defensive line nearly 40 years ago.Sue Avery of Wesley Chapel e-mailed to share a photo  o...
Published: 07/13/18
Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

The selection process for a Mount Rushmore of former Bucs players— part of a project from the Times Sports department that includes an overall Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay athletes — is first incredibly easy, and then exceedingly diff...
Published: 07/13/18
Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Lawsuit accuses Jaguars’ Marcell Dareus of sexual assault in Lutz

Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing two separate lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, including one from an alleged incident in Lutz in January 2017.The same week that Alabama's football team played Clemson in Tampa for a national c...
Published: 07/11/18
As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

As camp nears, Jameis Winston working out with Randy Moss

Bucs veterans report for training camp in exactly two weeks, and quarterback Jameis Winston was preparing Tuesday by working out with a group of NFL receivers and Hall of Famer Randy Moss.Fox 13 TV posted video of Winston working out at Skyway Park, ...
Published: 07/11/18
Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Sports on Twitter: Which pro teams have seen largest growth?

Two years ago, we took a close look at the official Twitter accounts for all teams in the four major pro sports leagues — NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — to compare the followings and see which had the best reach in social media.That gave us a wi...
Published: 07/10/18