Bucs Special Section 2022

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Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 1X




Photo illustration by

Todd Bowles expected to get a second chance at being a head coach. That it’s coming with the Bucs is a bonus. PAGE 4X

All parking lots are also cashless, and a no-bag policy remains in effect for all events.


NFC wild cards: Eagles, 49ers, Saints

AFC division playoffs: Bills, Chiefs

Contact Joey Knight Followjknight@tampabay.com.at@TBTimes_Bulls.

NFC wild cards: Vikings, Cowboys, Cardinals

NFC division playoffs: Vikings, Rams

Super Bowl: Eagles

AFC championship: Bills

AFC East: Bills

NFC North: Packers

AFC East: Bills


AFC division playoffs: Bills, Chiefs

NFC North: Packers

NFC West: Rams


AFC West: Chiefs

NFC North: Packers

AFC wild cards: Chargers, Bengals, Dolphins

NFC South: Bucs


The Krewe’s Nest is at the south end zone of Raymond James Stadium.

AFC wild cards: Chargers, Dolphins, Ravens

NFC South: Bucs

Reverse cash ATMs are still located throughout the stadium.

AFC North: Bengals

AFC North: Bengals

As of last week, season passes and single-game tickets were available in the Krewe’s Nest, the new portable seating area set up in the south end zone concourse at Raymond James Stadium.Theupgrade added 3,600 seats, increasing stadium capacity to nearlyPurchase70,000.information can be found at buccaneers.com and ticketmaster.com.Patronsinthe Krewe’s Nest can purchase beverage and food items at concession areas directly behind the seating area. Restrooms on the south concourse remain accessible.

AFC West: Chiefs

Now it’s at least plausible.

NFC West: Rams

NFC championship: 49ers

vide cardholders with a variety of perks, including access to the Fifth Third Bank Gate Fast Lane and dis counts on food and merchandise throughout the stadium.

NFC championship: Rams

NFC West: Rams

NFC East: Eagles

NFC division playoffs: Bucs, Eagles

Raymond James Stadium contin ues to be a cashless facility, with all retail transactions requiring a credit or debit card.



AFC North: Ravens

Additionally, the Bucs are intro ducing an expedited entry lane at the stadium through a program with their partner Fifth Third Bank. A team-branded debit card will pro

Super Bowl: Bills

NFC East: Cowboys

NFC championship: Eagles

BY JOEY KNIGHT Times Staff Writer

Staff predictions


Tonight | 8:20 p.m., NBC Please support local journalism. Visit tampabay.com/donate Two Great Options. One Trusted Source. e-Newspaper and tampabay.com

AFC South: Colts

AFC championship: Bills

NFC East: Eagles

AFC West: Chiefs

Bucs fans pack the new Krewe’s Nest section at Raymond James Stadium for a preseason game vs. Miami.

n the first two seasons of the Tom Brady era, the notion of finding a ticket to a Bucs home game anywhere other than in the secondary mar ket seemed preposterous.

NFC division playoffs: Rams, 49ers

AFC championship: Bills

Tickets easier to come by

NFC wild cards: 49ers, Saints, Cardinals

NFC South: Bucs

AFC division playoffs: Bills, Chargers

AFC South: Colts

2X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times BUCS SPECIAL SECTION 2022 SCHEDULE

AFC South: Colts

Super Bowl: Bills

AFC East: Bills

AFC wild cards: Ravens, Broncos, Chargers

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 3X

The surprising thing might be that despite his placid demeanor, Bowles says he has to work at tamping down an inferno of emotion rag ing“Iwithin.usedto go off the handle quite a bit, especially when I was at Gram bling,” said Bowles, who began his coaching career as an assistant for Doug Williams at Morehouse College, then Grambling State. “But when I go off the handle, it’s like it’s hard to go back down and the players react differently. They’re more timid. And the calmer I am, the more comfort able they are for playing.


“He’s got a wit that’s unbelievable,” said Bruce Arians, who retired from coaching in March to become the assistant to the general manager and handed Bowles the head coaching reins with Tom Brady at quarter back. “He cuts with a knife and it’s sharp, too.”

Todd Bowles is certainly familiar with this team.

Bowles is always in control, exuding calm amid the chaos, a steely con fidence that is contagious.

Bowles can cut a player to ribbons with his sharp sarcasm. When you have won a Super Bowl as a player, executive and coach, some bragging rights come with it.

“So I only allow myself to go off the handle two times a year. I mean that. I haven’t used one here. Yelling is not me going off the handle. There’s a whole different level ... and believe me it’s not a pretty sight. I’m trying to protect me from me.”

You think you know Bowles, but it turns out, you really don’t.

The darker side of Bowles has yet to come out this season, although he did drop some choice words when laying into his team following a lack luster practice early in training camp.

New Bucs head coach Todd Bowles gets a second shot at thingsfranchise.anleadingNFLAndthistimehehastherosterandstafftofinallydohisway.

TAMPA — You think you know Todd Bowles, the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


To be clear, Bowles is not just here to win; he wants to obliterate his BOWLES, 5X

You have watched him on the sidelines of the NFL for years. The stern but stoic face, arms folded, eyes narrowed and focused straight ahead.

BY RICK STROUD | Times Staff Writer

“I’ve always known he’s got it in him,” Arians said.

ZACH BOLINGER | Associated Press

4X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

Not only does the NFL have a poor his tory of hiring Black head coaches, but the trend is also to favor assistants on the offen sive side of the football. Losing teams often

There are layers to Bowles. He speaks freely about being raised with his three siblings by a single mother in Elizabeth, N.J. He has four kids of his own: Todd Jr., Troy, Tyson and Sydni. Todd Jr. is a football player at Rutgers while Troy is one of the top-rated linebackers in the nation at Jesuit High School and is committed to Georgia.

Doing things his way

Bowles was talked into coaching by Wil liams, a teammate with Washington when the team won Super Bowl 22. But he has had many influences on his career, includ ing coaches such as Arians, Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips.

BOWLES continued from 4X

Todd Bowles might smiles after a game with opposing coaches, such as the Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel, above. But during the action? “I’m trying to cut your throat out.”

A second chance

are drafting a quarterback and want a playcaller to develop him.

But first, Bowles feels grateful to Arians for the fact that he is a head coach again after four seasons in that role with the New York Jets, where he compiled a 24-40 record.Atage 58, Bowles believed he would get another chance to run an NFL team. But he didn’t think it would be this team or this way.In the past few seasons, he interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Vikings, Bears, Raiders and Falcons. He was a final

Bowles is much more buttoned up in news conferences. Unlike Arians, he rarely calls out players by name for mistakes and is prone to coach-speak.

ist for none of them.

Bowles admits he wasn’t quite ready to manage all the things that crossed his desk as a first-time head coach of the Jets.

This time, he says, he is much more pre pared. He also clearly has a better football team, although he managed to go 10-6 in his first year with the Jets, narrowly miss See BOWLES, 6X

But one-on-one, Bowles is relaxed and verbose about almost any subject.

He never really coached his sons until COVID-19 struck in 2020. “It’s unbeliev able,” Bowles said of their accomplish ments. “I let them play until they got to the point where they were serious and asked me to show them things.”

opponents.“Mydemeanor on the sideline I may be calm, but on the inside, I’m trying to cut your throat out,” Bowles said.


be all

“I thought I would have opportunities,” Bowles said. “... Once that cycle kind of passes, you’re right back into football all of a sudden. Doing the interviews this year, there were some I thought were good places and some I thought wasn’t a good fit and I was very content being here.

“Defensive... coaches know a lot about foot ball, too. I take nothing away from offensive coaches, but we see the game and we know how to manage it the same way.”

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“Maybe because they get younger going for that quarterback out of college now,” Bowles said. “But if you look at the Super Bowl history, there’s a lot of defensive head coaches that have won a ton of them. (Bill) Belichick, Parcells, and (Mike) Tomlin and (Bill) Cowher and (Pete) Carroll. You can go on and on.

“I’m happy here, my family was happy here. When you get that late in the process, you don’t think about it at all. It was a shock that (the Bucs job) came so late but at the same time, we had so much in place that we had done over the years, it made it easy to moveBowlesinto.”inherits a coaching staff that includes assistants he has either worked or played with, some going back almost 40 years to his days as a cornerback at Temple, where he played for Arians.

Special teams coach Keith Armstrong stayed in Bowles’ cramped dorm room at Temple when he visited as a high school

“The main thing is the experience,” Bowles said. “...


you have a chance. Then he didn’t have control of his roster. Man, you’ve got to have at least a say in it. Bill Parcells always said, ‘Let me buy the groceries if I’m doing all the cooking.’

Times (2019) Associated Press (2018)

Bowles’ time with the Jets got rocky when he didn’t have control of the roster. Talent isn’t an issue with the Bucs.

Ask Bowles what he learned from coaching the Jets and he will respond, “How much time you got?”

“And you’d better do them right now,” he said.

Former Bucs coach

He admits to being unpre pared, like any first-time head coach, for all the deci sions that have to be made on a daily basis.

The Bucs’ coaching staff is stuffed full of Bowles’ for mer teammates, colleagues and closet Defensivefriends.backs coach Kevin Ross had been at Temple for two seasons when Bowles arrived. He started ahead of Bowles until he broke his ankle.

6X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

BOWLES from 5X

The discipline helped Bowles as an athlete; he learned to listen. Even today, his friends and assis tant coached describe him as “Hequiet.really has always been that way and never talked a lot,” Christensen said. “But when he does, he knows what to say. He’s just a good man, somebody you enjoy working for.”

The second time around,

recruit. He slept on the floor. A year later, Arm strong was the Owls’ run ning back and didn’t have any money to take his date to IHOP. “He lent me $20,” Armstrong said of Bowles. “He was so quiet. He kept to himself. He’s genuine. Good man. Always was smart. Great teacher. I enjoy being aroundRunninghim.” backs coach Todd McNair arrived at Temple a year after Bowles. “He hasn’t changed a bit,” Bowles said. “He still talks a lot.”Clyde Christensen was the quarterbacks coach under Arians on that Tem ple staff. Those were tough days in a tough Philadel phia neighborhood. It was Arians’ first head coaching job. After a loss to Delaware, Arians had his team up at 6 a.m. to run. “We called it Black Sunday,” Bowles said. “Everybody had to get up and start running. I hurt my ankle that day, so I didn’t run the next day. Atti tude-wise, I didn’t know if I was going to run anyway.” When Arians decided to retire from coaching, he not only knew Bowles would become his successor, but he would inherit a full coach ing“Thestaff.bond we have, it’s kind of evolved over the years,” Bowles said. “From players, students, coaches and we’ve been on the same staff.”

While Bowles has played and coached under Ari ans, one of his biggest influ

“I probably knew him first out of all of them, and somehow he has the most uncanny way where he can see and have the pulse of a team,” Bowles said. “He’s outstanding at getting to know the guys. What makes them tick, what doesn’t make the tick. When they have a problem, when they don’t have a problem. Tell ing them the truth and relating everything to me.”

“And that started me to start looking at the big ger picture and I think that kind of led me to where I am rightFromnow.”Arians, he learned how to never pull back. From Andy Reid with the Eagles, he learned how to command the room. Phillips taught him how to enjoy the game.Bowles is a long way from where he began in Eliz abeth. His mother, Joan, raised his two brothers and

The biggest thing Bowles will have to overcome, no matter how much success he may have this season, is that he is the beneficiary of having the GOAT at quarter back.But that didn’t seem to diminish the Super Bowls Brady won for Belichick or Arians.“He’s a great leader, he’s a great teacher,” Arians said of Bowles. “He has plenty of respect in the building and among the players. I don’t know why he shouldn’t be successful.”Andknow this: With the wit and wisdom of Bowles, the Bucs could go a long way.

sister by working two jobs, including part-time in the library at the school where he played pickup basket ball. First, he had to stop by the library and do his home work. A streetball champi onship in football once had to wait until Bowles finished washing the windows at home. After you ate, you did your own dishes.

Contact Rick Stroud Followrstroud@tampabay.com.at@NFLSTROUD.

you have the answers to the test and you don’t even sweat it. You kind of go, ‘here, here, here, here,’ and let’s go. There are no fivealarm fires. They are all two- and three-alarm and you don’t worry about it as much. I think that’s the big gestBowlesthing.”will continue to call the defense, primar ily because he didn’t get this job until late March and doesn’t want to have to train an assistant. Also, with Brady, the stakes are too high.Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, who has coached with Bowles since 2005 when they were both assis tants with the Cowboys, is the co-defensive coordina tor along with Larry Foote.

“Hecoach.said, ‘No, what did you see in practice? What did the receivers do? You need to see everything that goes on in practice. You can learn from every coach, good or bad. You need to see when the owners walks in, where the general man ager stands, where the scouts stand. Who is look ing at what. You need to see the entire game and expand your horizons and you’ll become a better coach. You may not know anything about the offensive line, but look how the offensive line coach teaches. What does he do good? What does he do bad? What can he get better at? What does he learn?’


ing the playoffs with vaga bond veteran Ryan Fitzpat rick at quarterback. Then the Jets spun the roulette wheel and had quarterbacks such as Bryce Petty, Geno Smith and Josh McCown start games until drafting Sam Darnold No. 3 overall in “He2018.had it going at the Jets when he had a quar terback,” Arians said of Bowles. “Everybody — when you have a quarterback,

ences was Bill Parcells, who brought him to Dallas to coach the secondary in 2005 and later made him the assistant head coach behind Tony Sparano in Miami.

“He’s had more influ ence on me as far as me see ing the entire game and the organization,” Bowles said of Parcells. “Bill was the first one to ask me what I saw in practice. And I told him about the defensive backs because I’m the defensive backs


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Defensive gurus who excelled, or failed, at the next level

Tony Dungy (13 seasons, 139-69)

Associated Press (1991)

BY JOEY KNIGHT | Times Staff Writer

Bowles’ first head coaching job — with the Jets from 2015-2018 — was a microcosm of this fluctuation: a 10-6 debut season, followed by 14 total wins over the next three years.

Dungy had spent 16 seasons as an NFL defensive assistant when the Bucs afforded him a long-overdue head coach opportunity in 1996. The prospective employers who bypassed him all those years still might be kicking them selves. The “Tampa 2” scheme installed by Dungy and longtime coordinator Monte Kiffin revolutionized how defense is played in the league. Dungy trans formed the fortunes of the Bucs franchise (four playoff berths in six seasons) and later won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.

Chuck Noll (23 seasons, 193-148-1)

Associated Press (1973)

Hard to believe in retrospect, but the “Big Tuna” was nearly canned before his head coaching career got off the ground. A journeyman college/pro defen sive assistant before the Giants promoted him from defensive coordinator, he went 3-12-1 his first season with New York before resuscitating the franchise. In Year Two, the Giants were in the playoffs, and by 1986, they had won the first of Parcells’ two Super Bowls. The 3-4 defense he crafted (with a coordinator named Belichick) became iconic.

Defensive coordinators/assistants who have earned NFL head coaching gigs can be found across the win-loss spectrum. Collectively, this group owns world titles and winless seasons. Seems every Shula

Bill Parcells (19 seasons, 172-130-1)

Don Shula (33 seasons, 328-156-6)

A two-way player for the Browns in the 1950s, Noll had logged nearly a decade as a pro defensive assistant (AFL and NFL) when the foundering Steelers hired him in 1969, after Joe Paterno turned them down. A stickler for funda mentals with a demeanor that might make Belichick seem effervescent, Noll built the Steelers through years of brilliant drafting. In 1974 alone, the team drafted four eventual Hall of Famers with their first five picks. The result: four Super Bowls and the iconic “Steel Curtain” defense.

is offset by a Schiano.

Shula had spent five years as a defen sive assistant at the college and pro levels before the Colts hired him as head coach at 33 in 1963. He posted winning seasons in each of his seven years in Baltimore (including a berth in Super Bowl 3) but earned his greatest glory in Miami (five Super Bowl appear ances, two titles, a 17-0 season). Shula remains the NFL’s winningest coach, proving he could succeed with runbased or Dan Marino-based offenses. That “No-Name Defense” of the 1970s wasn’t shabby either.

10X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times


Associated Press (1978)

Belichick had served as Bill Parcells’ defensive coordinator for six years (including two Super Bowl runs) when the Browns hired him as coach in 1991. That half-decade tenure (36-44) didn’t go so well, but the next one did: six Super Bowl titles (and counting) with New England. While the world can deliberate ad nauseam over who warrants most credit for the Patriots dynasty (Belichick or Tom Brady), the fact remains New England has boasted a top-10 defense in four of the last seven years.

TAMPA — Anyone leaning on history to determine the trajectory of Todd Bowles’ head coaching tenure in Tampa will be uplifted or uptight by what they discover.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2021) (2000)

Bill Belichick (27 seasons, 290-143)


Which keeps him — for now — off the following lists. Here are what we deem the five best and worst defensive head coaching hires in NFL history.



The greatest defensive line coach in Bucs history, Marinelli helped craft the front end of the “Tampa 2” system that featured Warren Sapp, Booger McFar land and Simeon Rice, among others. In 2006, he was hired by the Lions, who went 3-13 his first season. Two years later, Detroit became the first NFL team since the inception of the 16-game regular season to go winless, and Marinelli was fired. He never stayed unemployed, though, remaining an NFL defensive assistant or coordinator until his retirement earlier this year.

Reuters (1994) (2007) Press (1984)

Greg Schiano (two seasons, 11-21)

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 11X THE WORST

Associated Press (1984)

Rod Marinelli (three seasons, 10-38)

Before requiring Tampa Bay to put its toes on the line, Schiano had put together a solid resume as a defensive coach. He mostly flourished as coach at Rutgers from 2001-2011, with four of his last six teams boasting defens es ranked in the top 20 nationally. He also served as defensive coordinator for Miami’s 2000 team that went 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the country. But his drill sergeant approach, combined with one catastrophe after another (see, MRSA), resulted in a brief, disastrous tenure with the Bucs.

Rust (left) had served five separate stints as a pro defensive coordinator (including with New England during its 1985 Super Bowl run) before landing a head-coaching gig with the Patriots at age 61 in 1990. After a narrow win against the Colts in Week Two, the Patriots lost 14 in a row and finished with a minus-265 point differential, worst of any team in the 1990s. He got one more head coaching crack, with Montreal of the Canadian Football League in 2001, but was fired after a six-game losing streak.


Times (2013)

Richie Petitbon (one season, 4-12) An All-Pro NFL safety who once had three interceptions in a game, Petitbon served as Joe Gibbs’ defensive coordinator for all three of Washington’s Super Bowl title teams, and was elevated to head coach following Gibbs’ retirement in 1993. The aging team he inherited became ravaged by injuries, and Petitbon was criticized for a perceived lack of attention to detail. Washing ton lost six of its first seven and finished 26th of 28 teams in both offense and defense, resulting in Petitbon’s dismissal after one year.

Marion Campbell (parts of nine seasons, 34-80-1)

Exhibit A for the case that some guys simply are born to be coordinators instead of head coaches. A two-way star on the Eagles’ 1960 NFL champion ship team, Campbell served as Dick Vermeil’s defensive coordinator in Phil adelphia, crafting a 3-4 scheme that helped the unit allow the fewest points in the NFL in 1980 and 1981. But he never sniffed a winning season as a head coach; his win-loss percentage is by far the worst of anyone who has coached at least 100 games in the league.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

Rod Rust (one season, 1-15)

12X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times BUCS SPECIAL SECTION


And as far as he knew, Tom Brady had just retired. Which meant the Bucs’ offense was almost certainly facing a step backward without him.

“I don’t have to chase the car rot,” Leftwich explained. “I’m not in a rush to get away from this kind of group, to be honest with you. I’m not chasing jobs. I love

Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich says he doesn’t have to “chase the carrot” when it comes to NFL head coaching jobs. “I love being here,” the former quarterback says.


Byron Leftwich chats with receiver Julio Jones at training camp. Leftwich values helping his players become better people.


zle. The player Leftwich used to be has molded the coach he is today. You see, not many quarterbacks throw for more than 10,000 yards in the NFL and then have second careers as coordinators or head coaches.Itwas more common in the 1970s with passers-turned-coaches such as Tom Flores and Bart Starr.

Considering that only 32 of those jobs exist, and only a hand ful are available every winter, I mention to Leftwich that turning down that kind of opportunity is indicative of a man who is … “Nuts?” Leftwich playfully inter jects.

he job was his, or so everyone says. Byron Leftwich was the log ical, popular and pre sumed choice as the next coach of the Jaguars, and all that remained was a celebratory newsExceptconference.theman himself was not convinced. Leftwich has never explained why — it is widely assumed he wasn’t keen on the idea of working with general man ager Trent Baalke — but he even tually removed himself from con sideration for the position.



doing what I’m doing. I love being here because it’s bigger than foot ball; I’ve got a relationship with some of these guys.

“Some of them remind me of myself when I was 23 or 24. And I want to be here to help that per son. So, to me, it’s bigger than X’s andMaybeO’s.” that’s the key to the puz


And still, he said no.

Anyone close to Leftwich would logically have suggested that it was his moment to leap. His star was high, and he had nothing left to prove in Tampa Bay.

And Bruce Arians did, in fact, need to lure Leftwich away from the golf course when he gave him his first coaching job, in Arizona in 2016.Yet, six years later, Leftwich is immersed in the life. During the season, he often arrives at the office by 3:30 a.m. so he can work in peace. Ask him what he loves best about the job — the prepara tion, the hands-on coaching, the play-calling — and his cherubic face breaks into a grin.

world, which is the point I was trying to make before his light heartedThinkinterruption.ofthecircumstances Left wich was facing in January. He had won a Super Bowl as offensive coordinator in the 2020 season, then followed that up with the NFL’s top passing offense in 2021.

“Everything,” he says. “I love it all.”And now it’s all on him. Arians has retired, so there is no safety net between Leftwich and fourth down. The Bucs will tell you that reports of Arians poking his nose into the weekly game plan were overblown, but ownership of the

There have been a handful in recent years — a Ken Anderson, Jim Zorn, Jim Harbaugh — but quarterbacks with lengthy careers typically have enough money to lead a more stress-free life after their playing days.

It helps to think of Leftwich in this way: not nuts, but spir ited. Confident. At peace. A man comfortable with his place in the

• • •

His focus extends beyond football

fine?“We’ve built something here together, and it goes beyond football,” Leftwich said. “That’s why I love being here. What we’ve got here is real, and that’s how you build a winning organi zation.”

Let’s see: Mike Shula was fired by the owners over Tony Dungy’s objections while the coaching staff was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Les Steckel was fired after setting the then-franchise record for points in a season in 2000. Future Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs was the coordinator for one season in 1978 before fleeing to join Don Coryell’s staff in San Diego. At that point, John McKay decided to be his own coordi nator for the next six seasons, though he did hire John Brun ner to be something called the “offensive moderator” in 1984. McKay and Brunner were gone by Ray1985.Perkins and Sam Wyche also decided to be their own coordi nators and combined to go 42-82 over eight miserable seasons from 1987-95. The only offensive coordinator hired during that era was Hank Kuhlmann, who worked one season while Rich ard Williamson was head coach in 1991. The Bucs went 3-13.

1. Tampa Bay 14,700 2. Kansas City 14,143 3. Dallas 13,712

4. LA Chargers 13,555

1. Dallas 19,772


Byron Leftwich says he tries to build his offense around the players he has. “The players are the system,” he says.

Leftwich and Arians share the same basic philosophy, so the only real change would be based on“Whenplayers.I watch old tape of our offense in Arizona and what we do in Tampa, there’s a lot of similarities. Formations, and things like that,” Leftwich said. “But it’s personnel that

LEFTWICH continued from 12X

Passing yards

John TimesRomano,sportscolumnist DIRK SHADD | Times

The first coordinator, John Rauch, lasted five games before resigning in 1976. And he wasn’t even the shortest-tenured coor dinator in franchise history. Jeff Jagodzinski was fired before the final preseason game in 2009.

really determines what you’re going to call. When you’ve got Mike (Evans) and Chris (God win) on the field at the same time, you’re going to have a dif ferent system than you would anywhere else.

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 13X

“If you have (Rob Gronkow ski), you’ll say, ‘We’re doing this.’ If you have Mike, ‘We’re doing this.’ The players are the system. I try to build around the players to put them in the best position forThatsuccess.”new head coach Todd Bowles has a defensive back ground is not likely to change anything either, Leftwich said. Being in constant attack mode has produced more points than any team in the NFL since 2019, so there isn’t a lot of incentive for change.Bythe way, that type of success has not gone unnoticed around the league. Besides Jacksonville’s flirtation, the statistics web site Pro Football Focus recently ranked Leftwich as the No. 3 play-caller in the NFL, behind Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Dal las’ Kellen Moore.

Contact John Romano jromano@tampabay.com.at Follow @Romano_TBTimes. No frompressurethepast

So will we notice any differ ences this fall?

Offensive coordinators in Tampa Bay have had — how should we say it? — an interesting history.

offense is now indisputably in Leftwich’s hands.

That likely depends on the performance of the offensive line. If the three new starters in the interior of the line can ade quately protect Brady, there probably won’t be much differ ence in a post-Arians world.


1. Tampa Bay 1,461 2. Kansas City 1,404 3. Baltimore 1,386 4. Dallas 1,359

Total yards

2. Kansas City 19,466 3. Tampa Bay 19,412 4. Baltimore 18,771

Tom Brady, left, at 45 is three years older than Leftwich, right, recently ranked by one website as one of the NFL’s top play-callers.

He will review tape of the pre vious week on Sunday nights, talk to Brady on Monday, begin devising a new game plan, check back with Brady on Tuesday and be ready to implement by Wednesday morning.

Just in case you need verifica tion, here’s where the Bucs rank in the NFL since Leftwich’s arrival in 2019.

Maybe that explains Left wich’s inner calm. He’s not obsessed with reaching for the brass ring right now because he assumes it will be there for him later. Leftwich is 42 (three years younger than his quarterback, by the way) and having the time of his life with a point-gobbling offense.Why worry what tomorrow will bring when today looks so

Nonetheless, he has con tinued to be the defense’s leader and a mentor to youngerInjuriesplayers.have become more frequent for him.

Lynette died in 2016 due to complications from diabetes. She lived long enough to see Lavonte sign his first big con tract extension, a five-year, $50.25 million deal.

“My first couple years (in the NFL), I wasn’t worried about it, and then I started picking away at it, taking a class here or there online. After she passed, I said I’ve got to make this stuff a pri ority in the offseason. It was important to me. I was the first one in my family to get a college degree. For her to encourage me to do it was big. I got my degree the day before Mother’s Day, so it was a Mother’s Day gift to her.”Nelson was there. He had always been there for

The linebacker is 32 and entering the final year of his contract with the Bucs and perhaps the last of his career, which began with them in Until2012.2020, the sec ond-round draft pick from Nebraska had enjoyed only two winning seasons and zero playoff appearances with the Bucs. Over the past few years, however, his suf fering has been more per sonal than professional.

Associated Press (2011)

“My dad was my motiva tor,” Lavonte said. “He was my encourager. If you’re going do something, be great at it. He was a basket ball player and loved bas ketball. I was playing bas ketball a little bit, but then I started playing football, and I told him, ‘I don’t want to play basketball anymore, I just want to play football.’ He sat me down and said, ‘If you’re going to play football, there’s a lot that comes with it and I expect the best out of you because you will get the best from me.’

See DAVID, 15X

Lavonte exceeded expec tations. In two seasons with the Cornhuskers, he recorded 276 tackles, 11½ sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Over the next 11 seasons with the Bucs, he would record more than 1,200 tackles and set club records for tackles for loss (133) and fumble recoveries (17).

The Bucs had just beaten the Chiefs 31-9 to win Super Bowl 55. Confetti and tears streamed down David’s face.

“Many nights I would sit up on the phone at night cry ing. ‘I want to come home! I want to come home!’ She told me, ‘No, just stick it out. Tomorrow is going to be a new day. Go in with a differ

TAMPA — There is a pic ture in Lavonte David’s house. It is framed in his living room, and the image still comes into sharp focus when he closes his eyes.

Lynette David was Lavon te’s anchor, the one who encouraged him to remain at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas when the work and the winters were unbearable for the Miami native.“My mom instilled in me being a hard worker,” he said.

14X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

“She had a lot on her shoulders for a woman with her own family,” Lavonte said. “It definitely was something I was proud of. Me getting that deal, it was like we can relax and now I can take care of you.

“I remember one time I tried to quit my Lit tle League team, and he said, ‘No, we’re both in this together. We made a com mitment.’ He was like that

The defense’s anchor credits his parents for his drive to excel as a player and a person.

Because of the team’s pre2020 lack of success during his tenure, Lavonte has never gotten the recognition he deserves. He has made the Pro Bowl (2015) and been named first-team All Pro (2013) only once each.

Lavonte. He never missed a football game from the time Lavonte played for the Lib erty City Warriors, a youth team founded by 2 Live Crew rapper and Miami native Luther Campbell.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2021)

A fire to compete

Linebacker Lavonte David enters his 11th season with the Bucs after they drafted the Miami native in the second round out of Nebraska in 2012.

David’s career framed by love

“When she passed, there was a part of me, ‘What am I doing this for now?’ I want ed to have her enjoy the hard work she did to get me here.”

David, chasing Michigan QB Denard Robinson in 2011, left Nebraska after the 2012 season before graduating but got his degree in 2021 to fulfill his mom’s wish.

A promise to mom

“I remember the day I made the team, I called her and said, ‘You were right. I’m going to make you proud.’ ”

BY RICK STROUD Times Staff Writer

“Never complaining. I never heard her complain once. She treated everybody with respect. Just a very helpful person. Somebody people could count on.

throughout my whole career.”

There were handshakes and hugs with quarterback Tom Brady, other team mates and his wife, Tondrea.

Lavonte spent the last two years of his college career at Nebraska. He had made a promise to his mother when he was drafted in ’12 that he would go back to school and earn his degree. A day before Mother’s Day 2021, he walked with the class of 2021 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln and received his diploma.“Shewanted me to grad uate,” he said. “When I was leaving Nebraska, I told her I wouldn’t be able to go back to school because I was leav ing to train to go to the NFL. I remember her telling me, ‘You’ve got to promise me you’re going to go back one day and get your degree.’

Associated Press (2021)

“Then I was screaming, ‘Where’s my daddy?’ ” David said of the moment he was desperately searching for his father, Edward Nelson. “ ‘Bring him out here on the field,’ you know what I’m saying? I gave him the big gest“Ithug.was a wonderful moment. He told me he was proud of me. He told me he loved me. He said, ‘I told you one day it was going to hap pen and to just stick with the plan.’ It all came about.”

David hugs his father, Edward Nelson, after the Bucs’ Super Bowl 55 win in Tampa to end the 2020 season.

ent mentality and a differ ent mindset, and things will work out.’


He has failed to play a com plete season in three of the past five years. A Lisfranc injury to one of his feet side lined him five games in 2021, including the final three of the regular season. He esti mated he played at about 60 percent in the NFC division playoff loss to the Rams.

Lavonte was as frustrated as he has ever been follow ing that defeat. Early in the second quarter, after the Bucs blew coverage and allowed a 70-yard touch down pass from Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp on third and 20, he was so furi ous he slammed his hel met to the turf, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. His tirade continued on the bench.

he’d get his uniform dirty and he’d be very happy.

Always in his heart

“I remember talking to him when he was in the hos pital, and my fondest mem ories is how everybody just

If we played the game in the mud and the pouring rain,

If this season ends with

coach Todd Bowles says of Lavonte David. “You’re not going to beat him. You’re going to have to kill him.”

“The more you poke him, the harder, the tougher he plays,”

“I think that’s a great thing. The more you poke him, the harder, the tougher he plays. You’re not going to beat him. You’re going to have to kill him.”

Lavonte David sacks Colts quarterback Matt Ryan in a preseason game last month. He has Bucs career records for tackles for loss (133) and fumble recoveries (17).

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 15X

sort of gravitated to him. I was telling him, ‘You’re going through all this here and you’re still trying to see how other people are doing. You’re worried about them.’ The nurse came in and he’d laugh and joke and ask, ‘How is your day going?’ I would ask him how he could do that with what he was going through. He said, ‘No matter what I’m going through, somebody may be going through something as hard as I am.’

another Super Bowl win, the celebrations won’t be quite the same for Lavonte.

“At that moment, it was a big time in the game where I felt like if we had gotten (the Rams) off the field, our offense would’ve capital ized off of it and the tables

I think Lavonte has an oldschool linebacker mentality.

Coach Todd Bowles says what he loves about Lavonte is his consistently high level of “He’splay. always hungry to get better,” Bowles said. “He’s always hungry to compete.

would’ve turned in that game,” he said. “Instead, we put ourselves in a situa tion where we were down and we made it easy (for the Rams). We’re always talking about making peo ple beat us and not beating ourselves. And (beating our selves is) exactly what hap pened.”

Contact Rick Stroud Followrstroud@tampabay.com.at@NFLSTROUD.

Five months after that bear hug at Raymond James Stadium and two months after he received his diploma, Nelson died of liver cancer at age 70.

ZACH BOLINGER | Associated Press

DAVID continued from 14X

“It’s very tough,” said Lavonte, who became a father May 24 of this year to daughter Logan Lynette David. “My dad was with me through everything. He was just a tough, hard-core guy and a man you could respect. He was a man’s man, you know what I’m saying? He took care of his home, he took care of his kids and his family, and took a lot of pressure off my mom. … He treated us with respect, and he wanted respect back in turn. But he let us be ourselves. He was always going to support us whatever we chose. He let us make our own choices.

“I was like, man, it took me back. But he’s always been like that. We would go to the gas station and he’d had a conversation with the cashier. It was crazy to me. I’m sure a guy like that is going to Thereheaven.”isanother picture that reminds Lavonte daily of his parents’ love. A locket worn around his neck holds images of his mother and father, framed in a heart.

16X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

Photo illustration by SEAN KRISTOFF-JONES | Times BUCS SPECIAL SECTION Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 17X


Though Tom Brady hasn’t been ours forever, there’s no doubting his impact on the Bucs, community. PAGE 18X

Some of the unprecedented growth of Tampa Bay has occurred during Brady’s time with the Bucs. Sev eral factors have contributed to that growth, but Brady has provided the opportunity for many idyllic views of the area on national television.

f they dedicate a statue to Tom Brady outside Raymond James Stadium one day, it should not depict him throw ing a Thefootball.onlyappropriate image to memorialize Brady’s years with the Bucs would be of him toss ing the Lombardi Trophy from one boat to another during the Hillsbor ough River parade for the 2020 sea son Super Bowl win. It should include daughter Vivian, mouth agape, screaming, “Nooooo!” Tight end Cam eron Brate should be seated in the other vessel, waiting to save the Bucs from having to hire divers to retrieve the silver-plated prize.

The change is how Brady has trans formed a mostly losing culture in the 2000s into a winning one, one goose bump at a time. He also has helped import free agents who came to Tampa Bay believing Brady would slip a Super Bowl ring on their fingers. Brady had played only three games

Changing the culture

Just by walking in the Bucs’ locker room, Brady methodically elevated the standards of everyone from quar terbacks to video-room interns.

See BRADY, 19X

Tom Brady signs autographs for fans before a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium ahead of last season, his second with the Bucs.

“He raises the level of work ethic and consistency in practice without saying anything,” coach Todd Bowles said. “Because he’s Tom Brady and he comes out there and they expect to win because he’s got all these acco lades. There are guys around him that want to be just as good, not let him down, carry their weight and do all the little things right.


The amount of money he has brought to the Bucs in terms of ticket sales, memorabilia purchases and franchise value is significant, despite playing his first season amid the restrictions of COVID-19.

team having owned regular-season and postseason records for touch down passes, wins, games started, most passing yards and most passing touchdowns.Bradydoes it by being the cham pion of every day. He tries to win every rep, make every right deci sion, call every right audible and treat everyone the right way.

When the greatest quarterback of all time walks into your locker room, heads snap. Brady joined the

Before Brady arrived, the Bucs had not reached the playoffs for 12 consec utive seasons. Only twice during that time did they enjoy winning records. Coach Raheem Morris went 10-6 in 2010, and Dirk Koetter went 9-7 in 2016.The Bucs had assembled a core of pretty good players — receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin among them — but the quarterback position was an issue. Jameis Winston led the NFL in passing in 2019, but he also threw a league-worst 30 interceptions.

with the Bucs before the Lightning beat the Stars to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. The Rays lost the World Series to the Dodgers in six games a month later. But the area didn’t become known as Champa Bay until the Bucs beat the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl 55 in February 2021 at Raymond James, becoming the first NFL team to win the championship in their home sta dium.His reach doesn’t stop there. If your kids go to school in Pinellas County, their health and fitness regimen may soon be the result of a program adopted from TB12, the health and fitness industry Brady founded with trainer Alex Guerrero.

“They see how he trains. They see how it works. And they want to do that on their own without anyone ever saying anything. They want to learn how to watch film on their own. They want to learn how to do funda mentals more. They want to learn how to get in better shape.

Tom Brady has changed the Bucs’ culture, boosted their finances and raised Tampa Bay’s profile on the national stage.

This is Brady’s third — and likely final — season with the Bucs. His announcement in March that he was ending a 40-day retirement to return in 2022 may have been worthy of its own boat parade for all he has meant to the organization and the commu nity.“His impact is unprecedented and invaluable in terms of the stage that he helped not only put the franchise on but also our sports community,” said Rob Higgins, executive direc tor of the Tampa Bay Sports Com mission. “I’ll never forget when he signed with the Bucs (in March 2020), the national media attention that we immediately got, it was like flipping a switch.“Then you see from not only the social media mentions but also the number of prime-time (TV) games … my guess is the number of prime-time games we’ve had in his tenure rivals, if not exceeds, the number of primetime games we had the previous 15 years. It’s almost to the point where the attention that he gets is so mas sive that it’s not just a once-in-a-gen eration thing, it’s a once-in-sever al-generations thing, and it’s truly unique.”Brady is about dollars and change.

18X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times BUCS SPECIAL SECTION

“They want to learn how to eat right, and they just want to compete because they don’t want to let the guy down.”



That trophy, like Brady’s career in Tampa Bay, may always feel like a moment suspended in time.

available.“Wehave a lot of com munication. So does Todd (Bowles) and Tom and myself. We talk a lot about players. … When you have Tom Brady as the greatest, it’s even more of an advan tage, and I’m never going to apologize for using him to help me bring in players for thisOnceteam.”those players arrive, the discussions with Brady commence.

Brady also is the NFL’s best recruiter. When you are the Lord of Rings, free agents want to join your team.“If I’m thinking about a player or we are as a staff, I’ll give (Brady) a call and see if he can help us out, and he’s always willing to do it,” general manager Jason Licht said.

“I think he brings that to any team he goes to just by default,” Bowles said. “I think that makes the team’s expectations rise and gives guys who haven’t won in a

BRADY continued from 18X

IVY CEBALLO | Times (2021)

An image of Tom Brady is projected onto the Sykes building in Tampa leading up to the Bucs’ Super Bowl 55 appearance at Raymond James Stadium in February 2021.


“Because he’s Tom Brady and he comes out there and (teammates) expect to win because he’s got all these accolades,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles.See BRADY, 20X

“What he has with his

“I came from a team where we ran the ball a lot, but he’s definitely helped me when it comes to receiv ing and catching the ball and things like that, and understanding defense,” said running back Leonard Fournette, signed in Sep tember 2020 after the Jag uars waived him.

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 19X

Most of the time, Licht and Brady are in agreement about which players to pur sue.“We didn’t have to kick too many weeds to find out about Julio Jones (signed this offseason). We’ve known about him awhile, and Kyle Rudolph was the best tight end that was

knowledge, I listen to a guy like that. I’m also try ing to see what he wants as a player and (what) helps him bring his game to the next level. We have a great relationship on and off the field, and I think that’s what helps us when we play.”Several dozen players are clients of TB12, which has a Tampa office a halfmile from the Bucs’ train ingPreparingfacility. the way Brady does, with proper nutrition, hydration and recovery, has become the routine for many of his teammates.

When Brady arrived in Tampa Bay, the Bucs’ sea son-ticket base had been eroded by more than a decade of bad football and a carousel of coaches.

He has supported and attended the foundation events held by former coach Bruce Arians and Evans.

Recently, Brady’s founda tion forged a partnership with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission in an effort to help“Thekids.thing that I think is most impressive about Tom is not only his commitment to success on the field, but it’s also his commitment to making a difference off the field,” Higgins said. “There’s a reason he’s been success ful for so long, and that’s his commitment to well

ness and recovery and living a healthy lifestyle. For us to be able to work with him to impart those lessons on our community’s kids is fantas tic, and we just truly appre ciate him working with us to be able to do that.”

Contact Rick Stroud Followrstroud@tampabay.com.at@NFLSTROUD.

“I chose the right place for me,” Brady said. “I’m very grateful to every body to allow me to come down here and experience this part of my football life, which I look back and it probably would be incom plete had I not had it. I’m happy I’ve had it.”

celebrateFireworks the Bucs’ win against the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs with Tom Brady were the first team to win the Super Bowl in their stadium.home

Higgins is tasked with

Last year, from the Bucs’ Week One game to kick off the season against the Cowboys through their two playoff games against

while … that sense of relief that they can win. It kind of raises everyone’s level to try and get better.”

20X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

On a recent off day, Brady and two of his three chil dren, Vivian and Ben, spent part of the afternoon with teammate Logan Ryan at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay visiting shelter dogs and promoting them forBradyadoption.hasfound an adop tive home of his own in Tampa Bay — at least for one more year.

Brady also hasn’t just been hidden away behind the walls of some mansion on Davis Islands.

the Eagles and Rams, local hotel occupancy on the nights before and after Sunday home games was more than 13 percent high er than it was on Bucs road and bye weekends, accord ing to data provided by Visit Tampa Bay. Bookings were also up around the Bucs’ Thursday and Mon day night games.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times Brady (12) chats with new tight end Kyle Rudolph (8) at training camp this year. He has player-acquisition input.

Ticket sales and more

Community impact

quicker than a question or two about Brady.

DIRK SHADD | Times (2021)

Their number of sea son-ticket holders had dwindled to around 25,000. In 2019, the year before Brady arrived, the Bucs averaged 50,728 per game at Raymond James Stadium. And a large portion of that attendance was fans sup porting the visiting team.

But nothing strikes up a conversation about the area

Event organizers tune in to watch the Bucs play on national television and they see a sold-out stadium as well as gorgeous sunsets over“Itwater.serves as a catalyst to bigger conversations,” Hig gins said. “When we have prime-time games, we have the ability to then work with

the networks and tell the story of how far we’ve come as a community and where we’re going. It’s that spark and what we need, that door swinging open that we can walk through and showcase all these different things we have going on that’s truly amazing.”Though Tampa Bay was not granted the full Super Bowl host experience when it was played here during the pandemic, limiting game attendance to around 25,000, Brady and the Bucs never wavered from the opportunity to make his tory.“It was a Super Bowl when we needed it the most and from a timing stand point,” Higgins said. “From the way that it ended with our hometown becoming the first team to win it (in its home stadium), it was truly special. The impact is still being felt today.”

BRADY continued from 19X

bringing sports events of all kinds to Tampa Bay, and business has never been bet ter.Tampa Bay has hosted Super Bowls, college national champion ship football games, col lege hockey final fours, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

All that changed when Brady agreed to play for the Bucs. Not only did the sea son tickets sell out the entire 65,618-seat stadium once the pandemic subsided, the Bucs added 3,600 seats this year to the south end zone, bringing the capacity to near“Tom70,000.has had a tremen dous impact on our organi zation both on and off the field,” said Bucs chief oper ating officer Brian Ford. “There has been a level of increased anticipation and excitement from our fans. His presence alone has cre ated an unprecedented demand for tickets that we have been working hard to meet.“We are anticipating playing our regular-season home games before the larg est crowds ever at Raymond James Stadium, and much of that credit goes to hav ing an iconic player such as Tom leading the way.” Highend sky suites and club seats have no vacancy. In a shrewd business move after Brady returned, the Bucs requested a two-year mini mum commitment for sea son tickets. Brady is not signed for 2023.

Hall of Fame bust in his future? Probably not. But does it speak to the competitiveness that has transformed Brady from a mid dling prospect into an NFL leg end? You bet it does.

nce upon a time, he was too skinny and slow. His arm lacked strength and his passes lacked beauty.Seven Super Bowl rings later, the Tom Brady scouting report has evolved.Today, he is too immobile and too worried about the pass rush. He’s got too many off-field distrac tions and too little commitment to his current team.


DIRK SHADD | Times (2021)

“There is no doubt that Brady can thrive on the field this year. The question is whether he will stay motivated and distractions.”avoid

Brady’s career has been one long procession of outperforming expectations. From the video clips his father sent to dozens of col leges just to get a scholarship offer, to falling to the 199th pick of the NFL draft, to the evaluation done by his first Patriots quarterbacks

Weekly’s 2000

This is good news for Bucs fans, this fascination with slapping back at critics. Obviously, it isn’t the reason he is still playing at age 45, but it’s not inconsequential either.Sportshandle.com recently ana lyzed more than 8.5 million tweets involving the NFL in the past year and determined Brady has more negative mentions (more than 200,000) than any other player.

Quarterback Tom Brady has made a career out of rising up when he has been questioned, such as being a sixth-round pick (No. 199 overall) in the 2000 NFL draft.


attuned to those who doubt him. He says he doesn’t pay attention, but the evidence suggests other wise.He tweets. He jabs. He draws outsized attention to those with unkind reviews. It’s always after the fact and usually with a smile, but there is also an edge to his retorts.So,Tom Brady is heading for a fall, you say Not today, he•replies.••

Brady either doesn’t see or pur posefully ignores 99.99 percent of those tweets, but he also delib erately highlights those criticisms or predictions that have not aged gracefully.Isthatnecessary or construc tive for an athlete who has awards, championships and a guaranteed

“Is not what you’re looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobil ity … ” his scouting report read in Pro Football Weekly’s draft pre view in 2000.


Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 21X



So is Brady’s heart still in it? Good move, just keep asking

| Times

Pro Football draft scouting report on Brady: physical stature, strength, arm strength mobility.”


Yes, even the most successful quarterback in NFL history has his critics and haters. For all the riches and acclaim he has accu mulated — and few athletes have ever had more — he seems weirdly

“Is not what you’re looking for in terms of


The Boston Globe ROMANO, 22X

ROMANO continued from 21X

When Brady faces the Cowboys tonight, the 45-year-old will be the oldest QB ever to start an NFL game, surpassing Steve DeBerg (1998 Falcons, 44 years and 279 days).

It comes with the terri tory, of course. And, by no means, is Brady the only player to face criticism or run into adversity.

He went from a spot on the bench to Super Bowl MVP in barely four months but was never bereft of per ceived slights and chal lenges in the seasons ahead.

coach that said everything Brady did was too slow.

But he also has had an uncanny ability to suc ceed in moments when it appeared the football gods were conspiring against him.Consider the circum stances Brady was facing throughout the 2016 sea son. His mother was diag nosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in the summer, he was suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for the season’s first four games due to Deflate gate and, when the Patri ots reached the Super Bowl, they were humiliated by the Falcons in the first half and trailed 28-3 late in the third quarter.Yet,by the end of the night, it was Brady on the podium accepting the MVP award from Goodell.

Contact John Romano Followjromano@tampabay.com.at@Romano_TBTimes.

As it turns out, a lit tle doubt might not be the worst thing in the world.

“There is no doubt that Brady can thrive on the field this year. The ques tion is whether he will stay motivated and avoid dis tractions,” The Boston Globe

Brady once said he had a chip on his shoul der and deep scars that never healed. This was not a moment of self-pity but rather of self-reflection. If he was the guy no one expected to excel, then he was going to outwork everyone else and prove them wrong.

Is it possible, a quarter-century later, that Brady is still provoked by the unflattering opinions of others? When you have won more than anyone else, is it necessary to look beyond your heart for motivation? Brady often sidesteps


Maybe it’s good-natured. Maybe it’s just a lark.

Tom Brady is adept at delivering slick retorts on social media. The Falcons and their blown 28-3 lead in Super Bowl 51 surely wish otherwise.

questions about find ing inspiration in the cri tiques of others, but then he has also acknowledged that many of his responses to media queries are lessthan-forthright. And, in recent years, he has not been shy about circling back to skewer those who mistak enly pondered his demise.

wrote last month.

ZACH BOLINGER | Associated Press

When he takes the field against the Cowboys tonight, Brady will surpass Steve DeBerg as the old est starting quarterback in NFL history. He will be six months away from his brief retirement and just a few weeks removed from an unexplained, and unprece dented, 11-day break in the middle of training camp.

Do you doubt the 2022 version of Tom Brady can lead the Bucs back to the Super Bowl?

Or maybe it’s the antidote to all the accolades, com forts and paychecks that can rob an athlete of the hunger of youth.

Asked his thoughts about Brady prior to a playoff game in 2010, Jets corner back Antonio Cromartie was pointed and succinct. “An a- -h- -e,” he said. “F- -k him.”

22X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

Two Saints seasons: play Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin exit with injuries Saints Bucs collect 99 yards in penalties Rams Rams’ Matthew Stafford throws 4 TD passes Bucs intercept Drew Brees Jared Goff INTs a pick-six


Brate notes the Bucs have struggled to estab lish the run in those match ups, a theory partially sup ported by stats. In four of the past eight games against the Rams and Saints, the Bucs were outgained on the ground.Intheir 38-3 home loss to the Saints in a Sunday night game in Novem ber 2020, an early deficit forced the Bucs to aban don the run early, resulting in 8 rushing yards on five attempts.

BY JOEY KNIGHT Times Staff Writer

three times in playoff win Nov. 23, 2020; Tampa Rams 27, Bucs 24 Rams’

shelf life, whether poise — and power runs — can be established. The Bucs travel to New Orleans in Week 2 on Sept. 18 and host the Rams on Nov. 6. The second meeting against the Saints is a Monday night matchup on Dec. “This5.year, we’ve just got

Sept. 26, 2021; Los Angeles

34, Bucs 24

“I really don’t know,” cor nerback Jamel Dean said. “I just think that when we play those two teams, we get so emotional toward them that we just don’t play our game.”

Oct. 31, 2021; New Orleans

years of torment The Bucs’ eight matchups against the

Contact Joey Knight Followjknight@tampabay.com.at@TBTimes_Bulls.

End Marcus Davenport has one of the Saints’ four sacks on Tom Brady in the Bucs’ 9-0 loss last year. New Orleans played without coach Sean Payton, who was out with COVID.

Many greats have been rendered mortal by the same unlikely foil. Ken Norton was pummeled by assorted heavyweights, but he gave Muhammad Ali fits. Clay confounded John McEnroe, who flourished on every other surface. Some one named Bruce Bochte hit nearly .400 for his career against Nolan Ryan.

IVY CEBALLO | Times (2021)

Date/site Result Stat line Jan. 23, 2022; Tampa Rams 30, Bucs 27 Bucs go Cover Zero, allow decisive pass

In their past four defeats to the Saints — two of them “Sunday Night Football” embarrassments at home — the Bucs have amassed a minus-9 turnover margin and have allowed 13 sacks of Brady while recording only five of their own. They

have a plus-2 combined turnover margin in their past three games against the Rams but have allowed seven sacks while record ing only three.


“I wish I knew, ’cause we would’ve gotten it fixed a long time ago,” outside line backer Shaquil Barrett said.

“Sometimes we’ve just got to be a little more patient, I think, on offense,” Brate said.“You see the game we won against the Saints in the playoffs in 2020, we ran the football (127 rushing yards to the Saints’ 104). I think that’s the No. 1 thing

you have to do against a defense like that, you have to have them respect the run. And for whatever rea son, last year against those teams, we just couldn’t do it.”The first nine weeks this season will determine whether kryptonite has a

Actually, the answers are pretty glaring and, presum ably, reparable.

and Rams the past two

“It’s a million-dollar ques tion,” tight end Cameron Brate said.

Jan. 17, 2021; New Orleans Bucs 30, Saints 20

passes for 376 yards Nov. 8, 2020; Tampa Saints 38, Bucs 3 Bucs amass 8 rushing yards Sept. 13, 2020; New Orleans Saints 34, Bucs 23 Brady’s two


36, Bucs 27

down stretch Dec. 19, 2021;Tampa Saints 9, Bucs 0

TAMPA — They know where the variations of the kryptonite are embedded throughout the 2022 sched ule. It will come upon them at least three times in the fall, maybe once more in the winter.Ofcourse, the Bucs have encountered this with eyes agape in recent seasons yet couldn’t avoid stumbling.

By contrast, in the 30-20 NFC division playoff win against the Saints on Jan. 17, 2021, the Bucs forced four turnovers, committed none and surrendered only one sack.“In the games where we do force turnovers, we are able to be in the game or even win the game,” Bar rett said. “And the Rams, it might just be sacks, hon estly. I’ll take all of (the responsibility) because we don’t get sacks … when we play (either) of those teams, really.”Inthe case of the Saints, who actually have won the past seven regular-season matchups against Tampa Bay, penalties are just as complicit as the pass rush (or lack thereof) when assessing the Bucs’ futili ty. In the teams’ four reg ular-season games of the Brady era, New Orleans has totaled 17 penalties for 198 yards; Tampa Bay 28 forNo271.such discrepancy existed in two of the recent three losses to the Rams, though the Bucs were whis tled for seven penalties to the Rams’ one in Los Ange les’ 34-24 victory in Week 3 last“Whenseason.you play those games, it’s all about who makes the least amount of mistakes in there,” Dean said. “We just get so emo tional like, ‘OK, this feels like a rivalry game.’ So they just keep their composure and we lose ours.”

What is it about Saints, Rams?

Receiver Cooper Kupp gets behind safety Antoine Winfield to set up the last-second winning field goal for the Rams in the NFC division playoff game last season, ending the Bucs’ hopes of back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Even now, they seem flummoxed by their fail ure to navigate — much less neutralize — the Saints and Rams, who have combined to win seven of the eight games against Tampa Bay in the Tom Brady era.

Brady’s Bucs? Sub tract the playoff win in New Orleans two sea sons ago, when Drew Brees couldn’t throw a screen pass without winc ing, and Tampa Bay is a combined 0-7 against the Saints and Rams with their Canton-bound quarterback under center. Five of those defeats have been decided by at least nine points.

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 23X

to make sure that we’re preparing the right way,” safety Antoine Winfield said. “And we’ve got to go out there and just play our best.”

Prediction: 8-9

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Justin Fields possesses the upside to make a quantum jump in Year Two.

Notable additions: WR D.J. Chark, LB Jarrad Davis, CB Mike Hughes

2021 record: 7-10 (third in NFC South)

Impact rookie: WR Christian Watson. Plant High alumnus could be needed immediately in refurbished Packers receiving corps

Notable departures: CB Stephon Gilm ore, QB Cam Newton, OLB Haason Reddick

Notable departures: WR Davante Adams, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Notable additions: WR Russell Gage, DL Akiem Hicks, WR Julio Jones, S Keanu Neal, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Logan Ryan

MATT DURISKO | Associated Press

Impact rookie: CB Kyler Gordon. Former international competitive dancer has freakish flexibility.

Coach: Matt LaFleur (fourth season, 39-10)

Why to back off them: The interior offen sive line has been besieged by injuries (center Ryan Jensen, guard Aaron Stin nie).

Coach: Arthur Smith (second season, 7-10)

Prediction: 6-11


DAVID DERMER | Associated Press

Coach: Dennis Allen (first season with Saints; fifth season overall, 8-28)

BY JOEY KNIGHT, Times Staff Writer

Impact rookie: WR Chris Olave. No. 11 overall pick was favored target of Jameis Winston early in preseason camp.

Why to back off them: Team lost 2,000 receiving yards with departure of Adams and Valdes-Scantling.

Coach: Dan Campbell (second season with Lions, 3-13-1; 5-7 as Dolphins interim coach in 2015)

2021 record: 13-4 (won NFC South; lost 30-27 to Rams in division round)

Prediction: 8-9

JACOB KUPFERMAN | Associated Press Quarterback Baker Mayfield

Wide receiver Christian Watson

DERICK HINGLE | Associated Press Quarterback Jameis Winston

Quarterback Justin Fields

Why to bet on them: The roster abounds with promise, and the players seem to have embraced Campbell.

2021 record: 6-11 (third in NFC North)

Coach: Kevin O’Connell (first season)


Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson

Why to bet on them: The defense has been reinforced (see Carter, Evans) and Smith is a respected offensive mind.


26X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

2021 record: 9-8 (second in NFC South)


Prediction: 7-10

Coach: Todd Bowles (first season with Bucs; fifth overall, 26-41; 2-1 as Dolphins interim coach in 2011)

Impact rookie: RB Rachaad White.

Notable additions: DT Jarran Reed, WR Sammy Watkins

Notable additions: LB Lorenzo Carter, LB Rashaan Evans, QB Marcus Mariota

Why to bet on them: Mayfield could galvanize the offense, and running back Christian McCaffrey is healthy for a change.

Why to bet on them: Canton-bound quarterback Aaron Rodgers is bent on winning at least one more Super Bowl


2021 record: 13-4 (won NFC North; lost 13-10 to 49ers in division round)

Notable additions: OT Alex Leatherwood, DT Justin Jones, WR Byron Pringle, OT Riley Reiff

Impact rookie: S Lewis Cine. Versatile back-end speedster led Georgia with nine pass breakups in 2021

Prediction: 5-12

Notable departures: QB Andy Dalton, DE Akiem Hicks, OLB Khalil Mack, WR Allen Robinson II

MIKE ROEMER | Associated Press

Notable additions: ILB Jordan Hicks, DT Harrison Phillips, WR Jalen Reagor, OLB Za’Darius Smith


Prediction: 11-6

ABBIE PARR | Associated Press Safety Lewis Cine


Why to bet on them: The offensive skill corps (Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Reagor) is exceptional.

DUANE BURLESON | Associated Press Wide receiver Drake London


Coach: Matt Rhule (third season, 10-23) 2021 record: 5-12 (fourth in NFC South)

2021 record: 3-13-1

Why to back off them: The offensive line allowed the most sacks (58) in the NFL last season.

Why to back off them: As quarterbacks go, Jared Goff is much closer to decent than dominant.

Why to bet on them: Tom Brady’s suc cess continues to bely his birth certificate.

Notable departures: C Mason Cole, TE Tyler Conklin, S Xavier Woods

Prediction: 9-8

Coach: Matt Eberflus (first season)

Why to back off them: Jury’s out on O’Connell, 37, as a head coach.

Impact rookie: OT Ikem Ekwonu. N.C. State All-American could bolster a unit that allowed fifth-most sacks (52) in NFL.

Why to bet on them: Allen, the former defensive coordinator, has mostly owned the Bucs in recent years.


Why to back off them: Mayfield could fiz zle, and McCaffrey could get hurt again.


Notable additions: C Bradley Bozeman, G Austin Corbett, RB D’Onta Foreman, QB Baker Mayfield, S Xavier Woods


Why to back off them: Offense still has way too many question marks, starting with the quarterback

Notable departures: TE Rob Gronkowski, LG Ali Marpet, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, DL Ndamukong Suh

Running back Rachaad White

Impact rookie: WR Drake London. No. 8 overall pick must deliver immediately to a receiving corps that has been decimated.

Notable additions: QB Andy Dalton, WR Jarvis Landry, S Tyrann Mathieu, S Marcus Maye

Notable departures: WR Russell Gage, S Duron Harmon, TE Hayden Hurst, LB Foye Oluokun, QB Matt Ryan

Notable departure: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Why to back off them: Winston is coming off knee surgery, and Allen flopped in his first head-coaching gig (with Raiders).

Impact rookie: DE Aidan Hutchinson. Instant fan favorite (and Michigan native) will fortify a surprisingly solid unit.

Prediction: 11-6

2021 record: 8-9 (second in NFC North)


Notable departures: LT Terron Armstead, S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S Malcolm Jenkins, Coach Sean Payton, S Marcus Williams

Versatile speedster has shown his chops as a pass catcher, pass protector.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford

Notable additions: CB James Bradber ry, WR A.J. Brown, S Chauncey Gard ner-Johnson, OLB Haason Reddick

Notable departures: RT La’el Collins, WR Amari Cooper, DE Randy Gregory, LG Connor Williams, WR Cedrick Wilson

Impact rookie: DT Jordan Davis. Georgia behemoth (6-foot-6, 340 pounds) was described as a “menace” at training camp.

Coach: Nick Sirianni (second season, 9-8)

2021 record: 10-7 (third in NFC West; lost 20-17 to Rams in NFC title game)

Coach: Ron Rivera (third season with Commanders, 14-19; 12th season overall, 90-82-1)



Impact rookie: Outside linebacker Myjai Sanders. Rangy (6-foot-5) former Cincin nati star may find immediate spot in edgerush rotation.

Notable departures: CB James Bradberry, TE Evan Engram, G Will Hernandez, NT Aus tin Johnson, S Logan Ryan

2021 record: 12-5 (won NFC East; lost 23-17 to 49ers in wild-card round)



Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 27X NFC EAST

Why to back off them: Giants still seem another draft class — and perhaps another quarterback — from contention.

Prediction: 9-8

Quarterback Jalen Hurts

Quarterback Trey Lance

Coach: Brian Daboll (first season)

Notable departures: DT D.J. Jones, C Alex Mack, offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, G Laken Tomlinson

Notable additions: S George Odum, CB Charvarius Ward

FOX | The Dallas Morning News Offensive tackle Tyler Smith

MATT PATTERSON | Associated Press

WINSLOW TOWNSON | Associated Press

TIM HAWK | nj.com

Notable departures: RB Chase Edmonds, MLB Jordan Hicks, OLB Chandler Jones, WR Christian Kirk

“Hollywood” Brown



NFC CardinalsWEST

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Daniel Jones could enjoy a resurgence under Daboll, who did wonders with Josh Allen in Buffalo.

Coach: Mike McCarthy (third season with Cowboys, 18-15; 16th season overall, 14392-2)

Notable additions: G Mark Glowinski, QB Tyrod Taylor

Coach: Kyle Shanahan (sixth season, 39-42)

Notable additions: CB Troy Hill, WR Allen Robinson II, LB Bobby Wagner

Prediction: 12-5

Defensive end J.J. Watt

Coach: Pete Carroll (13th season with Seahawks, 119-73-1; 17th season overall, 152-104-1)


Notable departures: CB D.J. Reed, MLB Bobby Wagner, QB Russell Wilson

Why to bet on them: Lock or fellow quar terback Geno Smith could stun the world and flourish as Wilson’s heir.

TYLER KAUFMAN | Associated Press

2021 record: 4-13 (fourth in NFC East)

Running back Kenneth Walker III

Why to bet on them: Swiss-army skill player Deebo Samuel is back, and quarter back Trey Lance is brimming with promise.

Prediction: 6-11

Impact rookie: DE Drake Jackson. Former USC edge rushers fortifies a pass rush that was already potent.

NICK WASS | Associated Press Quarterback Carson Wentz

Why to bet on them: The roster remains plenty star-studded enough for a Super Bowl repeat.

Prediction: 6-11

Impact rookie: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux. No. 5 overall pick, who shined in early training camp scrimmages, currently is nursing a sprained MCL.

BARRY REEGER | Associated Press

Why to back off them: Quarterback Kyler Murray is a walking soap opera (see con tract debacle).


Coach: Sean McVay (sixth season, 55-26)

Notable departures: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, DT Matt Ioannidis, G Brandon Scherff, DT Tim Settle

Notable departures: G Austin Corbett, P Johnny Hekker, OLB Von Miller, offen sive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, LT Andrew Whitworth, CB Darious Williams

Why to back off them: Lance (71 pass attempts as a rookie) is unproven.

Impact rookie: LT Tyler Smith. 6-foot-6 behemoth will be thrust into fire with veter an Tyron Smith (hamstring) on the shelf.

Why to back off them: Quarterback Mat thew Stafford, 34, dealt with right elbow issues the whole offseason.

Impact rookie: RB Kenneth Walker III. With Wilson gone, Seahawks need a bell cow back like this more than ever.

2021 record: 7-10 (third in NFC East)

Prediction: 8-9

2021 record: 12-5 (first in NFC West, won Super Bowl 56)

Notable departures: CB Steve Nelson, WR Jalen Reagor

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Jalen Hurts is surrounded by a constellation of skill stars and has a solid offensive line.

Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux

ROSS D. FRANKLIN | Associated Press

Prediction: 9-8

2021 record: 7-10 (fourth in NFC West)

Notable additions: TE Noah Fant, DE Shelby Harris, QB Drew Lock

Why to back off them: Russell Wilson has left the building (to Denver).

Notable additions: G Andrew Norwell, G Trai Turner, QB Carson Wentz


Impact rookie: None. Rams didn’t have a top-100 pick in draft.

Why to bet on them: Defense remains elite, and so is quarterback Dak Prescott when healthy.

Notable addition: WR Marquise

Why to bet on them: Wentz has had some fine moments in the NFL, and a defensive front that under-achieved in 2021 should rebound.

Coach: Kliff Kingsbury (fourth season, 24-24-1)

Notable additions: LB Anthony Barr, DE Dante Fowler, WR James Washington

Why to back off them: Dysfunction is per petual in Dallas, and a rookie (Smith) will be protecting Prescott’s blind side.

Why to bet on them: J.J. Watt is healthy again, and the offense has a smorgasbord of skill stars.

Why to back off them: There’s a reason Wentz, once deemed a franchise quarter back, is on his third team at age 29.

2021 record: 9-8 (second in NFC East; lost 31-15 to Bucs in wild-card round)

2021 record: 11-6 (second in NFC West; lost 34-11 to Rams in wild-card round)


Why to back off them: This team’s for tunes hinge on Hurts, badly exposed by the Bucs in last season’s playoffs.

Impact rookie: WR Jahan Dotson. An All-Big Ten pick who could complement underrated veteran Terry McLaurin.

Prediction: 10-7

Oct. 30 Pittsburgh, 1 Nov. 3 at Houston, 8:15 Nov. 14 Washington, 8:15 Nov. 20 at Indianapolis, 1 Nov. 27 Green Bay, 8:20 Dec. 4 Tennessee, 1 Dec. 11 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Dec. 18 at Chicago, 1 Dec. 24 at Dallas, 4:25 Jan. 1 New Orleans, 1 Jan. 7/8 N.Y. Giants, TBD

Oct. 16 at Seattle, 4:05

Sept. 8 Buffalo, 5:20 Sept. 18 Atlanta, 4:05 Sept. 25 at Arizona, 4:25 Oct. 3 at San Francisco, 5:15 Oct. 9 Dallas, 4:25 Oct. 16 Carolina, 4:05 Oct. 23 BYE Oct. 30 San Francisco, 4:25 Nov. 6 at Tampa Bay, 4:25 Nov. 13 Arizona, 4:25 Nov. 20 at New Orleans, 1 Nov. 27 at Kansas City, 4:25 Dec. 4 Seattle, 4:05 Dec. 8 Las Vegas, 8:15 Dec. 19 at Green Bay, 8:15 Dec. 25 Denver, 4:30 Jan. 1 at L.A. Chargers, 8:20 Jan. 7/8 at Seattle, TBD

Dec. 18 at Denver, 4:05

Dec. 12 New England, 8:15

25 Atlanta, 4:25 Oct. 2 at Detroit, 1 Oct. 9 at New Orleans, 1 Oct. 16 Arizona, 4:05 Oct. 23 at L.A. Chargers, 4:25 Oct. 30 N.Y. Giants, 4:25 Nov. 6 at Arizona, 4:05 Nov. 13 vs Tampa Bay (Munich), 9:30 a.m. Nov. 21 BYE

Sept. 11 San Francisco, 1 Sept. 18 at Green Bay, 8:20 Sept. 25 Houston, 1 Oct. 2 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Oct. 9 at Minnesota, 1 Oct. 13 Washington, 8:15

In Week 18, games eligible to be played on Saturday at 4:30 and 8:15 or Sunday at 1, 4:25, or 8:20

Oct. 2 at Carolina, 4:05

28X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

Nov. 13 at Green Bay, 4:25 Nov. 20 at Minnesota, 4:25 Nov. 24 N.Y. Giants, 4:30 Dec. 4 Indianapolis, 8:20 Dec. 11 Houston, 1 Dec. 18 at Jacksonville, 1 Dec. 24 Philadelphia, 4:25 Dec. 29 at Tennessee, 8:15 Jan. 7/8 at Washington, TBD

Dec. 17/18 N.Y. Giants, TBD Dec. 24 at San Francisco, Jan.4:05 1 Cleveland, 1 Jan. 7/8 Dallas, TBD

Jan. 1 at Atlanta, 1 Jan. 7/8 at San Francisco, TBD


Dec. 18 Philadelphia, 1 Dec. 24 Buffalo, 1 Jan. 1 at Detroit, 1 Jan. 7/8 Minnesota, TBD

Dec. 4 at L.A. Rams, 4:05 Dec. 11 Carolina, 4:25 Dec. 15 San Francisco, 8:15 Dec. 24 at Kansas City, 1 Jan. 1 N.Y. Jets, 4:05 Jan. 7/8 L.A. Rams, TBD

Sept. 11 Jacksonville, 1 Sept. 18 at Detroit, 1 Sept. 25 Philadelphia, 1 Oct. 2 at Dallas, 1 Oct. 9 Tennessee, 1 Oct. 13 at Chicago, 8:15


Sept. 11 Tampa Bay, 8:20 Sept. 18 Cincinnati, 4:25 Sept. 26 at N.Y. Giants, 8:15 Oct. 2 Washington, 1 Oct. 9 at L.A. Rams, 4:25 Oct. 16 at Philadelphia, 8:20 Oct. 23 Detroit, 1 Oct. 30 Chicago, 1 Nov. 6 BYE

Dec. 19 L.A. Rams, 8:15 Dec. 25 at Miami, 1 Jan. 1 Minnesota, 4:25 Jan. 7/8 Detroit, TBD


Nov. 27 New Orleans, 4:25 Dec. 4 Miami, 4:05 Dec. 11 Tampa Bay, 4:25 Dec. 15 at Seattle, 8:15 Dec. 24 Washington, 4:05 Jan. 1 at Las Vegas, 4:05 Jan. 7/8 Arizona, TBD

Nov. 6 Seattle, 2:05 Nov. 13 at L.A. Rams, 4:25 Nov. 21 vs San Francisco (Mexico City), 8:15

Oct. 2 Cleveland, 1 Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 Oct. 16 San Francisco, 1 Oct. 23 at Cincinnati, 1 Oct. 30 Carolina, 1 Nov. 6 L.A. Chargers, 1 Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 Nov. 20 Chicago, 1 Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 Dec. 4 Pittsburgh, 1 Dec. 11 BYE

Nov. 27 Las Vegas, 4:05

Sept. 11 at Minnesota, 4:25 Sept. 18 Chicago, 8:20 Sept. 25 at Tampa Bay, 4:25 Oct. 2 New England, 4:25 Oct. 9 vs N.Y. Giants (Tottenham), 8:30 a.m. Oct. 16 N.Y. Jets, 1 Oct. 23 at Washington, 1 Oct. 30 at Buffalo, 8:20 Nov. 6 at Detroit, 1 Nov. 13 Dallas, 4:25

Sept. 11 at Detroit, 1 Sept. 19 Minnesota, 8:30 Sept. 25 at Washington, 1 Oct. 2 Jacksonville, 1 Oct. 9 at Arizona, 4:25 Oct. 16 Dallas, 8:20 Oct. 23 BYE

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS Sept. 11 at Atlanta, 1 Sept. 18 Tampa Bay, 1 Sept. 25 at Carolina, 1 Oct. 2 vs Jan.Jan.Dec.Dec.Dec.Dec.4:25Nov.Nov.Nov.Nov.Oct.Oct.Oct.Oct.(Tottenham),Minnesota9:30a.m.9Seattle,116Cincinnati,120atArizona,8:1530LasVegas,17Baltimore,8:1513atPittsburgh,120L.A.Rams,127atSanFrancisco,5atTampaBay,8:1511BYE17/18Atlanta,TBD24atCleveland,11atPhiladelphia,17/8Carolina,TBD



Oct. 2 vs New Orleans (Tottenham), 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9 Chicago, 1 Oct. 16 at Miami, 1 Oct. 23 BYE Oct. 30 Arizona, 1 Nov. 6 at Washington, 1 Nov. 13 at Buffalo, 1 Nov. 20 Dallas, 4:25 Nov. 24 New England, 8:20 Dec. 4 N.Y. Jets, 1 Dec. 11 at Detroit, 1 Dec. 17/18 Indianapolis , TBD Dec. 24 N.Y. Giants, 1 Jan. 1 at Green Bay, 4:25 Jan. 7/8 at Chicago, TBD



Oct. 9 San Francisco, 4:05 Oct. 16 at L.A. Rams, 4:05


Oct. 9 Philadelphia, 4:25

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS Sept. 11 at Chicago, 1 Sept. 18 Seattle, 4:05 Sept. 25 at Denver, 8:20 Oct. 3 L.A. Rams, 8:15 Oct. 9 at Carolina, 4:05 Oct. 16 at Atlanta, 1 Oct. 23 Kansas City, 4:25 Oct. 30 at L.A. Rams, 4:25 Nov. 7 BYE Nov. 13 L.A. Chargers, 8:20 Nov. 21 vs Arizona (Mexico City), 8:15

Nov. 20 at Baltimore, 1 Nov. 27 Denver, 1 Dec. 4 BYE

Nov. 13 at Chicago, 1 Nov. 20 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Nov. 24 Buffalo, 12:30 Dec. 4 Jacksonville, 1 Dec. 11 Minnesota, 1 Dec. 18 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Dec. 24 at Carolina, 1 Jan. 1 Chicago, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Green Bay, TBD

Nov. 17 Tennessee, 8:15 Nov. 27 at Philadelphia, 8:20 Dec. 4 at Chicago, 1 Dec. 11 BYE

Oct. 9 Atlanta, 1 Oct. 16 at Pittsburgh, 1 Oct. 23 at Carolina, 1 Oct. 27 Baltimore, 8:15


Sept. 11 at Tennessee, 4:25 Sept. 18 Carolina, 1 Sept. 26 Dallas, 8:15 Oct. 2 Chicago, 1 Oct. 9 vs Green Bay (Tottenham), 9:30 a.m. Oct. 16 Baltimore, 1 Oct. 23 at Jacksonville, 1 Oct. 30 at Seattle, 4:25 Nov. 7 BYE Nov. 13 Houston, 1 Nov. 20 Detroit, 1 Nov. 24 at Dallas, 4:30 Dec. 4 Washington, 1 Dec. 11 Philadelphia, 1 Dec. 17/18 at Washington, Dec.TBD 24 at Minnesota, 1 Jan. 1 Indianapolis, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Philadelphia, TBD

Oct. 23 Green Bay, 1 Oct. 30 at Indianapolis, 4:25 Nov. 6 Minnesota, 1 Nov. 14 at Philadelphia, 8:15 Nov. 20 at Houston, 1 Nov. 27 Atlanta, 1 Dec. 4 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Dec. 11 BYE

Sept. 11 New Orleans, 1 Sept. 18 at L.A. Rams, 4:05 Sept. 25 at Seattle, 4:25


* Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change; Week 18 game TBD.

Sept. 11 Philadelphia, 1 Sept. 18 Washington, 1 Sept. 25 at Minnesota, 1 Oct. 2 Seattle, 1 Oct. 9 at New England, 1 Oct. 16 BYE Oct. 23 at Dallas, 1 Oct. 30 Miami, 1 Nov. 6 Green Bay, 1

Sept. 11 Green Bay, 4:25 Sept. 19 at Philadelphia, 8:30 Sept. 25 Detroit, 1

Jan. 1 Carolina, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Atlanta, TBD

Oct. 30 at Minnesota, 1


Dec. 25 Tampa Bay, 8:20

Oct. 20 New Orleans, 8:15

Dec. 17/18 at New Orleans, Dec.TBD 24 at Baltimore, 1 Jan. 1 Arizona, 1 Jan. 7/8 Tampa Bay, TBD

Oct. 23 Tampa Bay, 1 Oct. 30 at Atlanta, 1 Nov. 6 at Cincinnati, 1 Nov. 10 Atlanta, 8:15


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS Sept. 12 Denver, 8:15 Sept. 18 at San Francisco, Sept.4:05


Dec. 4 BYE

Sept. 11 at Dallas, 8:20 Sept. 18 at New Orleans, 1 Sept. 25 Green Bay, 4:25 Oct. 2 Kansas City, 8:20

Sept. 11 Kansas City, 4:25 Sept. 18 at Las Vegas, 4:25 Sept. 25 L.A. Rams, 4:25


Dec. 11 at Seattle, 4:25 Dec. 18 Pittsburgh, 1 Dec. 24 Detroit, 1 Jan. 1 at Tampa Bay, 1 Jan. 7/8 at New Orleans, TBD


Nov. 27 L.A. Chargers, 4:05

Sept. 11 Cleveland, 1 Sept. 18 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Sept. 25 New Orleans, 1 Oct. 2 Arizona, 4:05

Nov. 21 BYE

Nov. 6 L.A. Rams, 4:25 Nov. 13 vs Seattle (Munich), 9:30 a.m.

Nov. 27 at Cleveland, 1 Dec. 5 New Orleans, 8:15 Dec. 11 at San Francisco, 4:25 Dec. 18 Cincinnati, 4:25 Dec. 25 at Arizona, 8:20

Oct. 24 at New England, 8:15 Oct. 30 at Dallas, 1 Nov. 6 Miami, 1 Nov. 13 Detroit, 1 Nov. 20 at Atlanta, 1 Nov. 27 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Dec. 4 Green Bay, 1 Dec. 11 BYE

Prediction: 10-7

RICK SCUTERI | Associated Press

Why to back off them: Daboll, who clearly did wonders with Allen the last four sea sons, is now the Giants coach.

Why to back off them: Injuries (to quar terback Zach Wilson, right tackle Mekhi Becton) have seriously hampered the offense this preseason.

2021 record: 8-9 (third in AFC North)

2021 record: 9-8 (third in AFC East)

Impact rookie: None. Dolphins didn’t have a top-100 draft pick.

Notable departures: WR Mack Hollins, WR DeVante Parker

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa


Notable departures: CB J.C. Jackson, C Ted Karras, RG Shaq Mason, offensive coordina tor Josh McDaniels, RB James White

Prediction: 6-11

Notable additions: LT Duane Brown, TE Tyler Conklin, CB D.J. Reed, G Laken Tomlinson, TE C.J. Uzomah, S Jordan Whitehead

Notable additions: QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Amari Cooper, QB Deshaun Watson

Coach: Zac Taylor (fourth season, 16-32-1)

Prediction: 5-12

Prediction: 9-8

MICHAEL DWYER | Associated Press Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton


Notable additions: WR Jamison Crowder, DT DaQuan Jones, G Rodger Saffold


Safety Dax Hill

MATT DURISKO | Associated Press

2021 record: 8-9 (fourth in AFC North)



Why to back off them: The Ravens still have some deficiencies in the pass rush and need a No. 1 receiver to emerge.

Notable departure: WR Marquise

Prediction: 8-9

2021 record: 11-6 (won AFC East; lost 42-36 in overtime to Chiefs in division round)

Coach: Robert Saleh (second season, 4-13)

2021 record: 4-13 (fourth in AFC East)



Notable additions: G Alex Cappa, OT La’el Collins, TE Hayden Hurst, C Ted Karras

Why to bet on them: The law of averages says the rash of injuries that decimated Baltimore in 2021 won’t reoccur.

Why to bet on them: The deep run game, which features former USF star D’Ernest Johnson, is outstanding.

Notable departure: TE C.J. Uzomah

WILFREDO LEE | Associated Press

Notable additions: LT Terron Armstead, RB Chase Edmonds, WR Tyreek Hill, RB Sony Michel, RB Raheem Mostert, WR Cedrick Wilson

2021 record: 10-7 (won AFC North; lost 23-20 to Rams in Super Bowl 56)

Safety Kyle Hamilton

Quarterback Kenny Pickett


Notable departures: CB Troy Hill, TE Aus tin Hooper, WR Jarvis Landry, QB Baker Mayfield

Impact rookie: QB Kenny Pickett. Pitt’s career passing-yardage leader will be start ing for his backyard NFL team in short order.

Impact rookie: WR Tyquan Thornton. Fastest receiver at NFL combine (4.28 seconds in 40) broke out early in training camp.

Impact rookie: S Dax Hill. Ex-Michigan star provides a nice complement to veter an Jessie Bates, whose holdout ended.

Coach: Bill Belichick (23rd season with Patri ots, 254-99; 28th season overall, 290-143)

Why to bet on them: Belichick won 10 games last year with rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who isn’t likely to regress.

Why to back off them: In the last 50 years, only one team (2018 Patriots) has won it all after losing the previous Super Bowl.


2021 record: (10-7, second in AFC East; lost 47-17 to Bills in wild-card round)

Notable addition: WR DeVante Parker

Coach: Kevin Stefanski (third season, 19-14)

Impact rookie: CB Kaiir Elam. Former Gator should step in right away for Levi Wallace, now with Steelers.

Cornerback Kaiir Elam

BY JOEY KNIGHT, Times Staff Writer

Why to bet on them: The nucleus is intact from 2021 team, and quarterback Josh Allen is NFL’s most imposing dual threat (6-5, 237).

Coach: Sean McDermott (sixth season, 49-32)

Notable departure: S Marcus Maye

Why to bet on them: Bengals greatly fortified their offensive line through free agency.

Impact rookie: CB Martin Emerson. Rangy third-round selection had a pick in his preseason debut vs. Jaguars.

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 29X

Notable departures: defensive coordinator Keith Butler, QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, DL Stephon Tuitt

Why to back off them: The Watson saga remains a far too enormous distraction for any franchise to overcome.

Coach: John Harbaugh (15th season, 137-88)

Why to bet on them: Thanks to free agency, Steelers should have a defensive mini-resur gence, and a better offensive line.

“Hollywood” Brown

Impact rookie: CB Sauce Gardner. No. 4 overall pick can only help defense that gave up most yards, points in NFL in 2022.

Prediction: 9-8


Why to back off them: Tua’s consistency with the deep ball remains arguably the team’s biggest concern.

Notable additions: OLB Justin Houston, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, OT Morgan Moses, S Marcus Williams

Why to bet on them: Front office was aggressive in free agency, surrounding quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with protec tors and playmakers.

Coach: Mike Tomlin (16th season, 154-85-2)

Running back D’Ernest Johnson

BESSEX | Associated Press

Notable departures: Offensive coordina tor Brian Daboll, DT Harrison Phillips

JOHN MUNSON | Associated Press


2021 record: 9-7-1 (second in AFC North; lost 42-21 to Chiefs in wild-card round)

Why to bet on them: General manager Joe Douglas flourished in free agency and had a universally-lauded draft.

Cornerback Sauce Gardner

Notable additions: C Mason Cole, G James Daniels, LB Myles Jack, DT Larry Ogunjobi, QB Mitchell Trubisky, CB Levi Wallace

Why to back off them: McDaniels now coaches the Raiders, and Belichick still won’t say who is calling the plays.

Prediction: 9-8

Coach: Mike McDaniel (first season)

JEFF DEAN | Associated Press


JOSHUA GUNTER | cleveland.com

Impact rookie: S Kyle Hamilton. No. 14 overall pick should solidify secondary that allowed 363.4 passing yards per game in 2021.

Why to back off them: At some point in 2022, this team will be breaking in a rookie quarterback.


Coach: Doug Pederson (first season with Jaguars; sixth season overall, 42-37-1)

Why to bet on them: Ryan, 37, could have a career resurgence behind a dangerous ground game (i.e. Jonathan Taylor).

MATT PATTERSON | Associated Press Defensive back Derek Stingley Jr.

Notable additions: TE Austin Hooper, WR Robert Woods




Why to back off them: This franchise historically underachieves, and Jackson (ankle) could be sidelined a month.

30X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

Notable additions: CB J.C. Jackson, DT Austin Johnson, DE Sebastian JosephDay, DE Khalil Mack, RB Sony Michel

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Derek Carr has a smorgasbord of talented targets, led of course by Adams.

2021 record: 3-14 (fourth in AFC South)

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Davis Mills was effective down the stretch in 2021 (2-2 record, eight TDs, two INTs).

2021 record: 12-5 (won AFC South; lost 19-16 to Bengals in division round)


Why to back off them: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, 34, lost two elite targets in Brown and Jones.

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Pat rick Mahomes still has stellar targets and one of the best offensive coaches around (Reid).

Prediction: 12-5

MARK ZALESKI | Associated Press Wide receiver Treylon Burks

Impact rookie: CB Derek Stingley Jr. Generational talent had 20 pass deflec tions, six picks in only 25 games at LSU.

Notable departures: WR Tyreek Hill, CB Tyrann Mathieu, CB Charvarius Ward




Why to back off them: Ryan, who had a feeble passer rating (90.4) in 2021, is the Colts’ fourth starting quarterback in four years.

Notable departures: Coach Urban Meyer, LG Andrew Norwell

Why to back off them: The franchise’s rebuild in the post-Watson era will take more than a year.

Notable departures: WR A.J. Brown, WR Julio Jones, G Rodger Saffold

Impact rookie: WR Treylon Burks. No. 18 overall pick made a lot of contested catches in joint practices with Bucs.

Coach: Lovie Smith (first season with Tex ans; 12th season overall, 89-87)

Why to back off them: Mahomes threw 13 interceptions in 2021 after combining for 11 the previous two years.

Prediction: 8-9

Coach: Frank Reich (fifth season, 37-28)

2021 record: 9-8 (third in AFC West)


Impact rookie: None. Raiders had no firstor second-round pick due to the trade for Adams.

Notable additions: DE Mario Addison, G A.J. Cann, CB Steven Nelson, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Why to bet on them: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a generational talent, finally has a rational coach (Pederson) mentor ing him.

Why to back off them: Though brim ming with young talent, Jags still seem a year away.

Why to bet on them: Titans still have a daunting front seven on defense and formi dable run game, a winning formula for any level.


JOHN LOCHER | Associated Press Wide receiver Davante Adams

Notable additions: DE Randy Gregory, DT D.J. Jones, CB K’Waun Williams, QB Russell Wilson

Notable additions: WR Davante Adams, DE Chandler Jones

2021 record: 12-5 (won AFC West; lost 27-24 in overtime to Bengals in AFC title game)

Coach: Brandon Staley (second season, 9-8)

Why to bet on them: Wilson, who ele vates the play of all around him, assumes the reins of a talented team.

Prediction: 11-6

Coach: Andy Reid (10th season with Chiefs, 103-42; 24th season overall, 233-135-1)

Coach: Josh McDaniels (first season with Raiders; third season overall, 11-17)

Notable additions: TE Evan Engram, WR Zay Jones, WR Christian Kirk, LB Foye Oluokun, CB Darious Williams

2021 record: 10-7 (second in AFC West; lost 26-19 to Bengals in wild-card round)

Notable departure: QB Deshaun Watson

DEMPSEY | Associated Press Russell Wilson

Impact rookie: OLB Nik Bonitto. Edge rusher had two sacks, forced fumble in preseason finale vs. Vikings.

Notable departures: CB Casey Hayward, DT Quinton Jefferson, WR Zay Jones, QB Marcus Mariota

BOLINGER | Associated Press Wide receiver Alec Pierce

Prediction: 7-10

Why to back off them: The AFC West is loaded, and we don’t know how well Wilson will click with his new coach (Hackett).

Coach: Mike Vrabel (fifth season, 41-24)

Prediction: 10-7


Notable departures: Defensive coordina tor Matt Eberflus, G Mark Glowinski, QB Carson Wentz

Notable departure: OLB Uchenna Nwosu

2021 record: 7-10 (fourth in AFC West)

Notable departures: TE Noah Fant, CB Kyle Fuller

2021 record: 9-8 (second in AFC South)


KYUSUNG GONG | Associated Press Guard Zion Johnson

2021 record: 4-13 (third in AFC South)

Coach: Nathaniel Hackett (first season)

Why to back off them: The offensive line is shaky, and McDaniels flopped in his first head-coaching gig in Denver.

Notable additions: S Justin Reid, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Notable additions: CB Stephon Gilmore, DE Yannick Ngakoue, QB Matt Ryan

Second-round pick from Cincinnati shined in joint practices with Lions.

Why to bet on them: Justin Herbert has all the makings of a franchise quarter back, and the defense got some huge upgrades.

Impact rookie: G Zion Johnson. Behe moth from Boston College was ESPN’s top guard prospect of 2022 draft class.



Impact rookie: WR Alec Pierce.




Prediction: 4-13

Cornerback Trent McDuffie

PHELAN M. EBENHACK | Associated Press Linebacker Travon Walker

Impact rookie: CB Trent McDuffie. Loss es in free agency thrust this No. 17 overall pick into starting lineup immediately.

Impact rookie: OLB Travon Walker. No. 1 overall pick should fortify pass rush that tied for 26th in NFL in sacks (32).

CHARLIE RIEDEL | Associated Press

Oct. 16 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Oct. 23 Cleveland, 1 Oct. 27 at Tampa Bay, 8:15


Jan. 1 Pittsburgh, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Cincinnati, TBD

Oct. 30 Tennessee, 4:05

Sept. 11 Pittsburgh, 1 Sept. 18 at Dallas, 4:25 Sept. 25 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Sept. 29 Miami, 8:15

Sept. 11 at Carolina, 1 Sept. 18 N.Y. Jets, 1 Sept. 22 Pittsburgh, 8:15 Oct. 2 at Atlanta, 1 Oct. 9 L.A. Chargers, 1 Oct. 16 New England, 1 Oct. 23 at Baltimore, 1 Oct. 31 Cincinnati, 8:15 Nov. 6 BYE

Dec. 11 N.Y. Jets, 1 Dec. 17/18 Miami, TBD Dec. 24 at Chicago, 1

Sept. 11 at Houston, 1 Sept. 18 at Jacksonville, 1 Sept. 25 Kansas City, 1 Oct. 2 Tennessee, 1 Oct. 6 at Denver, 8:15


Sept. 11 N.Y. Giants, 4:25 Sept. 19 at Buffalo, 7:15 Sept. 25 Las Vegas, 1 Oct. 2 at Indianapolis, 1 Oct. 9 at Washington, 1 Oct. 16 BYE

2 at Philadelphia, 1 Oct. 9 Houston, 1 Oct. 16 at Indianapolis, 1 Oct. 23 N.Y. Giants, 1 Oct. 30 vs Nov.Nov.(Wembley),Denver9:30a.m.6LasVegas,113atKansasCity, 1

Nov. 7 at New Orleans, 8:15

Sept. 12 at Seattle, 8:15 Sept. 18 Houston, 4:25 Sept. 25 San Francisco, 8:20 Oct. 2 at Las Vegas, 4:25 Oct. 6 Indianapolis, 8:15 Oct. 17 at L.A. Chargers, 8:15 Oct. 23 N.Y. Jets, 4:05 Oct. 30 vs.

Dec. 11 Cleveland, 1


Sept. 11 New England, 1 Sept. 18 at Baltimore, 1 Sept. 25 Buffalo, 1 Sept. 29 at Cincinnati, 8:15 Oct. 9 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Oct. 16 Minnesota, 1 Oct. 23 Pittsburgh, 8:20 Oct. 30 at Detroit, 1 Nov. 6 at Chicago, 1 Nov. 13 Cleveland, 1 Nov. 20 BYE

Oct. 16 Jacksonville, 1 Oct. 23 at Tennessee, 1 Oct. 30 Washington, 4:25 Nov. 6 at New England, 1 Nov. 13 at Las Vegas, 4:05 Nov. 20 Philadelphia, 1 Nov. 28 Pittsburgh, 8:15 Dec. 4 at Dallas, 8:20 Dec. 11 BYE

Nov. 20 N.Y. Jets, 1 Nov. 24 at Minnesota, 8:20 Dec. 1 Buffalo, 8:15 Dec. 12 at Arizona, 8:15 Dec. 18 at Las Vegas, 8:20 Dec. 24 Cincinnati, 1 Jan. 1 Miami, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Buffalo, TBD

Nov. 27 at Tennessee, 1 Dec. 4 Kansas City, 4:25

Nov. 20 Kansas City, 4:25 Nov. 27 at Arizona, 4:05 Dec. 4 at Las Vegas, 4:25 Dec. 11 Miami, 4:05 Dec. 18 Tennessee, 4:25 Dec. 26 at Indianapolis, 8:15 Jan. 1 L.A. Rams, 8:20 Jan. 7/8 at Denver, TBD

Nov. 20 at Pittsburgh, 8:20

Sept. 11 at Cincinnati, 1 Sept. 18 New England, 1 Sept. 22 at Cleveland, 8:15 Oct. 2 N.Y. Jets, 1 Oct. 9 at Buffalo, 1 Oct. 16 Tampa Bay, 1 Oct. 23 at Miami, 8:20 Oct. 30 at Philadelphia, 1 Nov. 6 BYE

Oct. 9 Miami, 1 Oct. 16 at Green Bay, 1 Oct. 23 at Denver, 4:05 Oct. 30 New England, 1 Nov. 6 Buffalo, 1 Nov. 13 BYE Nov. 20 at New England, 1 Nov. 27 Chicago, 1 Dec. 4 at Minnesota, 1 Dec. 11 at Buffalo, 1 Dec. 18 Detroit, 1 Dec. 22 Jacksonville, 8:15 Jan. 1 at Seattle, 4:05 Jan. 7/8 at Miami, TBD

Oct. 30 Green Bay, 8:20 Nov. 6 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Nov. 13 Minnesota, 1 Nov. 20 Cleveland, 1 Nov. 24 at Detroit, 12:30

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 31X Share stories that matter. facebook.com/tampabaycom Don’t Miss A Beat. Breaking news, sports, business, arts and more. THE LATEST NEWS IN YOUR INBOX from the Sign up today: tampabay.com/newsletters wheneverNews you need it. twitter.com/TB_Times/ BUCS SPECIAL SECTION


Sept. 11 at L.A. Chargers, 4:25 Sept. 18 Arizona, 4:25 Sept. 25 at Tennessee, 1 Oct. 2 Denver, 4:25 Oct. 10 at Kansas City, 8:15 Oct. 16 BYE Oct. 23 Houston, 4:05 Oct. 30 at New Orleans, 1 Nov. 6 at Jacksonville, 1 Nov. 13 Indianapolis, 1:05 Nov. 20 at Denver, 1:05 Nov. 27 at Seattle, 1:05 Dec. 4 L.A. Chargers, 4:25 Dec. 8 at L.A. Rams, 8:15 Dec. 18 New England, 8:20 Dec. 24 at Pittsburgh, 8:15 Jan. 1 San Francisco, 4:05 Jan. 7/8 Kansas City, TBD

Nov. 27 Houston, 1 Dec. 4 at San Francisco, 4:05 Dec. 11 at L.A. Chargers, 4:05 Dec. 17/18 at Buffalo, TBD Dec. 25 Green Bay, 1 Jan. 1 at New England, 1 Jan. 7/8 N.Y. Jets, TBD


Nov. 13 BYE

Dec. 24 New Orleans, 1 Jan. 1 at Washington, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Pittsburgh, TBD


* Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change; Week 18 game TBD. In Week 18, games eligible to be played on Saturday at 4:30 and 8:15 or Sunday at 1, 4:25, or 8:20 AFC SCHEDULES


Nov. 6 Carolina, 1 Nov. 13 BYE

Oct. 23 Indianapolis, 1 Oct. 30 at Houston, 4:05 Nov. 6 at Kansas City, 8:20 Nov. 13 Denver, 1 Nov. 17 at Green Bay, 8:15 Nov. 27 Cincinnati, 1 Dec. 4 at Philadelphia, 1 Dec. 11 Jacksonville, 1 Dec. 18 at L.A. Chargers, 4:25 Dec. 24 Houston, 1 Dec. 29 Dallas, 8:15 Jan. 7/8 at Jacksonville, TBD

Oct. 9 at Baltimore, 8:20


N.Y. JETS Sept. 11 Baltimore, 1 Sept. 18 at Cleveland, 1 Sept. 25 Cincinnati, 1 Oct. 2 at Pittsburgh, 1

Sept. 8 at L.A. Rams, 8:20 Sept. 19 Tennessee, 7:15 Sept. 25 at Miami, 1 Oct. 2 at Baltimore, 1 Oct. 9 Pittsburgh, 1 Oct. 16 at Kansas City, 4:25 Oct. 23 BYE

Jan. 7/8 New England, TBD

Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay, 4:25

Dec. 24 at New England, 1 Jan. 2 Buffalo, 8:30 Jan. 7/8 Baltimore, TBD

Nov. 20 Carolina, 1 Nov. 27 at Jacksonville, 1 Dec. 4 Denver, 1

Sept. 11 Indianapolis, 1 Sept. 18 at Denver, 4:25 Sept. 25 at Chicago, 1 Oct. 2 L.A. Chargers, 1 Oct. 9 at Jacksonville, 1 Oct. 17 BYE

Sept. 11 at Arizona, 4:25 Sept. 15 L.A. Chargers, 8:15 Sept. 25 at Indianapolis, 1 Oct. 2 at Tampa Bay, 8:20 Oct. 10 Las Vegas, 8:15 Oct. 16 Buffalo, 4:25 Oct. 23 at San Francisco, Oct.4:25 30 BYE Nov. 6 Tennessee, 8:20 Nov. 13 Jacksonville, 1 Nov. 20 at L.A. Chargers, 4:25 Nov. 27 L.A. Rams, 4:25 Dec. 4 at Cincinnati, 4:25 Dec. 11 at Denver, 8:20 Dec. 18 at Houston, 1 Dec. 24 Seattle, 1 Jan. 1 Denver, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Las Vegas, TBD

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Sept. 11 at Miami, 1 Sept. 18 at Pittsburgh, 1 Sept. 25 Baltimore, 1 Oct. 2 at Green Bay, 4:25 Oct. 9 Detroit, 1 Oct. 16 at Cleveland, 1 Oct. 24 Chicago, 8:15 Oct. 30 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Nov. 6 Indianapolis, 1 Nov. 13 BYE


Nov. 27 Baltimore, 1 Dec. 4 at Detroit, 1 Dec. 11 at Tennessee, 1 Dec. 18 Dallas, 1 Dec. 22 at N.Y. Jets, 8:15 Jan. 1 at Houston, 1 Jan. 7/8 Tennessee, TBD

Sept. 11 Las Vegas, 4:25 Sept. 15 at Kansas City, 8:15 Sept. 25 Jacksonville, 4:05 Oct. 2 at Houston, 1 Oct. 9 at Cleveland, 1 Oct. 17 Denver, 8:15 Oct. 23 Seattle, 4:25 Oct. 30 BYE Nov. 6 at Atlanta, 1 Nov. 13 at San Francisco, 8:20

Dec. 17/18 at Minnesota, TBD Dec. 26 L.A. Chargers, 8:15 Jan. 1 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Jan. 7/8 Houston, TBD

Sept. 11 at Washington, 1 Sept. 18 Indianapolis, 1 Sept. 25 at L.A. Chargers, Oct.4:05

Oct. 23 at Las Vegas, 4:05


Nov. 13 at Miami, 1 Nov. 20 at Buffalo, 1 Nov. 27 Tampa Bay, 1 Dec. 4 at Houston, 1 Dec. 11 at Cincinnati, 1 Dec. 17/18 Baltimore, TBD


Dec. 1 at New England, 8:15


Nov. 20 BYE

Sept. 11 at N.Y. Jets, 1 Sept. 18 Miami, 1 Sept. 25 at New England, 1 Oct. 2 Buffalo, 1 Oct. 9 Cincinnati, 8:20


Nov. 13 New Orleans, 1 Nov. 20 Cincinnati, 8:20 Nov. 28 at Indianapolis, 8:15 Dec. 4 at Atlanta, 1 Dec. 11 Baltimore, 1 Dec. 18 at Carolina, 1 Dec. 24 Las Vegas, 8:15 Jan. 1 at Baltimore, 1 Jan. 7/8 Cleveland, TBD

Jan. 2 at Cincinnati, 8:30


Dec. 11 at Pittsburgh, 1 Dec. 17/18 at Cleveland, TBD Dec. 24 Atlanta, 1


Nov. 3 Philadelphia, 8:15 Nov. 13 at N.Y. Giants, 1 Nov. 20 Washington, 1 Nov. 27 at Miami, 1 Dec. 4 Cleveland, 1 Dec. 11 at Dallas, 1 Dec. 18 Kansas City, 1 Dec. 24 at Tennessee, 1 Jan. 1 Jacksonville, 1 Jan. 7/8 at Indianapolis, TBD

Oct. 16 at New Orleans, 1 Oct. 23 Atlanta, 1 Oct. 31 at Cleveland, 8:15

32X | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | Tampa Bay Times

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