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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Vincent Jackson Seeks Milestone in Week 16

December 19th, 2014 at 8:46 PM
By Michael Compton

Overshadowed by the exploits of rookie Mike Evans in recent weeks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson has quietly put together a solid season of his own. A savvy veteran, Jackson needs just 69 receiving yards against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to reach 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season as a member of the Buccaneers (fourth overall). If Jackson hits the milestone, he will become only the second receiver in team history to post three such seasons, joining Joey Galloway (2005-2007).

Despite the Buccaneers’ disappointing season, Jackson is confident the team will learn from this year’s struggles.

“Nothing is guaranteed to us and I think that’s been the biggest lesson,” Jackson said. “The fact that even though you go and you do everything you’re supposed to do the right way – those things do add up in the end and I think they will help us turn the corner in the future – but for now in the immediate [future] you have to play football the right way and you’ve got to execute. It’s definitely been a big learning lesson and I think that for me personally I still love this game and I’m still having so much fun despite the record.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Place Gerald McCoy, Two Others on Injured Reserve

December 16th, 2014 at 9:02 PM
By Michael Compton

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (knee), wide receiver Louis Murphy (ankle), and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins were placed on Injured Reserve, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Tuesday.

Head coach Lovie Smith addressed McCoy’s situation on Monday following the Week 15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in which McCoy sprained his right knee. McCoy concludes his season with 8.5 sacks and 25 tackles.

“Well you know how Gerald took the news, of course,” Smith said of McCoy, who left the Carolina game in the first quarter and didn’t return. “He didn’t go off on the cart [in the game]. When you’re the leader of the team, you want to be there right up until the end. Of course, it wasn’t a decision that Gerald was going to make. You knew he wanted to continue to play, but it’s something bigger than that. First off, he has an injury and he can’t play, but we’ll take every precaution with him.”

Seferian-Jenkins caught 21 passes for 221 yards and scored two touchdowns while Murphy hauled in 31 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns.

The team also announced that wide receiver Tavarres King, tight end Evan Rodriguez, and defensive tackle George Uko were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fall to Carolina Panthers in Week 15

December 14th, 2014 at 11:07 PM
By Michael Compton

Seeking their first division win of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came up two points shy on Sunday, losing 19-17 to the Carolina Panthers. With the Week 15 win, the Panthers (5-8-1) remain alive in the NFC playoff race and can take over the top spot in the division with a New Orleans Saints loss on Monday night. The Buccaneers fall to 2-12.

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson got the best of the Buccaneers for the second time this season. Anderson once again filled in admirably for Cam Newton, who was injured in a car accident earlier in the week. Anderson, who started in place of Newton in the Panthers' Week 1 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, connected on 25 of 40 passes for 277 yards on Sunday.

Doug Martin paced the Buccaneers’ offense, rushing for a season-high 96 yards on 14 carries including a 63-yard run on the second play from scrimmage that set up a first-quarter touchdown. Following the explosive run by Martin, quarterback Josh McCown found Mike Evans in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass to give the Buccaneers an early lead. It was Evans’ 11th touchdown of the season, tying him with Mike Williams for the single-season franchise record for touchdowns.

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Rookie of the Year Frontrunners to Square Off When Tampa Bay Buccaneers Face the Carolina Panthers

December 13th, 2014 at 5:50 PM
By Michael Compton

Having been eliminated from playoff contention, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing only for pride on Sunday when they face the Carolina Panthers, but the Week 15 contest isn’t without an interesting storyline. The game will feature two of the leading Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates in Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin. The wide receivers have impressed in their first year as pros and the pair is nearly inseparable in a host of statistical categories.

Benjamin leads in receptions 59 to 57, while Evans is tops in yards with 935 compared to Benjamin's 848. Evans also leads in touchdowns (10 to 9) and averages 16.4 yards per catch to Benjamin’s 14.4 yards per catch. Evans’ 10 touchdown receptions are the third-most in the NFL this season and the second-most in a single season in franchise history.

On a conference call with the press this week, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he sees many similarities between the two players.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seek First Division Win in Week 15 Test Against Carolina Panthers

December 10th, 2014 at 5:28 PM
By Michael Compton

The reeling Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be out to avenge a Week 1 loss at home to the Carolina Panthers when they travel to Bank of America Stadium Sunday in search of their first win of the year against an NFC South opponent.

“[The division has] been off, but we’re going to have a division champ that I think will do fairly well when they get into the playoffs,” head coach Lovie Smith said at his Wednesday press conference. “What we still can get accomplished is that this week we’re playing the defending champs and they really looked good last week. For us to get momentum going into next year and just [get] momentum and start winning, just to get a win and play better, that’s what we have to look forward to this week.

“Eventually these are the teams that we have to beat,” he added. “We played them well the first time – I say well, but I mean we were in the game, had an opportunity and I think we’re a better football team than back then. They say they are too. I’m anxious to see.”

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