NFL TNF Report: Patriots 19-14 Buccaneers

Jameis Winston’s Tampa Buccaneers missed a late chance to steal a win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night in a 19-14 game.

On the last drive, Winston threw for 71 yards to get his team on the New England 19 yard line with seconds left and no timeouts available. He spiked the ball off the snap to stop the clock with just three seconds remaining, meaning it was last chance saloon for the Bucs.

He aimed deep into the end zone with a bullet pass but it fell incomplete and New England picked up their third win of the regular season.

Winston had a good game, racking up 334 passing yards from 26 completed attempts to make it three consecutive games with 300+ yards.

Running back Doug Martin grabbed a touchdown on his return to the Tampa Bay side following a period in rehab. He was denied a touchdown on review as his knee was down outside the end zone but he dived over the line of scrimmage on the following play to put six on the board for the home team.

In total, Martin rushed for 74 yards from 13 attempts. The best receiver for the Bucs was Desean Jackson who recorded 106 yards from five receptions. 

Nick Folk will want to forget the game all together after a nightmare showing where he missed three field goal attempts. Retrospectively, speaking they could have won the game with two of those converted. 

Justin Evans picked a deep Tom Brady pass on the first drive of the play to give Tampa the ball early and halt New England’s offence.

Brady threw for 303 yards from 30 completed passing attempts during the game. He fumbled the ball once from a perfectly timed Tampa Bay blitz where Adarius Glanton sacked the QB and Will Clarke dived on the fumble.

Brandin Cooks received the football five times for 85 yards with Danny Amendola racking up 77 yards from eight receptions.

In complete contrast from Folk, Stephen Gostkowski kicked four-for-four on field goals, putting 13 points on the board with his one extra point. 

All in all a decent showing from the Bucs, while the Patriots win without blowing anybody away – but questions remain about the Patriots defence and Tampa Bay’s kicker.

NFL Thursday Night Football Preview: Patriots @ Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s New England Patriots travel to the Raymond James Stadium for their fixture against Jameis Winston’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this week’s Thursday Night Football.

The reigning, defending Super Bowl champions haven’t had an amazing start to this season and sit 2-2 after last weeks despairing 33-30 loss to Cam Newton’s Panthers. 
A last minute field goal lead to another loss for Bill Belichick’s men, who’s other loss came at the hands of the high-flying, undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in the Kickoff game.

Defensively, the Pats have underperformed and are currently giving away 7.2 yards per play, losing 456.8 yards per game in their four games so far – the most conceded by all teams in the NFL.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower told the media on Monday the defence needs to take “accountability” to improve.

He said, “It’s just accountability. It’s all on us and we’ve got to hold each other to a higher standard than that, and that starts today. The time is now. There’s no more ‘next week’, so we have to get going”.

He thinks the Patriots needs to focus on doing the basics right and the major plays will follow, adding “That’s where it starts. The small things matter. Getting that little bit of extra pressure on the quarterback, that extra knock back or extra jam on the line of scrimmage – all the little things matter right now”.

They will be boosted by the fact tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was added to the injury report on Wednesday with a thigh injury, will play in the game according to NFL insider Ian Rappoport.

Despite the poor defence, the offence has been pulling its weight – Brady has 1,399 pass yards so far this season and the offence is ranked first with 423.8 yards per game.

The Buccaneers head into this game with their quarterback Winston having thrown for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in last weeks victory over the winless New York Giants. That makes it consecutive games for the QB with 300+ passing yards

He’s impressed New England coach Bill Belichick, who this week said of the quarterback, “I think [Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter] has done a great job with him in two years, probably, arguably, as good as any coach has done with any quarterback in the first two years of a career”. 

Belichick thinks Winston is well on his way to becoming an elite QB, adding “He’s pretty much already done it in two years. What more do you want him to do?”

Winston himself is ready for the game, but doesn’t know what to say to Tom Brady when he meets him on Thursday.

He told the media, “I’m thinking about ‘what am I going to say to him when I see him and meet him?’. That’s going to be a great moment to see one of the greatest quarterback ever to play the game to line up against you”.

Winston has a lot of respect for Brady and hopes to emulate him adding, “That’s the reason why every off season, every rep I get during the season, I’m trying to be better and better because I know that’s he’s still getting better and better.

“Him and Drew Brees and a couple of the older veterans that are still playing to this day – they’re an inspiration for young guys like myself and the other guys coming into the league”.

On top of the passing stats, the Bucs welcome running back Doug Martin back to the team after his activation from the Reserve/Suspended list, allowing him to compliment the passing game with his ground game.

The Buccaneers host the Patriots on Thursday night – kick off is around 1.25am UK time.

Paul Jones on: PL Transfer Deadline Vote

The following article was written by Paul Jones.

What do John Toshack, Eric Cantona and Andy Gray all have in common?

They all transferred to arguably their most successful club outside of modern day transfer window periods.

 

John Toshack left Cardiff City for Liverpool on the 11th November 1970 for a fee of £110,000. Whilst at Liverpool Toshack scored 96 goals. 


His medal haul included three league titles (1976, 1976 and 1977), An FA Cup winners medal in 1974 and two Uefa Cup winners medals in 1973 and 1976.

 

Eric Cantona sealed a £1.2 million pound move from Leeds United to Manchester United on 26th November 1992.

 

Joining the class of ’92 Eric Cantona scored 64 goals racking up four Premier League titles in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997 as well as winning two FA cups in 1994 and 1996, scoring the winning goal against Liverpool in the final of the latter.

 

Andy Gray moved clubs outside of the modern day transfer window when moving to his two most successful clubs Aston Villa and Everton.

 

In October 1975, at the age of 19, Gray left Dundee United and moved to newly promoted Aston Villa and won England’s golden boot the following season. 


In November 1983 Everton parted with £250,000 to secure his services where he went on to win an FA cup, a League Championship and a European Cup Winners Cup.

 

None of these transfers would have taken place in the modern age of transfer windows.

 

The idea that the Premier League will close the transfer window at 5pm on the Thursday before the Premier League starts has got to be one of the most idiotic decisions the dimwits who run football have taken.

 

The transfer window as a concept is a complete farce created by the powers that be to give a satellite corporation and their 24 hour gossip channel some kind of false credibility.

 

I ask – who actually benefits from the transfer window? My guess is the only people to benefit from the window are one of the many armies of leaches in football, the agents.

 

The behaviour of certain agents during the transfer window, especially as deadline day approaches, is nothing short of despicable.

 

Agents have been known to agree deals for players to move clubs before calling up the prospective new club and informing them that the agency fee has now trebled and this must be paid if they want to secure their player.

 

This is a blatant attempt to maximise their own cut of the fee with no regard for the clubs involved or, more importantly, their client, the player. This is just one example of the scandal that becomes common place during the transfer window.

 

One of the main concerns of closing the window earlier than every other European transfer window, where some may remain open for up to a month after the Premier League close theirs, is the possibility of the Premier League losing its’ top stars to European leagues with no chance of any club replacing them for five months.

 

Five months in football is a lifetime.

 

Jobs can be lost in such timeframes in football and with a potential exodus of players once the transfer window closes this raises a series of questions that need answering before such a farcical decision is put into practice.

 

Is there any provision to stop players leaving once the window closes?

 

Will the standard of the Premier League drop if an exodus occurs?

 

Will clubs stock pile even more players for fear of losing others once the window closes?

 

Will clubs need to spend even bigger sums as they panic buy during a shorter window?

 

Will agents try to squeeze more money from clubs with a shorter transfer window?

 

This then reverts to the question asked earlier, Who actually benefits from a transfer window?

 

My question to FIFA, the FA and the Premier League is, what was wrong with the old system of no windows?

 

A system that allowed clubs to sign players up until the latter stages of the season. A system that minimised agents carrying out their unscrupulous behaviours. A system that was working well.

 

Somewhere, somehow this has got to be stopped because football as we used to know it no longer exists.

Alexis Sanchez: Why He Stayed At Arsenal

Arsene Wenger was left clinging on to Alexis Sanchez following a dismal few days for the Emirates outfit.

After being humbled by Liverpool in a 4-0 drubbing at Anfield, many began to question Wenger’s future once again.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned down Chelsea and joined Klopp’s Reds who he faced days earlier, and left Wenger struggling with his squad.

Rumours stated Sanchez was set to follow Oxlade-Chamberlain out the door in an apparent £60 million move to Manchester City.

There’s two reasons why Sanchez didn’t leave.

1. The Thomas Lemar deal fell through

This one stunk of desperation. Wenger was quoted in June saying £50 million was too much for Lemar.

Yet on deadline day, the Gunners boss allegedly tabled a £92 million pound bid for the French star.

He almost doubled his bid out in a desperate bid to appease supporters.

In turn, Wenger ultimately knew he couldn’t let Sanchez go without replacing him.

2. The fan backlash

Can you imagine the scenes if Sanchez had left?

Arsenal Fan TV is entertaining at the best of times, but this would have pushed the limits.

Sanchez is a fan favourite at Arsenal, because he is easily their best player – and no supporter enjoys watching their best leave.

A Sanchez departure would have been catastrophic for Arsenal. But it still might be…

What next?

With denying the Chilean his wish to leave, Arsenal lost themselves £60 million.

Sanchez is free to speak with foreign sides in January to agree a free transfer next summer – when his contract expires.

It looks as though he is set to walk away from North London and leave Arsenal’s bank balance untouched in the process.

If Man City still want him, they’ll have to hope and wait until June to agree personal terms.

Because they won’t contact him due to tapping up laws before that will they?