11 Dec 4.25pm
18 Dec 4.25pm
25 Dec 8.20pm
1 Jan 1pm
9 Jan 1pm
ON THIS DAY IN BUCCANEER HISTORY 7 December 1998 - Monday Night Football returns Monday Night football came back to Tampa for the first time in 15 years. And at Raymond James Stadium when Trent completed his second slant pattern of the night that went over 60 yards for a score, the sell-out crowd in Tampa went totally bananas. The Packers did get close at the end, but this was always going to be the Bucs' night as the Pewter Bandwagon began to pick up speed. Click here for all the game details, statistics and reports
BUCCANEER BIRTHDAYS RB Nathan Wonsley is well known to most die-hard Buccaneer fans even though he only played 10 games for Tampa Bay making just two starts. He was the lone bright spark in the terrible second Leeman Bennett season and he came out of nowhere to have a pair of 100-yard games before sustaining a neck injury that would ultimately end his career. He is 59 today. OL Kevin Dogins (50) was another of the undrafted Texas A&M Kingsville players who made Tony Dungy’s first roster in 1996 and he remained there for parts of five seasons making nine starts when injuries hit the regular starting line-up. LB Nigel Harris (28) was on the roster for one game in the 2017 season and WR Spencer Schnell (28) had a similar length of stay with the Bucs two years later.
HOME ALONE Tom Brady was Kevin - looking like he would be home alone for Christmas, no playoffs, no hope. The marauding bandits were in town and about to steal away all the Buccaneers’ hopes and dreams for a merry festive time. And everyone around America (and a sofa in England at 4am) were watching it all unfold. But in the best tradition of all Disney movies and Hollywood blockbusters, the unbelievable began to become believable. Toy cars left on the floor, nails on the steps and sharp decorations under the window. Starting at their own 9-yard line with five minutes left, the GOAT began to direct the comeback against a very soft zone defense. But downfield the Bucs went dropping small blows on the intruders all the way. And then he went deep to Mike Evans trading off the touchdown for a pass interference penalty - Cade Otton did the rest. Paint can to the face. “Have you guys had enough or do you want some more?” The defense continued to step up as it had done most of the night and the Bucs got the ball back with over two minutes left. More pranks and japes as they went down the field. Chris Godwin looked like he had delivered the knockout blow but Donovan Smith left the back door open and our young(ish) hero had to go to his bag of tricks one last time. Three seconds left and the second paint can smacked Harry in the face as Rachaad White caught the winning pass and Buccaneer fans everywhere laughed at those who had given up and headed for the exits to join the rest of the McAllisters on the flight to Paris. The Bucs are 6-6 and now have a two-game lead on the Falcons in the battle to get massacred by the Cowboys in a home playoff game. But that can be left for another day as can the implications of leaving an eight-year- old in a house alone in the first place. The same problems remain - a total lack of offense for most of the game, a second-string offensive line and receivers who look good on paper when the game is played on grass. This is a great looking offense … in 2020 and we are now in 2022. Social media was all ready to unload its full fury on the usual suspects with Donovan Smith joining the likes of Bowles, Leftwich, Harry and Marv in the identity parade. Until the last five minutes provided some respite. But the one problem that does loom on the horizon is that any massive successful film always leads to a sequel and beyond. The Bucs go to San Francisco next Sunday and then have the suddenly very potent Bengals coming to town. Home Alone 2 and 3 look very imminent and this time our young hero may not be able to save the day.
The Bucs now have a 13-12 record on Monday Night Football with wins in six of their last eight - their first MNF appearance was in Chicago in October 1980. The first one in Tampa was December 1982 against Miami