Gameday Tampa Bay

September 9th, 2021

Cowboys (0-0) at Bucs (0-0)

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m.

TV: NBC (WFLA-TV Channel 8, locally), Peacock.

Streaming: Fans may stream the broadcast from or on a mobile device using one of the following: Buccaneers official app, or NBC Sports app or on Peacock. Geographic restrictions apply.

Radio: Buccaneers Radio Network WXTB-FM 97.9 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg region; 97.9 FM ESPN Radio in Tallahassee (Transmisiones de radio en español en WTMP-FM 96.1 y WMGG-AM 1470 en Tampa). Additional stations throughout Florida on the Buccaneers Radio Network can be found here. The game will also be broadcast on SiriusXM Channel 211 (Bucs broadcast) or SiriusXM NFL Radio Channel 88 (Westwood One national radio feed).

Weather: Per, a cool temperature for a September contest at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway. Look for a kickoff temperature of 80 degrees with a very light wind. Rain chances will slightly increase from 47 percent at kickoff to 51 in the second half.

Odds: Per BetMGM, as of midnight, Bucs -8.5; over/under 51.5.

Zebras: The game will be officiated by Shawn Hochuli’s crew. This group leans heavily on throwing flags. Last season they threw the fifth-most of any NFL crew. And get ready for holding penalties. Hochuli’s gang called the second-most offensive holding penalties in 2020. However, this group lets defensive backs fight for footballs. Only one other referee group threw fewer pass interference flags than Hochuli and his zebras.

Outlook:  The Bucs should clobber the Cowboys, no matter how you slice it. If the Cowboys want to have Dak Prescott, in his first appearance in any sort of game since rearranging his ankle last October, throw 30 or 40 times to take advantage of their stud receivers, the Bucs’ pass rush should feast. If the Cowboys are concerned Prescott is too rusty and instead have him feed Ezekiel Elliott, that plays right into the hands of the Bucs’ premier rush defense. Just in case you’ve been sleeping in a cave of late, the past two seasons the Bucs have led the NFL in rushing defense. On offense, Joe really wants to see how any defense is going to shut down the likes of Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin and foot-rubbing, car-littering Rob Gronkowski. The only way Joe would expect that to happen is if an opposing secondary is loaded with Pro Bowlers. The Cowboys are not. The X-factor here is new Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. As an coordinator and head coach, his pass defenses are a mixed back. In Atlanta, his pass defense was sorry except for a No. 12 finish one season. As defensive coordinator in Seattle, his pass defense was excellent, leading the league both in 2013 and 2014 with fewest passing yards allowed. The difference here is that the Bucs can also run the ball when they put their minds to it.

Trinkets: QB Dak Prescott had 1,856 pass yards and 12 touchdowns (9 passing, 3 rushing) in five games in 2020. Aims for his third in a row against Tampa Bay with a rushing touchdown. Has 5 touchdowns against 0 interceptions in 4 career games on “Thursday Night Football.” Aims for his third in a row on “Thursday Night Football” with 300+ passing yards. … RB Ezekiel Elliott had 1,317 scrimmage yards (979 rushing, 338 receiving) and 8 touchdowns (6 rushing, 2 receiving) in 2020 and became the third player with 1,250+ scrimmage yards and 8+ touchdowns in each of his first 5 seasons in NFL history. Elliott has 297 scrimmage yards (148.5 per game) and a rushing touchdown in 2 career games against Tampa Bay. He has 333 scrimmage yards (111 per game) and 4 touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) in 3 career games on “Thursday Night Football.” … WR Amari Cooper led the Cowboys with a career-high 92 catches and had 1,114 receiving yards in 2020. He had 12 catches for 173 yards and a receiving touchdown in his only career game at Tampa Bay (October 2016) while with the Raiders. Cooper has 3 receiving touchdowns in his past 3 “Thursday Night Football” games. … WR CeeDee Lamb set rookie franchise records in catches (74) and receiving yards (935) last season. … WR Michael Gallup had 59 catches for 843 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2020. He also had a receiving touchdown in the last meeting with the Bucs. … TE Dalton Schultz set career highs in catches (63), receiving yards (615) and receiving touchdowns (4) last season. … LB Jaylon Smith had a career-high 154 tackles in 2020. Smith also had 10 tackles and a 69-yard scoop-and-score the last time he played the Bucs. … LB Keanu Neal makes his Cowboys debut. He had 98 tackles and 9 tackles for loss in 2020 with the Dixie Chicks. … LB Micah Parsons was selected in the first round (12th overall) in 2021 NFL Draft. … DE DeMarcus Lawrence had a sack in his last game playing the Bucs. … CB Trevon Diggs tied for the lead among rookies with 3 interceptions in 2020. … QB Tom Brady tied for second in the NFL with 40 touchdown passes and ranked third in pass yards (4,633) last season. He became the first player in NFL history with 7 Super Bowl titles and 5 Super Bowl MVPs. Brady is the NFL all-time leader in touchdown passes (581) and ranks second in passing yards (79,204). Brady needs 300+ pass yards to join Drew Brees (123) as the only players with 100+ 300-yard games in NFL history. … RB RoJo set career highs in scrimmage yards (1,143) and scrimmage touchdowns (8) in 2020. … RB Playoff Lenny had 448 scrimmage yards (112 per game) and 4 touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) in the 2020 postseason. … WR Mike Evans had 1,006 receiving yards in 2020 and became the first player with 1,000+ receiving yards in each of his first 7 seasons. Evans had a receiving touchdown in his last game against the Cowboys. … WR Chris Godwin had 65 catches for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2020. … WR Antonio Brown had 45 receptions for 483 yards and 4 touchdowns in 8 games last season. He has 9 receiving touchdowns in 10 career games on “Thursday Night Football.” … TE Rob Gronkowski ranks third all-time among tight ends with 86 receiving touchdowns. … ILB Lavonte David had his 8th-career season with 100+ tackles (117) in 2020. David has 31 tackles (7.8 per game) in 4 career games against Dallas. … ILB Devin White had career-high 140 tackles and 9 sacks last season. He had 2 picks and two fumble recoveries in his 3 postseason games in 2020. … OLB Jason Pierre-Paul had his 5th-consecutive season with 7+ sacks (and a Bucs’ team-high 9.5) last season. … OLB Shaq Barrett had 8 sacks in the 2020 regular season and 4 sacks in the postseason. … CB Carlton Davis led the Bucs with 4 interceptions and 18 passes defended in 2020.

The Last Word: In case the unthinkable happens and somehow the Cowboys win, remember that both times the Bucs won the Super Bowl they began those years with season-opening losses.

Source: Buccaneers Media Relations.

Enjoy the Ira Kaufman Podcast, the annual predictions edition, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

32 Responses to “Gameday Tampa Bay”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It will be 8:20 Am Game Friday morning here in the Philippines,

    Let the 2021 NFL Games Begin!!!


  2. John Says:

    Let me be the first to say, “God, bless our bucs today”…. can I get an a-men?

  3. Joe Says:


    You live in the Philippines? Where about?

  4. Medicated Pete Says:

    Pete’s starting pre-game festivities right now. On beer #3 Natty Daddy’s

  5. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Whoa! Excited much? It’s like Christmas!
    Go to bed!

  6. Drunkinybor Says:

    Happy New Season!!! Let’s FKNG GO!!!!!

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Hello Joe, Iloilo City, thats ( ee lo ee lo – city ) on the Island of Panay.

    Yes the game will be over at about noon for me.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Interesting contrast in the zebras between the holding calls and pass interference. That probably breaks down to the individuals making those calls. Is the crew intact from last year?

  9. SapperCory Says:

    Will be tuning in at 0220 over here in Vicenza, Italy!

  10. ClodHopper Says:

    It’s here! It’s here it’s here it’s here!! Finally!

  11. Scottish BucBob Says:

    Try 1.20am in Scotland.
    I’ll still be watching live.

  12. Bird Says:

    Cool hype video

  13. SapperCory Says:

    Can’t wait for kickoff! Iwill be tuning in at 0220 from Vicenza, Italy

  14. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Hey Scottish Bob, I will be lol When they play Miami. 1 am is the normal time here being 12 hours different, and 13 when the time change happens. So its 2am and 5:25 after the time change for Sunday day games in the US. The Prime time games are much easier to watch here in the morning here. But whatever, I will watch whenever NFL forever!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Either the beginning of the greatest team in NFL history or a shocking upset and a huge wakeup call for the Bucs.

  16. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    The Bucs editors even added sound to JPP pounding the turf, lol (@1:43)

    Harry will not be in Costa Rica tonight, we will be AT THE GAME! Stop by sec 234, row S

    Enjoy the game all! Go BUCS!!!

  17. Buxszntkt Says:

    Joe, this is the hottest game day cheerleader you have posted in 2021 ! Got to hand it to Dallas!
    Go Bucs ! Section 109 !

  18. Patrickbucs Says:

    I am a longtime season ticket holder since the new stadium, section 113. LFG!

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    Love the hype video! Man, this day couldn’t get here fast enough!

    Those going to the game tonight, we need to hear you. It’s been a while since RayJay has been at capacity. Drown out those annoying band-wagon Cowboy fans!

    Go Bucs!

  20. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    @John: Which god? We humans have created so many!

  21. fazanhamrock Says:

    last year I paid a lot of money for NFL network. NEVER AGAIN ! now I am watching NFL online [Sorry, no pimping illegal video feeds here. Do that again and it will be your last comment — Joe.] , It’s the best tv broadcaster this year

  22. Oneilbuc Says:

    This will be a easy win !!! Go Bucs!!!

  23. Michael Says:

    Should be a great game at RayJay! I got the rain chance lower though, 30 percent at Kickoff and down to 20 by the half. Go Bucs!

  24. jamestb03 Says:

    5:20 here in Phoenix! LFG!!!!

  25. 123urout Says:

    Its been raining the whole day in Tampa. This will be a low scoring ball game. Whoever can run the ball efficiently on a wet field will win it.

  26. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey Joes: I will be on my usual perch listening to Bucs Radio on headphones. The tube will be on, sound off. They have finally figured out how to synch the two medias. Go Bucs!!! I was born in Washington, D.C., and despise the Cowturds!

  27. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    8:23 here in FLakeland!

  28. Nutbucer Says:

    Scooter on punt returns tonight?

  29. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    SapperCory Says:
    “Will be tuning in at 0220 over here in Vicenza, Italy!”
    Engineers UP!

  30. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    orlbucfan Says:
    “They have finally figured out how to synch the two medias.”

    What is the secret? Can you expand on this miracle so that others can utilize it?

    GO BUCS!!

  31. MadMax Says:

    Lets go D…..Hands and feet O line…Protect TB12…..our first win of the undefeated season coming right up!

  32. Georger Says:

    WTF this separates us more