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Bucs show how short of the Super Bowl champs they are

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So how much difference is there between the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Bucs?

Well, it turns out, a lot.

Like 20 points.

Like 98 yards.

Like three turnovers.

Like a 4-0 start against a 1-3 start.

Like an efficient quarterback (and backup) with a 141.7 rating against a scatter-armed one who had a 40.1.

Like that.

The Broncos took an easy 27-7 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, breaking a 7-7 tie in the first period with 20 straight points. Denver played despite losing quarterback Travis Simian to a shoulder injury; rookie Paxton Lynch finished up the victory.

Winston threw two interceptions (both to ex-Buc Aqib Talib) early, and starting tailback Charles Sims carried 15 times for only 28 yards. On a key third and one, Sims was stopped cold, then tried to lateral to Winston for a fumble.

In four games, Winston has thrown eight interceptions.

In his first four games a year ago, he had seven.

With 7 ½ minutes to play, Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter elected to punt on fourth-and-six from the Denver 46.

“I don’t know what you were watching to think we’d make seven yards,” Koetter said. “Not when we didn’t make it on third-and-seven.”

The Broncos, who beat Carolina in last year’s Super Bowl, sacked Winston five times in the game.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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