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Saturday, Dec 16, 2017
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  • Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

The topic for the Times' set-up package  for Bucs-Dolphins in Sunday's editions was Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.

Admittedly, it's not James Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, but the two defensive linemen were taken back to back in the 2010 NFL Draft and they occupied the same field Sunday in Miami Gardens.

Columnist Tom Jones weighed in on the question of who you'd rather have. Analyst Thomas Bassinger took a data dive into who has had a better career.

I won't spoil their conclusions for you. Let's just say its close on both counts.

What did not appear to be close was their relative impact on the game Sunday.

McCoy, the Bucs defensive tackle, got poked in the eye early (below).

Fox commentator Mark Schlereth remarked, "It's only an eye. He'll be back."

He was back all right.

McCoy had seven tackles (three solo), hit the Dolphins quarterback three times and got cheated out of a sack when backup Matt Moore fell forward for a yard when Gerald tackled him in the second half.

Suh had three tackles, hit Ryan Fitzpatrick three times and left little imprint on the game.

Here's what Pro Football Focus thought of McCoy's performance:

Here's what columnist Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale wrote about McCoy: 

“Jermon Bushrod has been a serviceable guard for the past couple of seasons, but Sunday showed just how far serviceable goes against top talent. Gerald McCoy is a five-time Pro Bowl player and might get voted in again just off this game. In one series, McCoy pushed Bushrod aside and made a tackle for a 6-yard loss. Then, on third-and-26, the Dolphins got a 48-yard pass to Landry — only to have it called back by Bushrod holding McCoy. How much did Bushrod know who he was playing? He had two illegal procedure penalties, typically the result of knowing a lineman needs a quick start.”

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