The Buccaneers lost again on Sunday to the Packers 20-3, but rather than provide you another mundane recap, we're going to try to and find an area where the Bucs have improved under Lovie Smith.
I think it is fairly easy to point to the offense and say, "what the hell?" I mean, they had just 109 total yards today against the Packers. For comparison, both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb had over 109 receiving yards against the Bucs on Sunday. The Bucs could not get any aspect of their offense going all day on Sunday.
I know most people, especially within the Bucs organization, that might want to believe or have you believe that all of the offense's struggles right now stem from Jeff Tedford no longer being with the team. I just find it hard to blame the pitiful performance from today on a guy who hasn't been the offensive coordinator since the preseason.
There isn't one aspect of the Bucs offense that has improved from the preseason, from last season. The Bucs offensive line is a joke, their running backs possess zero flash or elite characteristics, and the quarterback play is among the worst in the NFL.
“There’s a lot of positives," Lovie Smith said after Sunday's 20-3 loss. "Individual play has improved with a lot of our players. Again, this is a very good football team. As I mentioned it was a 10-3 game, we were in there. We’ve been in so many games this year where we’re close. We’re not good enough yet. So with just saying one thing, there’s a lot of individual play that has improved throughout. We do see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we’re out there right now and you have a team show up, I’m going to say the majority of our guys fought their butts off today. There are a lot of positives."
Well, Lovie was definitely not talking about the offense, but what about his defense? I think it is easy to say the Bucs defense has improved from their blowout losses to the Falcons and Ravens, but what is the goal? Lovie Smith said a great defense can get you 8 wins by itself. The Bucs defense is not great, good, or even average by NFL standards. The Bucs have given up an average of over 24 points per game and 410 total yards per game in their last 3 games. This is a step back from the improvement the Bucs defense had made against struggling offenses like the Redskins, Bears, and Bengals in the middle of the season.
I've said before that Lovie Smith should not be considered 100% safe as we near season's end. A big part of having a new coach is seeing improvement from the team as they learn under this new coach. For the Bucs, we're all still waiting on that improvement under Lovie Smith.
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