Six Topics Suitable For Debate
1.) Did Mike Evans forget what the number one duty for a wide receiver? Mike Evans had a great game on the stat sheet. 8 catches, 152 yards. Unfortunately, he had almost as many drops, including on some critical plays. You can’t be considered one of the top receivers in the league if you can’t be relied on to actually receive the ball.
2.) Where was Johnthan Banks? As I said on Twitter, this Bucs team doesn’t seem capable of stopping a nosebleed with a Costco case of cotton balls. That makes the decision to bench Johnthan Banks even more confusing. As we’ve seen throughout the season, Verner, Banks, and, as of Sunday, Sterling Moore are the three most reliable corners this Bucs team has to offer…so why aren’t they ever on the field together?
3.) Jameis Winston is legit. For all those that criticized, hated, or scoffed at the Bucs’ number one pick being Jameis Winston all I can say is, “Can you admit you were wrong?” Winston shows exponential improvement week in and week out both as a quarterback and as a leader. He has the passion, desire, and drive to win and looks as if he will do whatever it takes to accomplish that. What more can you ask of a 21-year old rookie quarterback carrying the weight of a franchise on his shoulders?
4.) Gerald McCoy: Show up or shut up. I’ve been a McCoy apologist for his entire career. The injuries brought unfair criticism. He doesn’t have any help. He’s always double-teamed. The list goes on and on. This is two weeks in a row now that he has been virtually invisible. In fact, the only time his name was called was on a neutral zone infraction. You want Jameis to be quiet and just enjoy his rookie season? How about you either step up and be the leader you’re supposed to be or you just sit down, be quiet, and let Jameis lead this team in ways you never will. You can be a leader again when you start playing.
5.) How different would this game have been with Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the field? It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? First two possessions, you get inside the Giants’ 10-yard line and settle for field goals. How much easier would it have been to get six points rather than three with the mismatches those guys create? Winston is balling without them right now. Imagine how much better he will be when they return.
6.) What is going on with Dirk Koetter’s play calling in the red zone? I mean, is it just me, or does Koetter call some really questionable plays when the Bucs get close to the end zone. It’s as if the Bucs are better off scoring from 25+ yards away because as soon as they enter the red zone, Koetter tries to get too cute.
Six Number To Consider
4 – Consecutive weeks without a Winston turnover
9/79 – Number of penalties and penalty yards for Bucs on Sunday, including two personal fouls
9/16 – Giants’ 3rd-down conversions
2 – After seven games without one, number of interceptions by Bucs cornerbacks
.083 – Lovie’s winning percentage at home as the Bucs’ head coach
71% - Completion percentage of Bucs’ opposing quarterbacks this season
Six Top Performers
6.) Sterling Moore – Talk about making a case to be in the starting lineup. Moore did a pretty good job of keeping Odell Beckham Jr. in check, and even intercepted the first pass thrown by Eli Manning. Needs to be in the starting lineup again Sunday against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys
5.) Alterraun Verner – Two weeks in a row, now, that Verner has played big. Verner also got himself a big interception, but unfortunately the Buccaneers couldn’t turn it into a touchdown.
4.) Kwon Alexander – This guy is everywhere. Kwon is playing like Lavonte David did the last three years. This could be a dynamic duo if Lavonte remembers how to tackle…or cover…or blitz…
3.) Mike Evans – The drops were awful, and may be the major reason the Bucs lost this game. However, Evans made some spectacular catches and out-performed his fellow draft classmate hauling in 152 yards. He could’ve been well over 250 had he held on to a lot of the passes that came his way.
2.) Eli Manning – He carved up the zone defenses and got a major win for his team. The Giants now sit atop the NFC East and prepare to host the Patriots next week. Manning knew this was a must win for his squad and he came through. 213 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions…not a bad day.
1.) Jameis Winston – Not much needs to be said here. We are watching Winston grow up right before our eyes. 249 yards, no interceptions, no fumbles…and one of the best rushing touchdowns you’ll see by a quarterback all season long.
Six Songs Playing In Bucs’ Locker Room After The Game
6.) “Baby Hold On” – Eddie Money – It was the ball’s dedication to Mike Evans
5.) “That’s All” – Genesis – It’s always the same. It’s just a shame. And that’s all.
4.) “1999: - Prince – Those were better years for the Bucs…
3.) “Smooth Criminal” – Michael Jackson – Seems like McCoy and David fall into this category by the paychecks they’re getting and the production they’ve had.
2.) “The Rising” – Bruce Springsteen – We’re witnessing it first hand with Jameis Winston and Kwon Alexander. Come on up for the rising….
1.) “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – Waylon Jennings – Well, for starters, then they’d have to work for that horrendous excuse for a human being Jerry Jones. Then, they gotta deal with a pissed off Jameis Winston.
Six Reasons The Bucs Will Beat The Cowboys
1.) The Cowboys are winless since Greg Hardy returned. Which, for what it’s worth, every game he plays in he should lose
2.) Matt Cassel is still the quarterback. Which may not matter to the Bucs, because, y’know, Ryan Mallett, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota shredded this team.
3.) Darren McFadden is still the running back. Seriously. It’s Darren freaking McFadden. The Cowboys should be averaging 11 rushing yards a game…and that’s generous
4.) Sean Lee may miss the game with a concussion. I like Sean Lee and I wish him nothing but the best. That being said, this defense doesn’t run as effectively when Lee isn’t on the field. Take advantage of that.
5.) Austin Seferian-Jenkins should return. Call him “soft” or a “bust” or whatever. The fact of the matter is simply this: Winston loves to throw to this guy. They have built a rapport with one another and before Austin was injured, he was Winston’s favorite target. Again, think of how different the red zone possessions would have been with ASJ in there.
6.) The Bucs can’t possibly be the team that ends Dallas’ losing streak, right? Um…right? Guys? Oh boy….
Six Final Words
Bucs toughest remaining opponent? The Bucs.