Six Topics Up For Debate
1.) Can this team EVER get it together on both sides of the ball at the same time? As ugly as things were on the offensive side, the defense played relatively well. They seemed to generate some pass rush, they had opportunities for interceptions, and they shut down the run game. The offense, which had been clicking recently, was stagnant and non-existent through most of the afternoon. One of these days, it will all click together and really give Bucs fans something to get excited about.
2.) Can we stop this “Doug series”/”Sims series” garbage? Doug was in a groove and broke off an 18-yard run in the first quarter. After the timeout between the first and second quarters, Doug wasn’t heard from again until the third quarter. Even John Lynch pointed it out: when you have a running back that’s getting in a rhythm, that is making plays, you stick with him. I don’t know if it’s because they are going to let Doug walk or they want to keep his numbers down to keep his price tag down, or they just really believe in this system, but it needs to stop. The way Martin was running the ball, this game could’ve been very different if he stayed in the game. Stay with a guy who is producing. By time Doug came back, his rhythm was off and it took too long to get back on track.
3.) Can the training staff let ASJ get on the field? Please? All these people are screaming about Austin Seferian-Jenkins being “soft” or a “bust”. He wants to play. He’s dying to play. But the training staff won’t clear him for contact. Again, Winston is doing so much with so little offense weapons. Bringing ASJ back will add another dimension to Winston’s game that is currently missing. This team needs him back, especially since Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy are still out.
4.) Was this the game that we will look back on when the Bucs “turned the corner”? Possibly. The defense stood up when needed, Winston drove them down the field for a game winning drive. It was ugly, but maybe ugly is good. The Bucs have come up short in so many ugly games, maybe all these factors together may actually get this team some confidence moving forward.
5.) Welcome back, Lavonte David. Not much more to say. He said he needed to play better and he did. In every aspect.
6.) Gerald McCoy played better, but not well enough. McCoy, overall, looked much, much better this week. He still isn’t making the “impact plays”, but you could see him moving linemen and creating opportunities for his teammates. He needs to continue getting better and hopefully soon we’ll see him have a game like Lavonte had today.
Six Top Performers
6.) Bradley McDougald – Clutch interception against one of, if not the best receiver in the game. Had a few key tackles, including a big hit to stuff McFadden a yard short of a first down early in the game.
5.) Lavonte David – A great performance from someone who desperately needed one. Keep playing like that, LD…it’s what got you that contract
4.) Kwon Alexander – This kid…he just gets better and better each and every game. If he keeps improving the way he has, and Lavonte can get back to form, this linebacking duo is going to be dominant for years.
3.) Doug Martin – He didn’t have a ton of yards, but he battled as hard as anyone on this team. I still believe if the Bucs stayed with him into the second quarter, the game wouldn’t have been quite as close as it was. He’s running hard, creating space, and punishing anyone who tries to tackle him. Keep feeding the muscle hamster.
2.) Mike Evans – Another 100+ yard receiving day for Evans. Despite the one bad drop, Evans played extremely well. He’s the most legit weapon in the passing game. He’s facing the best corner on each team, facing double teams, and he’s producing. The improvement on the dropped balls helped, but he is going to continue to get better. Solid performance by the second-year star.
1.) Jameis Winston – Yes, he had two interceptions. One was his fault, the other was not. No, it wasn’t his most accurate performance. All that considered, when it mattered most, with the game on the line, Winston marched his team straight down the field and won. He put this team on his shoulders and carried the Bucs to victory. Did he almost fumble it away? Yes. On the flip side, if there is no hold, does he even run at all? This is Winston’s team. He thrives under pressure and lives for the spotlight. Anyone who keeps saying the Bucs made a mistake is, at this point, just being a stubborn pain in the neck.
Six Numbers To Consider
17 – Number of quarters Jameis Winston went without turning the ball over
12 – Years since Bucs’ last win vs. Cowboys. They won 16-0 in Oct. 2003. Cowboys had won 5 in a row
9 – Years since Bucs’ last win vs. Eagles. Last one? Matt Bryant’s 62-yard field goal. Opportunity to end another long losing streak next week.
.667 – Bucs’ winning percentage in November. You know…when the season starts
2 – Games back of Atlanta for the last wild card spot, having beat them once and still get to face them at home
7 – Number of penalties, for 62 yards. Still too damn many.
Six Best Things About Beating The Cowboys
5.) Seeing FOX zoom in on Jerry Jones’ stupid face when he saw his hopes for a playoff berth officially implode
4.) Knowing that this loss will cause more drama in Dallas and eventually the team will hold a Hunger Games style competition within their own locker room.
3.) Watching Greg Hardy do nothing. He had one tackle and shouldn’t even be allowed to play. At least it’s just wasting Jones’ money
2.) As stated earlier, despite it being so ugly, this could be the kind of game the Bucs needed to win this way to finally turn the corner.
1.) Is there any team, outside of maybe the Patriots, that you enjoy watching lose more than the Dallas Cowboys?
Six NEW Symptoms You Suffer From Bucs Fever
6.) You have an unnatural craving for shellfish
5.) You think a pulse of 180 beats per minute is normal around 3:30 p.m. every Sunday afternoon
4.) You find yourself strutting into public wearing Bucs gear with your head held high
3.) You start convincing your wife to arrange your son’s birthday party because there is a chance the Bucs would have a playoff game that day. (Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything….)
2.) You stop selling your tickets on StubHub to fans of visiting teams and actually decide to go to the game, despite the crappy videoboard and over priced concessions
1.) You decide to trash that custom Mariota Bucs jersey you bought in April and finally order a Winston one. Yes, you finally Believe In Jameis.
Six Final Words
Time for a win streak. PLEASE.