Six Topics Up For Debate
1.) Is this a playoff caliber team? In certain ways, yes. In other ways, no. However, it’s certainly nice to have a quarterback who always gives your team a chance to win
2.) Will Johnthan Banks return to the starting lineup? With the injury to Jude, Banks played well when given another chance. With the Saints and Drew Brees coming to town, it may be best if the undrafted rookie free agent stays on the sideline.
3.) Did anyone notice McCoy’s absence? The defensive line got pressure on Matt Ryan, William Gholston had two sacks…didn’t seem like the defense missed him too much
4.) Has the curse finally been lifted? Bucs Blitz’s own Justin Pawlowski has been very vocal about the Doug Williams curse. Now that he’s in the Ring of Honor, is the curse lifted? My guess is if they make the playoffs, yes. If they don’t, maybe it won’t be lifted until next season.
5.) Does anyone want to see the Panthers lose before they face Tampa Bay in week 17? For starters, a team on the verge of 16-0 will surely be flexed into Sunday Night Football. Second, wouldn’t it be phenomenal for the Bucs to be the one team to beat them and wipe that obnoxious, arrogant smile off Cam Newton’s face?
6.) Can this team run the table? Break the season into quarters: first quarter 1-3, second quarter 2-4, third quarter 3-1, fourth quarter? They have Saints and Bears at home and play on the road against the Rams and Panthers. It’s not out of the question…
Six Top Performers
6.) Austin Seferian-Jenkins – He didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he finally made his return and was part of the game plan. I’ll chalk up that dropped touchdown to rust. Look for him to explode against the Saints.
4.) William Gholston – Two sacks, solid pressure, beat a few double teams…solid game from the young defensive lineman
3.) Doug Martin – Yes, he had a key fumble that lead to Atlanta’s lone touchdown. However, when he gets over 20 carries, the Bucs win. Martin again ran effectively helping Tampa control the tempo of the game.
2.) Mike Evans – People jumped on him for an early drop, which was actually just a great defensive play as the ball was ripped out of his hands. He had a dumb pass interference call, which shouldn’t have been called because the ball was so badly overthrown. But when it mattered, with the game on the line, Evans told Winston in the huddle he wanted to ball. He got the ball and he held on to it.
1.) Jameis Winston – 21 yard run on 3rd-and-19 in the 4th quarter. Game winning touchdown pass with under two minutes remaining. This guy refuses to go down without a fight. He’s everything the Bucs have wanted in a quarterback since, well, Doug Williams’ short-lived Bucs career. This kid is special.
Six Numbers To Consider
8 – Number of years since the Bucs swept the Falcons
.750 – Winston’s career winning percentage vs. NFC South
1 – Games back of Seattle for the #6 seed in the playoffs
5 – Rushing touchdowns by Winston, tying the Bucs record for most in a season by a quarterback
8 – Penalties by the Bucs, one more than Atlanta, however they had five fewer penalty yards
102 – Number of yards the Bucs outgained the Falcons by on the ground, 166-64
Six Key Plays
1.) With a little over a minute to go in the first quarter, Jameis Winston barrels through the defense for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Buccaneers up 7-0 early on
2.) In the third quarter, Sterling Moore deflected a pass out of Julio Jones’ hands in the end zone. This forced Atlanta to kick a field goal, extending their lead to 12-7, rather than go up 16-7. Those four points would prove to be the difference.
3.) On the following possession, Charles Sims made some key runs, setting up a 1-yard fly over by Doug Martin to recapture the lead 13-12. Unfortunately, the Bucs would miss the two-point conversion attempt
4.) After falling behind 19-16, the Bucs faced 3rd-and-19 from the Atlanta 44-yard line, just outside field goal range. Winston took off and was hit by two Falcons around the 35. Unfortunately for Atlanta, he never went down. Instead, he bounced around and continued running to the 23 yard line for a 21-yard gain and a first down. The best part was both the FOX commentators as well as Tampa’s own beloved Gene Deckerhoff thought the ball was fumbled and recovered by Atlanta.
5.) In the huddle, Jameis Winston looked at his teammates and said “who wants a touchdown?” Mike Evans exclaimed “Me! Me! Me!” Well, Winston got him that touchdown on the side of the end zone to take a 23-19 lead with under 1:30 remaining.
6.) After going nearly 59-minutes without a turnover, Matt Ryan threw an interception to Lavonte David, sealing the game for the Buccaners. That was a big time play, by a big time player, in a big time game.
Six Final Words
With Winston, all things are possible