Six Topics Suitable For Debate
1.) Mike Evans: What is your problem?! Can’t hold on to passes, cries constantly to the officials, and killed the Bucs with senseless offensive penalties. I like Evans, a lot, but it’s becoming apparent he is a legend in his own mind. The perception is he feels he can do no wrong and if he doesn’t catch the ball, it was obviously because of a defensive penalty. Whether he truly believes that or not, perception is reality. Grow up, Mike.
2.) Gerald McCoy showed more passion yesterday than all season…in the wrong way. I’ve not seen passion like that out of McCoy once this season. Maybe not last season, either. Unfortunately, it was aimed at the defensive line coach and not the Saints’ offensive line. Maybe if you channel some of that heart, some of that emotion into the game, you’d find a way to actually get some consistent pressure on a quarterback
3.) Is VJax done for the year? Vincent Jackson apparently re-aggravated his knee injury. Yes, that likely had a little to do with offense’s ineptitude, but is not an excuse for it. With the playoff hopes all but shattered, will VJax miss the remaining four games and prepare for a healthy 2016?
4.) Enough blame to go around. Nobody played a good game. No one. The defense was pathetic on third down, Winston was off all day (outside of the initial 30+ yard gain to Jackson that was called back for holding), Evans was his usual flag magnet self, and Martin was all but removed from the game due to circumstance.
5.) Lovie showing emotion? Head coach Lovie Smith is usually a calm, even-keeled man. Rarely shows excitement in wins or sadness or frustration in losses. However, he was jacked up yesterday, ripping into his defense and showing obvious signs of anger and frustration during the press conference. Maybe this might finally be the kick in the butt this team needs from their coach. It likely won’t translate to much the rest of the season, but it’s certainly a positive sign headed into next year.
6.) Short week, short memory. Can the Bucs put this disappointment behind them fast enough to take care of business in St. Louis Thursday night? They need to. Yesterday showed they aren’t ready to be a playoff team. Ready or not, there is still a chance they will be one come January. They can’t mope around feeling sorry for themselves. Get back to work and go beat a very bad Rams team.
Six Reasons It’s Okay The Bucs Won’t Make The Playoffs
1.) They aren’t ready. (see #6 above)
2.) We’ve seen the improvement. Most Bucs fans would’ve been elated with 8-8 this season after an abysmal 2-14 in 2014. We’ve seen them take great strides this year. Another year and they’ll be even better
3.) They were relevant. Lovie Smith promised to make the Bucs relevant again. Well, they certainly were this year, despite everyone thinking they would finish in the cellar again.
4.) The draft will help prepare them. Yes, it’s already time to start thinking draft. I, for one, trust Jason Licht to make the right call come draft day. He and Lovie have done pretty well thus far, so finding the right edge rushers and defensive backs this year will be the next big step towards postseason appearances and success.
5.) Prime-time games. You better believe it, despite (likely) missing the postseason. The NFL, NBC, and ESPN can’t ignore the turnaround that has already happened or the star power of Jameis Winston. Bucs fans will finally get to see their team under the big spotlight like they’ve been wanting to for years.
6.) Mock drafts!! If the Bucs aren’t playing in January, it’ll be that much sooner we get to start dissecting mock drafts…oh, and the Commish Online Podcast with Luke Easterling mock draft, which is always fun.
Six Top Performers
None. None of them. It was a garbage performance from everyone, including the offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and his questionable play calling. However, Koetter will likely criticize himself harder and stronger than anyone else could.
Six Final Words
No playoffs…but improvements are visible