BREAKING NEWS
  • BUCS AT COWBOYS GAME ON DECEMBER 18 HAS BEEN FLEXED TO SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – 8:25 PM ET KICKOFF

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Profile gravatar of Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 22nd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com

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22 Comments

  1. 1
    Profile gravatar of wnb0395

    wnb0395

    I would be content with an 8-8 or 9-7 record this year. The progress I have seen this year is night and day. Our defense is finally playing to there full potential. Its amazing how good they can be when healthy. We are one more good FA and draft away from the playoffs.

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  2. 2
    Profile gravatar of chefboho

    chefboho

    Agreed. If you would’ve told me that we would be 9-7 with the schedule we have and as bad as we looked early in the season, I’d be ecstatic. This team is in the up swing. When they’re healthy, they can compete with any one. It also shows our lack of depth which could prove costly. If we can get one more good draft and a free agent or two, we really could make some noise in the NFL. Nothing but happy mondays when the bucs win.

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  3. 3
    Profile gravatar of e

    e

    This is the magic that Bucs fans will get to experience now for a long time; with a franchise QB, the Bucs are never going to be out of any game. I think a wild-card spot is going to be harder to clinch rather than winning the division outright. There is a lot of football left and anything can happen (injuries, teams with clinched playoff spots resting players, etc.). I don’t see them knocking out the Saints twice, but in any case… At least we know that the Bucs are indeed a team on the rise and my main question for this year was… Is Winston truly a franchise QB? I think that is a resounding “Yes.” That’s all I really care about regarding this season. Pull your seat belt tight, Bucs fans… We’re in for a ride over the next few years!

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  4. 4
    Profile gravatar of jongruden

    jongruden

    I predicted 6-10 or 7-9 before season and was looking spot on until I watched the game last night, they are playing with confidence now and they are putting pressure on the qb something they haven’t shown all season. this win could be the turning point of the season. I really liked the selection of Spence out of college more than Hargreaves like Mr Reynolds I need to boast about my predictions ha

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    1. 4.1
      Profile gravatar of scubog

      scubog

      Welcome back JonnyG. I was worried that you were starting to become more of a Cardinals fan. That is until the red birds look to be in decline since they defeated the Bucs in game 2.

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  5. 5
    Profile gravatar of Garv

    Garv

    I’m “predicting” this and this only. The Buccaneers will play one game at a time to win. They will end up where they end up a MUCH better team than they have been in years and even earlier this season. It’s about confidence and preparation, practice and team play, a belief in themselves. We have seen in over the course of the last three month and I believe we will see it from now on.

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  6. 6
    Profile gravatar of Horse

    Horse

    Garv has said it all. Go Bucs! One game at a time.

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  7. 7
    Profile gravatar of Naplesfan

    Naplesfan

    Frankly, I’m more concerned now about the offense than the defense. The defense has finally geled, learned to play Coach Smith’s design and they are all learning to trust each other to play their spot – which was always the toughest challenge with both new coaches and a bunch of new players. The offense concerns me because we continue to suck in the red zone. We cannot always depend upon our defense to hold every offense to single digit points, so failing to get touchdowns when playing in the other team’s red zone can easily turn a win into a loss.

    It’s not that the play call that resulted in Winton’s INT was wrong or “too aggressive” – aggressiveness I love. But it was the same old thing that has plagued Winston all season long. It was simply an inaccurate pass that because of the way it was thrown – well inside of the sideline in the end zone – made it an almost sure INT unless dropped. Winston has to learn how to drop it well to the outside so that only our big tall Mike Evans with his long wingspan can reach it, or else it’s an in-completion out of bounds.

    The other thing I wish Winston would learn to do, like all great veteran NFL quarterbacks eventually learn to do, is to do the pump fake. He gets too many balls batted back at him by defensive linemen simply throwing their long arms up in the air when they can’t get to the quarterback. The really good quarterbacks learn to fake out the linemen by pump faking, which is an art and a thing of beauty when done well. Winston is still young, and he is years away from learning all the tricks, but this is something that nullifies a handful of pass plays every game, it seems. It would add several points to his completion percentage.

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    1. 7.1
      Profile gravatar of Naplesfan

      Naplesfan

      Regarding red zone success:

      Just to put some numbers to it, for the season to date the Bucs rank 17th in the league in red zone scoring percentage at 55% .. but in the last three games – all wins! – we are down to 30th in the league at only 36%. The top 10 teams in the league are all at 62% or better. And to rub a little salt into the wound – the best red zone offense in the league is Tennessee, led by Marcus Mariota, at 72.5% in the red zone. If we play an average of a dozen offensive drives per game, adding 10 points to our red zone efficiency would theoretically add about nearly touchdown per game to our scoring (currently 22.7 ppg). That’s certainly attainable. But it will take accurate passes to our tall receivers – Mike Evans and Cam Brate, both at 6 ft 5, or more effective running inside the 5 yard line – to goose that red zone efficiency upwards.

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      1. 7.1.1
        Profile gravatar of Matt

        Matt

        Great stats, with a few more games of having Dougy Fresh in (granted he doesn’t cough it up) Our RZ stats will improve. Mariotta has the luxury of a hungry DeMarco Murray and standout Henry in the game all year to take the edge off. He is laser accurate though, I’ll give him that, great wheels too.

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    2. 7.2
      Profile gravatar of AZ_BUC_FAN4LIFE

      AZ_BUC_FAN4LIFE

      Naplesfan….As I do understand some concern…..You are not taking into account that only the coach and the players know who should have been where. But given that and the fact that he only threw 9 times in the 2nd half and I would say the Team did pretty good. Also, they only went 3 and out twice. So they were moving the ball. Just not scoring.

      As for the pump fakes…..that is ole ole school football. Very seldom do they do that anymore unless its a dbl move by the receivers. Or the Qb changes his mind about the throw. Not a lot of pump faking going on in the New NFL. As for the balls batted back, Winston needs to do better at finding the throwing lanes. The short throws is where he has this issue as he is throwing down normally. A little better selection or a little more loft and he should be good….

      As for the Red Zone scoring, I think that is more of a play selection issue for the Coach. One thing we do not see is much movement. I think a little more of that is needed to really get our Red Zone scoring up…….

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      1. 7.2.1
        Profile gravatar of Naplesfan

        Naplesfan

        The reason we don’t see a lot of pump faking in the NFL today is because most quarterbacks don’t hold the ball long in the pocket – they either get sacked or they throw it inside of 2,5 seconds or less after the snap. Jameis tends to hold the ball too long … he appears to hate to give up on any play. But if the QB is going to hold onto the ball a long time and stare down his receivers, then that is where the pump fake has a role.

        Note also that Jameis gets sacked a lot too (an average of two and a half sacks per game, which is relatively high). Again, it’s from holding onto the ball too long compared to his peers in the league.

        These are not permanent criticisms of inherent limitations of the player – these are areas where Jameis needs to improve as a matter of learning the NFL game. He will be the first to admit that he needs to improve his technique. His coaches would also agree. The first step to improving is to recognize a need for improvement, then work on getting better.

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    3. 7.3
      Profile gravatar of Matt

      Matt

      We’re a bad call away from a TD pass and not having to discuss a poor throw by Jameis. You are right, he has to place that ball back corner where only the Freak has a shot at it, or a fan with great seats.

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  8. 8
    Profile gravatar of stlbucsfan

    stlbucsfan

    Im so thankful Mike Smith kept tweaking the defense bc I knew he was the right guy to turn that unit around. This defense has never been without talent it has however lacked an identity. Our running game was much better with Pamphile back in the lineup and Jameis spreads the ball around just enough to keep teams honest on Evans. Good win, dont read the headlines just keep grinding fellas!

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  9. 9
    Profile gravatar of plopes808

    plopes808

    The past few weeks we have shown that we have a playoff caliber defense! Our offense sputtered out a bit against the tough Seahawks defense and needs to learn how to adjust a little better. I believe this is more of a coaching issue than a player one, but we could definitely use another receiving threat. Any word on Josh Huff?

    One more draft and FA and we should be in contention for years to come. Safety and pass rush WERE our weaknesses. My how times have changed in 3 weeks!

    We’re in for a wild ride folks…strap in and enjoy! Go Bucs!

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  10. 10
    Profile gravatar of JasonOfthetower

    JasonOfthetower

    SR, weren’t you also talking about Mike Smith’s job security in the Fab 5 after the Falcons game? I could be wrong but I thought I remember reading that.

    In any event, the defense is finally figuring it out. If the Bucs can get their offense back on track in the red zone and start putting points on the board – look out, NFL!

    I want to see a strong finish from the Bucs, build on this and let the playoff chips fall where they may.

    Kansas City just got back on track against the Broncos, so that definitely won’t be an easy out for Atlanta. If Atlanta loses that game, then it gets real interesting down the stretch.

    One slip up and the door could open.

    I just don’t want another December collapse. I don’t see it happening. Not this team. Not this year.

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  11. 11
    Profile gravatar of buddah

    buddah

    The Buccaneers have won three straight games outright as an underdog. Imagine that parlay if you can!!! However, it is very difficult to sustain the emotion that has carried them especially these last two weeks. The most difficult game left on the schedule is at San Diego because they were so high for this game. They are a more talented team than the Chargers, but there’s the long trip and San Diego has a team built much like the Buccaneers–a good running game and a hot quarterback prone to mistakes. Win at San Diego and I think they make the playoffs. I don’t think Dallas is unbeatable. Washington should never have attempted that long field goal in the first half and they exposed Dallas’s poor secondary. We can win at Dallas, though we will need to play a perfect or near perfect game. Koetetr should be in the running for coach of the year.

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    1. 11.1
      Profile gravatar of Naplesfan

      Naplesfan

      Actually, I like that we’re playing the Boys on the road in mid-December… they’ll be looking ahead to home field advantage in the playoffs, maybe even resting some players (we helped cause that by beating the ‘Hawks yesterday!), and good chance they will take the Bucs for an easy out. We’re road warriors on top of all that. Should be a terrific game

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  12. 12
    Profile gravatar of fredster

    fredster

    I like our playoff chances if defense keeps playing like that.

    Chargers will be another tough but winnable game for sure.

    The offensive penalties need to get better, Winston is doing great getting away from pressure but couple forced balls into double coverage were not good, and our kicker if needed in close game is a total joke. What a clown.

    Anyways I’m just so happy as a fan! 3 games in a row best since 2012. Lets make it 4 and take it game by game and see where it all leads to. Funniest game been to in long time maybe 10 years.

    I’m sold on Koetter and Smith and our QB. Bucs are getting close to being a very good team. Injuries killed us early on not lot of depth, but I knew that.

    Of all games left I really hope we beat Dallas! I’m really tired of hearing about how great they are. Good team at 10-1? Yes of course but amazing or unstoppable? Give me a break. Easy schedule and several games very close. Very average defense for them too.

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  13. 13
    Profile gravatar of scubog

    scubog

    I’m with you fredster. That was the most fun I’ve had at a “home” game in quite some time. So many high-fives my hands hurt. Of course, as a certified smart ass, I was giving it to the hoard of Seahawks fans the entire game.

    On the Winston INT in the endzone; when he released the ball Mike Evans was single covered but by the time the ball arrived another defender left his man and raced to the ball in the air. Of course we still have folks seeking out any flaw in the youngster. Can we please stop with the Marcus Mariota comparison as some of you continue to try to prove your two year old bias? Different team, different game. We picked the right guy for THIS team. The Titans picked the right guy for THEIR team. Move on!

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    1. 13.1
      Profile gravatar of Naplesfan

      Naplesfan

      Sorry – you compare players to their peers, period. That’s the nature of sports competion.

      If you don’t like Winton-Mariota comparisons, then you are going to be disappointed for another decade or two because those two players were and will remain joined at the hip throughout their entire NFL careers … just as were Brady and Manning. It’s not a negative thing at all, but you do sound like a sour Nole who didn’t like the pre-draft competition with Mariota.

      Competition is good – it’s great. Great players love to compete against other great players. Jameis Winston loves to be compared to his peers, and use them as a measuring stick for where he is playing, and to use it to get better.

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  14. 14
    Profile gravatar of RootsCrew

    RootsCrew

    As far as the INT goes, I was at the game and Winston was demonstrative toward Mike after the pick. It was a bad play call and worse execution, but it looked like Winston expected Evans to be somewhere different. Cam had to sky to grab the INT, so maybe Mike was supposed to be inside for a jump ball? Regardless, it was terrible all around. Dirk even mentioned he got greedy, instead of taking 5-7 yards and attempting the FG. RedZone efficiency is on the Coach AND the players. Two straight runs up the middle from the 12 was absurd. Granted Dirk dialed up a TD the next play, (horrible call by the official) but we sometimes lack creativity inside the 20. That said, it’s tough to score on elite defenses inside the RedZone and we did it 3 times. The refs took one away. One bad call shouldn’t negate that positive result.

    Side note: Dirk said he was disappointed the offense didn’t score more points against Seattle. Well, I’m disappointed that he shelled up in the second half. Jameis was 15/19 175 2 TD’s in the first half. He only threw it 9 times in the second half. Clearly Seattle is dangerous, but Dirk took the ball out of his QB’s hands…again. He coached not to lose. I want a balanced attack, but that sort of drop off gets the offense out of rhythm. The defensive slate lightens up the rest of the way, so hopefully we’re done seeing that sort of Jekyll and Hyde type play calling.

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