It’s time for PewterReport.com’s 2-Point Conversion post-game column, which features two statements, two questions and two predictions based on the latest Bucs game. Following a 27-24 loss to Kansas City, Tampa Bay has now lost back-to-back games for the first time this season and slides to 7-5 on the season. The Bucs went down early, 17-0, to the defending Super Bowl champions, and came up short in the second half as Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns, including 13 passes for 269 yards and three TDs to Tyreek Hill.

2 BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1. Another Slow Start Dooms Bucs In Loss To Chiefs

Kansas City jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter en route to a 27-24 win over Tampa Bay, and that early hole was simply too big for the Bucs to dig out of against Patrick Mahomes and the now 10-1 Chiefs. Tampa Bay has trailed in the first quarter of all of the last five games. The Bucs have been outscored 52-7 in the first quarter of the last four games, and 59-10 in the first quarter of the last five games, dating back to the team’s narrow Monday night win against the New York Giants.

Against lesser teams like the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay has rallied to win. But against much better competition like New Orleans, the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City – all of whom appear bound for the playoffs – the Bucs haven’t been able to overcome slow starts to emerge victorious. After 12 straight weeks of football, Tampa Bay’s bye week is coming at an ideal time where the coaches can huddle together without having to game plan for an opponent and study what’s gone wrong in the first quarter and come up with some answers for the final month of the season.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Against the Chiefs it was a familiar refrain, as offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s questionable play-calling continued as the team only mustered one first down on the first four offensive possessions. By the time the Bucs got on the scoreboard they were cutting into a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

“Third-down conversions,” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians when asked what the problem has been in the first quarter. “Most of them have been seven [yards] or less, where we’ve been pretty good all season. Early in the game for whatever reason, we’re not making the plays. We’re not getting open, we’re not protecting – just not making enough plays.”

Leftwich’s continued calls for high-risk vertical throws in third-and-short situations is befuddling, in addition to Tampa Bay having to settle for a field goal instead of getting a touchdown from the Kansas City 4-yard line after a 48-yard catch-and-run by Rob Gronkowski on the team’s first drive of the second half, trailing 20-10.

The loss of those four potential points, plus two Tom Brady interceptions in the second half that came as Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo brought pressure to rattle him, stymied two promising Bucs drives into Kansas City territory.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles refused to double-cover All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who had eight catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Bowles made some adjustments in the second half, such as putting cornerback Ross Cockrell on Hill instead of Carlton Davis III, who was absolutely torched in the first half, but it was already too late as the Chiefs built an early 17-point lead. Hill didn’t do as much damage in the second half, but still managed to catch another touchdown in one-on-one coverage against Davis III, who just didn’t have the speed to match up with the Chiefs’ speedster.

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“He had him man-to-man,” said Arians. “We tried to get a safety to him if we could – you’ve got [Travis] Kelce on the other side, too, so there’s a lot of weapons. When we did play man-to-man, Patrick found him and they made some really good plays.”

Just because Davis is the Bucs’ best cover cornerback doesn’t mean that he was the best match-up for Hill. Jamel Dean, the team’s fastest cornerback, would have been a better option, but he missed Sunday’s game due to a concussion. In the end Cockrell, who is shiftier and a bit quicker, proved to be better at hanging with Hill in the second half.

Head coach Bruce Arians failed to manage the clock properly at the end of the first half by using timeouts, and by the time Tampa Bay’s defense held Kansas City to a field goal, the Bucs had just 11 seconds left in the second quarter. Instead of making use of the final possession of the first half, Brady kneeled to end the half and Arians took three timeouts with him into the locker room at halftime.

Arians could have started using his timeouts after Travis Kelce’s 8-yard gain set the Chiefs up with second-and-2 at the Tampa Bay 13-yard line with 59 seconds left, but the head coach disagreed.

“No, because they had the ball on first down and I wasn’t giving Mahomes any more time,” Arians said. “The last thing I wanted to do was let him have it one more time and we had the ball first in the second half, so no, there was never a thought of taking timeouts with him with the ball in the two-minute drill.”

But Mahomes and the Chiefs scored a field goal anyway, so what was Arians’ point? Kansas City didn’t kick a field goal due to time on the clock. The Chiefs were forced to kick a field goal because it was fourth-and-10 from the 11-yard line.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Had Arians used those timeouts within the last minute of the first half the Bucs might have had 40 seconds left to try some deep shots and get into Ryan Succop’s field goal range before halftime to try to make it a 20-13 game. In a game decided by three points, that wasted possession right before halftime might have been critical had Arians left the offense with more time on the clock rather than timeouts in his pocket.

On Sunday the Bucs lost the turnover margin, 2-0; lost the battle on third down (50 percent vs. 33 percent); and lost time of possession, 36:47 to 23:13. But they also got out-coached early by Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Spagnuolo, too.

STATEMENT 2. Bucs Can’t Beat Playoff-Caliber Teams

Tampa Bay is a good team that should finish with 10 or 11 wins this season, in addition to a long-awaited playoff berth. But it hasn’t shown it’s a great team. When it comes to beating playoff-caliber teams, the Bucs are now just 1-4 this season – not counting a 45-20 win at Las Vegas. The 6-5 Raiders are currently in ninth place in the AFC playoff picture and currently a game out of the postseason.

Bucs LB Kevin Minter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs LB Kevin Minter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs have just one quality win this year, a 38-10 come-from-behind victory against 8-3 Green Bay, which is the currently NFC North division leader. Tampa Bay was swept by New Orleans, and suffered three-point losses against the 7-4 Los Angeles Rams and the 10-1 Kansas City Chiefs. The Saints lead the NFC South, the Chiefs lead the AFC West and the Rams currently have the No. 5 wild card seed.

After the bye week, Tampa Bay finishes the season against three teams that are still mathematically in the playoff hunt – 5-6 Minnesota, 4-7 Detroit and 4-7 Atlanta twice. So the Bucs won’t get the chance to beat another heavyweight team until the postseason – provided they win enough games to qualify.

2 PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Were There Any Positives In The Loss To K.C.?

Yes. While Bucs fans will lament over the fact that their team has suffered back-to-back three-point losses and three straight home defeats dating back to the Sunday night loss against the Saints, there were some bright spots in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Chiefs. The biggest positive was that this team did not give up after trailing 17-0 early in the first quarter.

This didn’t turn out to be a 38-3 drubbing like the loss to New Orleans was a few weeks ago. Tampa Bay made it a three-point game and came close to making it really interesting, but its defense couldn’t stop Patrick Mahomes from converting three critical first downs on the final drive – two with scrambles and one with a clutch throw to Tyreek Hill.

Bucs Rob Gronkowski

Bucs Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs also got great individual efforts from tight end Rob Gronkowski, who finished with his first 100-yard game in Tampa Bay with six catches for 106 yards, and running back Ronald Jones II, who had limited touches in the running game due to the team falling behind early. Gronkowski now has 29 100-yard games in the regular season during his career, trailing just Tony Gonzalez (31) for the most ever by a tight end. Including the postseason, Gronkowski now has 33 100-yard games, which is the most in NFL history for a tight end.

Meanwhile, Jones finished the game with 66 yards on nine carries (7.3 avg.), and had a 34-yard run and a 37-yard receiving touchdown on a swing pass from Tom Brady.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin had 97 yards on eight catches, including a spectacular, diving catch on a 44-yard bomb from Brady to convert a third-and-15 in the third quarter. Mike Evans struggled to haul in a few passes from Brady, but did score two key touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 31-yard TD on fourth down to finish with 50 yards on three catches.

Evans now has 11 scoring receptions this season and needs just two more TDs to surpass his single-season touchdown record of 12 that he set in 2014 and tied in 2016. Brady threw three touchdowns against Kansas City, widening his lead in career passing TDs over New Orleans’ Drew Brees, 569-565. With four games left in the regular season, Brady has now thrown 28 touchdowns on the year, which is the second-most in franchise history behind Jameis Winston’s 33 from last year.

QUESTION 2: Why Did It Take So Long To Flip Barrett And JPP?

Who knows? It’s something that I have questioned and advocated for quite some time. For the vast majority of the season the Bucs have been rushing outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul from the right side and Shaquil Barrett from the left side. While Pierre-Paul had a good start to the season with a team-leading 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions entering the Kansas City game, Barrett had not come close to living up to last year’s Pro Bowl season, notching just five sacks and one forced fumble.

Barrett recorded 13 of his league-leading 19.5 sacks rushing from the right side against left tackles in 2019, while Pierre-Paul got most of his 8.5 sacks from the left side going against right tackles. I’ve been critical of the Bucs not reverting to last year’s game plan and playing Barrett more on the right side where he had far more success.

Bucs Shaquil Barrett

Bucs Shaquil Barrett – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles finally flipped them this week and Barrett had two QB hits in the game, numerous pressures, and a timely sack-fumble in the red zone in the second quarter that prevented a Chiefs score when Kansas City led 17-0. Defensive end Will Gholston recovered the loose ball and that keyed the Bucs’ first scoring drive, which was capped off with a 37-yard touchdown catch-and-run from running back Ronald Jones II to cut Kansas City’s lead to 17-7.

Pierre-Paul applied plenty of pressure, with a QB hit and a sack in the fourth quarter, but also picked up a questionable roughing the passer call that negated an interception by Sean Murphy-Bunting a few plays later. I’d like to see Bowles continue to deploy Barrett on the right side and Pierre-Paul on the left down the stretch.

2 BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: The 7-5 Bucs Will Still Make The Playoffs

Nothing changes for the Bucs’ playoff picture with this loss to the Chiefs, and that was the best part of Sunday for Tampa Bay despite it’s 27-24 loss to Kansas City. New England did Tampa Bay a big favor on Sunday afternoon by beating now 6-5 Arizona, giving the Bucs a half-game lead over the Cardinals in the playoff race. Tampa Bay still occupies the sixth playoff seed, which is the No. 2 wild card spot.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

San Francisco is now 5-6 after a 23-20 upset against Los Angeles, which drops the Rams to 7-4 on the year. The Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bucs, but didn’t gain any ground due to their loss.

On Sunday night, Green Bay beat Chicago, which also has a head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over Tampa Bay from a Week 5 win on Thursday Night Football. The Bears were 5-1 after beating the Bucs, but have lost five straight games and are now at 5-6 and are tied with the Vikings and 49ers on the outside looking in right now with a month left in the season.

A 3-1 finish down the stretch would give the Bucs a 10-6 record and assure them of a playoff berth. Heck, with how the NFC has struggled this year, Tampa Bay could split its remaining games and still earn a wild card playoff spot with a 9-7 record.

PREDICTION 2: Bucs Should Use The Bye Week For Two Things

After 12 weeks of consecutive football games, the Bucs finally get their long-awaited bye week. It’s the latest bye week in Tampa Bay history, and the final bye week of the 2020 NFL season. After watching film on Monday, the Bucs will have six days off from Tuesday, December 1 through Monday, December 7 to heal up and rest up.

Tampa Bay’s coaching staff won’t take that much time off as it plans to meet, and should do some self-scouting and identify some of the team’s own tendencies that its opponents have caught on to. This should result in better, less predictable game plans as the Bucs enter a very important four-game stretch in December that will decide the team’s playoff fate. But head coach Bruce Arians didn’t indicate that would happen.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: USA Today

“We evaluate each week, so it’s not really anything to go back and look at because we already have all the self-scout – I call it [that], some people call it analytics,” Arians said. “We’ve already got that repped all the way through the season. I think we’re getting better each and every week.”

Sorry, this team could use some more self-scouting, especially with what’s gone wrong in the first quarter over the last month in which Tampa Bay has gone 1-3. The Bucs will get more time to scout an improving 5-6 Minnesota Vikings squad, which is the team’s next opponent on December 13 at Raymond James Stadium. The key for the players and coaches will be to stay COVID-free during the time off.

“First and foremost, get healthy and beat the virus,” Arians said. “Every team that has come back from the bye has had a virus problem. We can’t finish our season with eight, nine or 10 guys staying home. Every game is a big game – 11-5 will do it. One at a time, but the first thing is to get healthy and beat the virus.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 spent six years 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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Pete Wood
8 months ago

Great article. My two bold predictions.
One, Bucs will win out this season and end up 11-5 with an away game against the NFC East champs.
Two, Byron Leftwich is the sole reason this team is not 10-2 right now. If Bucs want to make a playoff run, he needs to stop calling plays If I were the Glazers, I’d fire him during the bye week.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

Yep, it’s all Leftwich’s fault. No wait, its also the refs. And the OL. And the RB’s. And the injury to OJ Howard. And the really hard schedule. And the lack of an offseason. And Mike Evans running the wrong route. And the defense giving up points. And the Red Jerseys. And BA calling out Brady publicly.

It’s anything but Tom being off target or making poor throws/decisions with the ball, especially early but also late.

Pete Wood
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Can’t argue with any of that. My point is that the one factor alone that overwhelmingly caused three losses is Leftwich’s play-calling. If we fix all the other issues, we still lose those three games. Good play calling and Bucs are 10-2.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

It’s been said (by Arians) that Brady is calling the plays he likes and making the adjustments/audibles.

Do you think they should take that away from him?

I can’t imagine the Bucs calling the long passes and seam routes in critical spots. I think that’s all Brady.

My question is, why not script the first 15-20 plays? It works for Andy Reid.

Pete Wood
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

I dunno. I’m sure Brady didn’t request Fournette get the bulk of the snaps over Rojo. Brady has won multiple superbowls and league MVPs. Leftwich has never been an OC before. I trust Brady.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

I feel confident Brady is the loudest guy on bringing Fournette in there. He is the best pass protector and pass catcher of the bunch.

Pete Wood
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Okay, so if Brady is calling these really bad plays, like the three consecutive miscues from first down at the five, what is your solution? Script the plays? If Bucs need to adjust, who adjusts? Brady? Leftwich? Something isn’t working on the play calling. How do we fix it?

BigSombrero
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

Better execution. That’s it.

Tennessee doesn’t try to fool anyone. There’s no cat and mouse. It’s just execution.

It’s the lasting lesson from Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin. It’s not about complicated defense, its about being excellent at the basics. That’s what’s been missing in my opinion.

twspin
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Agreed. Them Titans just smash-mouth you in the face and A**.
No gimmicks or tricks. Just straight ahead football. Like their coach too.

drdneast
Reply to  twspin
8 months ago

That format lasts about one game into the playoffs.

BigSombrero
Reply to  drdneast
8 months ago

Lynch’s 49ers went to the Super Bowl bub. Probably should have won it.

Running the ball as a primary attack with a great defense is a strong strategy, but I digress.

drdneast
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Coaches coach fundamentals and basics which this team also lacks. Dungy’s offenses couldn’t ever get out of their own way, either.

drdneast
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

I concur again.

The Wall
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Just three people I can think of who never admitted to making a mistake; you, Arians and Leftwich.

BigSombrero
Reply to  The Wall
8 months ago

Not true. I admit to mistakes all the time. I even post my record of game predictions to point out when I’m wrong and to keep track of how I’m doing vs the pro writers on the site. I was wrong about drafting Josh Allen over Devon White. I was wrong about Aguayo and Gay. I was wrong about Fournette’s pedigree and him tearing it up this season. I was wrong about the Bucs keeping Winston. I was wrong about the chances of signing Brady. I was wrong about splitting with New Orleans this year. See. I can admit when… Read more »

Knightrider79
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

You think that’s all Brady? When has Brady ever done that in his history before coming here? 3rd and short and you run vertical routes? Nope. Brady also liked to use a lot of motions during the pre-snap process. The Bucs don’t do that at all. That’s a recipe for disaster for any QB. Leftwich has proven that he can’t call a fluid game. His play calling makes no sense at all and it hurts this team. Giving up on RoJo so early when he’s producing is a head scratcher. The only thing they’ve incorporated from Brady into this offense… Read more »

BigSombrero
Reply to  Knightrider79
8 months ago

#NoExcuses From Tom’s twitter to your eyes.

drdneast
Reply to  Knightrider79
8 months ago

IF I ever see tippy toes Fournette in a game again it will be to soon. I’d rather see this years draft pick than Tippy Toes.

bucballer
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Brady is not calling his own plays! Arians said that Brady has input about the plays he likes on the play sheet. Big difference.

BigSombrero
Reply to  bucballer
8 months ago

Who is in that huddle looking at a wristband full of plays???

Who is calling out the Mike and shifting coverage pre-snap???

Who is passing it to covered TE’s 25 yards down the seam when you need 3 yards???

STFU!!!

bucballer
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Hey BigSombrero! Watch ur language! U were wrong and I merely pointed it out! Ur hatred for the Bucs shows in ur posts! But if ur post to me is personal… ur response sure felt that way… then I will meet u any place at any time and I’ll stuff that stupid sombrero up ur ass! U douche bag!

BigSombrero
Reply to  bucballer
8 months ago

Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I wasn’t insulting you with a personal attack. Shut the front door is the same as saying get outta here with that.

Brady is no rookie. He’s a 43year old QB that has seen every defense and scheme. His ability to decipher what the defense was trying to do was supposed to be his best asset.

So, pardon me for calling BULLSHIT on his lack of control on players/packages/audibles/plays called!!!

bucballer
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

The letters STFU does not mean shut the front door u dumb bastard! Yet, ur still wrong. BRADY DOES NOT CALL HIS OWN PLAYS! And the only bullshit on this site is the bullshit u regurgitate on a daily basis. Does he have the authority to call protection audibles… yes!

BigSombrero
Reply to  bucballer
8 months ago

So you think Brady’s a robot who has to throw it wherever Leftwich tells him to? He has only one read when 4 people go out for passes, and he’s forced to throw it to the one guy Leftwich has called? You think he’s handcuffed and isn’t allowed to audible routes or run/pass? If that’s the case, the Bucs are in real trouble.

And I know STFU means shut the fuck up. shut the fuck up is very similar to get the fuck outta here.

So please, STFU and GTFOH. Lol : )

bucballer
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

I’ll be seeing u soon son! Bank on it!

bucballer
Reply to  bucballer
8 months ago

Ur a real asshat. A real keyboard warrior! I’ll show u cute boy. Idiot! U can disagree without being a dick to people. Now go crawl back under the rock from which u came… what a douche!

BigSombrero
Reply to  bucballer
8 months ago

See me laughing in the picture? That’s exactly what I looked like as I read your threatening comment.

drdneast
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Sorry pal. every NFL QB looks at his wrist sheet when they get the call in from the bench and it’s the QB’s job to call out coverages or shift the players to adjust to it even though he shouldn’t have to, they should be smart enough to do it themselves.Every QB calls out the MIKE, too. Gee whiz, how much NFL ball do you watch.

BigSombrero
Reply to  drdneast
8 months ago

Exactly. So stop blame shifting. Brady isn’t getting it done. He hasn’t played a complete game yet. Masterful and awful in stretches.

drdneast
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

If you really think Brady is calling for deep routes on 3rd and twos when all of his NFL career he has been going with short routes to RBs to get the first down you probably also think Trumpy never told a lie or cheated on his many wifes.

BigSombrero
Reply to  drdneast
8 months ago

Brady and Trump are a lot alike. Neither can take responsibility for losing, just like their sheep.

drdneast
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

I concur. Lefto should be calling plays for Leto High School.

sunshineben
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

But yet didn’t you kept the excuses coming for Winston after every game last year ?

BigSombrero
Reply to  sunshineben
8 months ago

Which excuses? I didn’t blame Leftwich or BA. I also didn’t blame the OL.

I blamed OJ’s bobbles/tips. I blamed a lack of running game due to lack of talent. I blamed the defense for giving away big leads to the Giants, Seahawks, etc. I blamed special teams for not converting easy field goals. I also DID blame Winston. I just thought he gave the Bucs the best chance moving into year 2 of BA’s offense.

Last edited 8 months ago by BigSombrero
The Wall
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

No one ever said it was all Leftwich’s fault, but it’s pretty obvious to everyone in the universe that his play calling is a big part of it. In your world, everything is Brady”s fault. Oh wait, he doesn’t play or coach the defense.

BigSombrero
Reply to  The Wall
8 months ago

When the offense goes three and out 3 or 4 times to start every game, it doesn’t help the defense.

Bucs have been outscored 59-10 in the 1st qtr the last 5 games and are 2-3, with wins coming vs Carolina and NYG.

Three and out isn’t as bad as a Winston turnover, but it isn’t very helpful either.

twspin
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Agree. Bucs fans will blame the waterboy before they blame the almighty..past his prime GOAT. If our O line can maintain anything, Brady will survive..I think. I’m not nor was I ever feeling Brady for this team. But we don’t make the decisions. We just watch…..GO BUCS!

drdneast
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Awwwww, do u miss your little interception machine Winston. It’s just not the fans and the PR staff that blames the OC, Romo watched his first Bucs game last night and started throwing harpoons into the play calling and offensive scheme.
Winston is still stuck on the bench behind a RB/QB because the Saints have a head coach who isn’t stubborn minded and schemes an offense that allows his players to perform the best of their ability.

BigSombrero
Reply to  drdneast
8 months ago

Romo? Tony Romo also said at this stage Brady is a QB that needs a great defense, a strong rushing attack and a short passing game that he’s comfortable with. Haven’t I been saying that all along. This talent and scheme don’t fit Brady. Never did. But nooooooo, according to his many superfans, the PR staff, and Skip Bayless, he’s the greatest, most accurate deep pass thrower to ever toss a ball. How’s that going? Did he FINALLY complete one over 20 yesterday??? It’s only been 6 games. Of course it was to a TE. Speaking of exorcising demons, he… Read more »

BucHarbour
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Dude, we have 4 games to go and Brady is only 5 TD’s behind Winston’s output last year, but with a third of the picks. And until his little run the last 3 games, he was at at the top in deep ball accuracy this year. He hit a chunk of them last night, and Evans dropped a big one on the second play of the game. I don’t know why you hate him so much, but Brady isn’t the primary issue with this offense. Leftwich is. Any idiot can see that. Lack of motion. Calling for deep balls on… Read more »

BigSombrero
Reply to  BucHarbour
8 months ago

I hope the Bucs win a superbowl in spite of Brady’s poor fit in the scheme. They gave him plenty of additional help by adding his favorite HOF TE, his favorite pro bowl WR, and 2 seasoned pro bowl RBs.

If he can’t do it with all this talent against good teams, then you just have to admit, he was a poor fit in this offense with Leftwich and BA.

liquidmuse3
Reply to  Pete Wood
8 months ago

Seriously. The Glazers hired Arians as an HC/OC, not as an HC/hire another guy for on the job training.

BigSombrero
8 months ago

Great two point conversion. I really am impressed the Bucs fought their way back after being down 17-0. This game could have been a back breaker if they didn’t stop the bleeding and score some points. I also thought the OL played pretty well, especially considering the injuries to Smith and Marpet. I wouldn’t say it’s a bold prediction that the Bucs will make the playoffs though. It’s damn near a certainty with 7 (or possibly 8) teams getting in from each conference. I would say this team has made it very difficult on themselves by being a 6th place… Read more »

awwdembucs
8 months ago

BA’S offense IMO is outdated. Like you said Scott 3rd and short, going long is a low % chance. The Defense wakes up in the 2nd half, but we are playing from behind, by then.

fredster
8 months ago

To me as good as front 7 is this defense needs another good Safety and CB to really compete. Free agency or draft. CB need a veteran imo. Vea covered up some issues with this secondary I think early this season. The coaching is retarded too at some point you would think they would say hey man coverage with Davis on Hill who lacks speed, is not working? They just refuse to adjust or change anything it seems on offense or defense. This is not a playoff team. I’m Not getting excited about post season and at this point would… Read more »

Knightrider79
Reply to  fredster
8 months ago

The coaches seem to be hardheaded. They want to prove that they have the perfect plan even when it doesn’t work. Just plain hardheaded

drdneast
Reply to  fredster
8 months ago

This team needs another DL. That is what is obvious. It is also obvious this team misses Vea’s push up the middle although the large majority of knucklehead always dogged him out here.

Buc stops here
8 months ago

I think the fact is what we have been seeing for awhile and is finally being written about – this team is good, but not great. Whether it be coaching or the players, they are not getting it done against the top teams. Play calling – whoever is doing it – is not great. When you always run the first play of the game up the middle, and then pass on second and third down – sometimes throwing a long ball – your odds of getting a first down are not great. They don’t mix it up at all. Never… Read more »

BigSombrero
Reply to  Buc stops here
8 months ago

Hard to argue with any of what you said. Actually it’s easy to agree.

Knightrider79
Reply to  Buc stops here
8 months ago

Kind of like the old Tony Dungy, Clyde Christianson offense. Run, run, screen, punt. Then hope your defense can stop them

twspin
8 months ago

Quite a good article here Scott. I agree with most of it and there are still a lotta unanswered questions with our Bucs. I will say, The Vikings and at least one of those falcons games will not be chopped liver. Rah has those Birds playing really well. They look like a whole new different team. And the Vikes will not be easy at all. So rest up Bucs..Esp the O line, We need them to protect Mr. Immobility back there. And please..Please do something..anything about our secondary. Its almost like we got nobody back there.

MrFootball
Reply to  twspin
8 months ago

Rah is a joke. What playoff bound team has the falcons beat?

Bucco-Bruce
8 months ago

Really, IMO, it starts with the defense and then the playcaller, which comes down to our coaches and it starts with Arians all the way down. No exotic blitzes, guys not out in the right situations to win and obviously our offensive play calling is just vanilla and always trying to hit the lowest percentage shots instead of trying to move the ball. We saw how well the Chiefs offense run so I keep advocating for Eric Bienemy to be our new head coach!!

Horse
Reply to  Bucco-Bruce
8 months ago

Been saying the same thing for weeks now. We need to change our defensive scheme or find players within the Roster who can play this scheme; doubt we’ll find enough.

Naplesfan
8 months ago

It always comes down to who makes the most plays, but it sure also seems that the Bucs coaching staff, led by Bruce Arians, seems bent on stubborning things out, to coach every game their own way, regardless of the players the Bucs actually have and regardless of what the opposing teams have been doing. Then, only after the games are nearly out of hand, in desperation, the coaches seem to bend just a little bit. As much as I believe that the Patriots’ success in the previous 20 years was due more to Tom Brady than to Bill Bellichick,… Read more »

Madman
8 months ago

‘Leftwich’s continued calls for high-risk vertical throws in third-and-short situations is befuddling.’

THANK YOU! This is driving me crazy. BL is a disaster and BA is letting it happen.

Horse
8 months ago

Big Sombrero, You are making a lot of sense. Presently this team needs to get it together if they expect to go anywhere in the Playoffs, even if they are backing in to a playoff spot because of COVID-19. Bucs have a habit of constantly causing many fans to have hope; then take it away, but bring back the hope again; then takes it away. This particular event has been going on for more than 10 years.

Horse
Reply to  Horse
8 months ago

It’s the TRUTH!

BigSombrero
Reply to  Horse
8 months ago

Thanks Horse!