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. Tampa Bay’s stars came out on Sunday in Los Angeles in a monumental 55-40 upset over the Rams at the L.A. Coliseum. The win propels the Bucs to 2-2 and drops the defending NFC champions to 3-1 on the year.

2 BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1: Bucs’ Offensive Stars Shine In L.A.

Hooray for Hollywood! Tampa Bay style, of course.

The Bucs’ stars on offense came out in Los Angeles in Tampa Bay’s 55-40 upset over the NFC defending-champion Rams. The Bucs offense picked up where it left off last week when it put up 31 points and 499 yards in a 32-31 loss, and posted 464 yards of offense and a franchise-record 55 points.

Although Jared Goff set a career-high with 517 passing yards, he threw three interceptions with only two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston completed 28-of-41 passes for 385 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, which was returned for a pick-six, in the win for Tampa Bay. Winston’s pick-six cut the Bucs’ lead to 45-40, but Tampa Bay never surrendered the lead.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Getty Images

Last week it was Mike Evans who exploded in the first half for Winston with three touchdowns. On Sunday in Los Angles it was Chris Godwin’s turn. Godwin had nine catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, including a three-yard score to give Tampa Bay a 14-0 lead.

Godwin, a third-year pro, could be a playing his way towards an early contract extension. Godwin, who missed practice all week with a hip injury, had a 30-yard catch in the second quarter to lead to his second touchdown, which came on a 9-yard catch. He finished with 12 catches for 172 yards and two scores and has now posted six 100-yard receiving games in his career.

“Can’t say enough about Chris because he’s hurting,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “Chris didn’t practice this week – and to put that performance out there … and the way he blocked, he’s a tough bird.”

Evans overcame a bruised hand to post four catches for 89 yards and a 67-yard touchdown, which was the longest scoring connection between Evans and Winston during their time together in Tampa Bay. Winston threw a 68-yard pass to Evans in 2015 and a 70-yarder to Godwin in 2017, but neither went for a touchdown.

It was also a great bounce-back week for rookie kicker Matt Gay, who missed two extra points and a 34-yard game winner in last week’s 32-31 loss to the Giants. Gay made all seven extra points and both field goals, including a career-long 58-yarder.

The Bucs offense needed to match the Rams in terms of points, and it turned out that Tampa Bay had more firepower in the end as the team moves to 2-2 on the season.

“It was very fun to be in L.A. and the Coliseum up in the lights – lights, camera, action – Hollywood!” Winston said. “We had a great game. We’ve just to continue to do that.”

STATEMENT 2: Bucs’ Defensive Stars Shine In L.A.

Not all of the Bucs’ game balls go to the offensive players in the team’s 55-40 victory in Los Angeles. There were plenty of stars on the defensive side of the ball too, but none bigger than outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who leads the NFL with nine sacks, including a key sack-strip of Goff in the fourth quarter with Tampa Bay up 48-40. The fumble was recovered by former Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who returned the ball 37 yards for a touchdown to put the game away.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh
Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo courtesy of Jason Licht

Bucs general manager Jason Licht’s father passed away on Saturday night and Licht left L.A. Sunday morning to be with his family in Nebraska. Licht’s father, Ron, was a Nebraska alum and his favorite Cornhuskers player just happened to be Suh, who sealed the Bucs’ win. Licht was watching the Nebraska vs. Ohio State game when he died on Saturday night.

“You get that call – and I’ve had that call – and it’s tough,” Arians said about the phone call Jason Licht received. “Like Jason said, his dad was doing what he loved to do – football and family at a Nebraska game. That part about it was great. We’re all praying for him. We had [Jason] on FaceTime in the locker room and we gave him a game ball.”

Ron Licht was up in heaven watching with glee as Suh ramble for the game-winning score. There are no coincidences, folks.

Suh had a remarkable game with two tackles in addition to the scoop-and-score, and played a huge role in helping the Bucs shut down the Rams’ running game.

Barrett continues to make his presence felt for Tampa Bay’s defense. Early in the second quarter, Barrett, rushing from the left side, hit Goff’s hand as he threw the ball and strong safety Jordan Whitehead picked off the errant throw, recording his first career interception.

Barrett missed two sack opportunities on Los Angeles’ second touchdown drive, including on Goff’s scoring strike to tight end Gerald Everett. But in the third quarter Barrett got his first interception and his first pick of his career at the Tampa Bay 47.

Ron Licht and Bucs LB Lavonte David
Ron Licht and Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo courtesy of Jason Licht

Barrett now has nine sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception is making a strong case not only for a contract extension in Tampa Bay – but also his first Pro Bowl berth.

Tampa Bay inside linebacker Lavonte David, who is also a Cornhusker and a favorite of Ron Licht’s, also had his first interception of the season in Los Angeles when he picked off Goff in the first half.

“I love Jason and I had the pleasure of meeting his father and his family, so we send our condolences to him,” Winston said. “That was a big win for him. That was for him. We thank him for the opportunity he has given us to be players for this Buccaneers organization, and that was a big win for him. So shout out to Jason.”

2 PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Is There Any Good News About The Bucs Defense?

Watching Goff pick apart the Bucs secondary for over 500 yards and two touchdowns wasn’t pleasant. The Bucs gave up 32 points last week and 40 points this week, which isn’t good.

But Tampa Bay’s defense did pick Goff three times and sack him twice with QB captures by Will Gholston and Barrett, who had a strip-sack.

Bucs LB Lavonte David
Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Getty Images

More importantly, the Bucs defense held the Rams to just 18 rushing yards on 11 carries, including 16 yards on five carries for Pro Bowler Todd Gurley – although he did have two touchdowns. This marks the third week in a row Tampa Bay’s run defense was stellar after holding the Panthers to 39 yards rushing in Week 2 – and Christian McCaffrey held to 37 – and confining the Giants to 72 yards rushing with Saquon Barkley having just 10 yards on eight carries last week.

“We’re built to stop the run and get after the quarterback,” Arians said.

Of course the Bucs’ young secondary continues to be shredded with Robert Woods catching 13 passes for 164 yards, Cooper Kupp catching nine passes for 121 yards and a score, and Brandin Cooks catching six passes for 71 yards in the loss for L.A. Making matters worse is that Carlton Davis suffered an unknown injury at the end of the game, and he might be the Bucs’ best cover cornerback.

Tampa Bay’s secondary will be under the gun against next week in New Orleans against Teddy Bridgewater, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Jr. and the Saints’ passing game. Will they show improvement over the past two weeks? We’ll see.

QUESTION 2: How Big Of A Day Could RoJo Have Had?

Bucs running back Ronald Jones II entered Sunday’s game as the team’s leading rusher with 164 yards – one more than starter Peyton Barber – and he returned to his old stomping grounds at the Los Angeles Coliseum where he starred for USC. So it was only natural that Jones would have a big day, right?

Barber had nine carries for 19 yards and a touchdown – mostly in the first half – but Jones had the hot hand once again and finished with 70 yards on 19 carries and his first touchdown of the season, and the second of his career. Jones’ day could have been a huge if not for a couple of costly penalties.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II
Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Getty Images

Jones had a 25-yard run called back in the first half due to an illegal shift penalty. That would have given him 95 yards rushing against the Rams had the run not been called back. In the second half, Jones had an amazing 54-yard jaunt called back on a holding penalty by tight end O.J. Howard. That would have given Jones nearly 150 yards on the day.

Jones also had one catch for 12 yards, which picked up a first down, and contributed to his great performance in L.A. Look for Jones, a second-round pick in last year’s draft, to unseat Barber as the team’s starter as soon as next week in New Orleans. With 50 carries for 234 and a 4.7 average, Jones has earned that right.

2 BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: Tampa Bay’s Road Warrior Mentality Continues

Tampa Bay is a maddening 0-2 at home, but is 2-0 on the road this year after Sunday’s upset win in Los Angeles. Can the Bucs continue their winning ways on the road with a victory in New Orleans?

Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Why not? For some reason, this year feels eerily similar to 2016 when the Bucs went 5-3 on the road, but finished 4-4 at home in Dirk Koetter’s first season as head coach – only to finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs by a game. Tampa Bay will have to adopt a road warrior mentality, as it will play its next four games away from Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs play the Saints on the road, have a home game against the Panthers in London and then travel to face the Titans in Tennessee and the Seahawks in Seattle. Tampa Bay’s next home game is against the Cardinals on November 10.

Don’t be surprised to see the Bucs at 4-4 – or even 5-3 – when they return home from Seattle. The good news for Tampa Bay is that it plays five of its last eight games at home. Or is that a bad thing, considering they’re better on the road?

PREDICTION 2: Bucs Stay On Schedule For Playoffs

Will the Bucs make the playoffs? No one is sure with Tampa Bay sitting at 2-2 after the first quarter of the 2019 season.

But one thing is clear – almost everyone expected the Bucs to be at 2-2 after the first four games. Yet most predicted home wins against the 49ers and the Giants and road losses to the Panthers and the Rams. As gut-wrenching as last week’s 32-31 loss to the Giants was, an upset win in Los Angeles against a very good Rams team evened the score as the Bucs stole a much-needed road win to make up for it.

“It’s still about finishing games,” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. “We’re 2-2 and back in it.”

Had the Bucs fallen to 1-3 on the season with a loss in L.A., it would have wrecked the team’s playoff chances. The Bucs may wind up 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7 when it’s all said and done and still miss the playoffs, but at 2-2 they have a chance to stay on course to make a late-season run for the postseason.

“I guess we have to learn how to play at home – because we’re not bad on the road,” Arians said.

Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

44 COMMENTS

  1. Bucs secondary will improve but it will require some new faces to step up. They are young so it is expected they will have up and down play. I will say you will see more of R. Smith and Dean sooner or later.

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  2. I’ll be thrilled if they can end up 8-8. That would be a huge improvement after two 5-11 seasons back to back. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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    • Yeah 8-8 would be nice. Anything more than that and you can give Coach Arians the coach of the year award.

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  3. Playing away games for the Bucs isn’t that big of a deal for the team since most of the time they are playing in a RJ Stadium filled with half the fans from the other team because of the lousy fan base.
    Unfortunately, its probably only a matter of time before the Rays pull up stakes and leave for the same reason.
    Scott, I respect the fact you are a religious person but please leave your sermonizing out of the columns.
    To suggest there was some sort of divine intervention on the part of God for Suh to recover a fumble and return it for a TD when he should have actually sat down on it at the one is absurd to say the least.
    IT is sad that Licht’s father had to leave while watching his Cornuskers take such a beating.
    Alas, the same will probably happen to me with the Bucs.

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    • Trolling is one thing… but THIS should be grounds for a permanent ban. It’s a disgusting comment from a disgusting individual. Good day sir/ma’am.

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  4. Was gonna say the same thing about Jones, he’s earned the starting job at this point. What a turnaround when you look at where he was last year. (If nothing else, the last few weeks have proven definitively that the problem with the OL the last few years was absolutely the coaching and not the talent.)

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  5. Showdown in the Swamp is going to be interesting next week. Evans vs Lattimore, Shaq vs Raymzac and Bowles vs Payton. Our winning formula is simple: Limit Winston’s TO’s, maintain a balanced rushing attack, force Bridgewater to beat you from the pocket and dare I say it “just make the makeable Kicks”. Oh yeah and Arians no more Senior Moments, I almost forgot. Go Bucs!

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  6. I’ve figured out the secret! There is a direct correlation between my fantasy team and my real life team. I lost this week in fantasy with Winston and Evans sitting on my bench because of the “bad matchup.” I will take a real win over a fantasy win anyday! So first off, you’re welcome Bucs fans…and second, they will remain on my bench until this correlation proves to be false.

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    • If I was a Fantasy Player I would start Winston, Evans & Godwin every week. If things keep going like I think, I would start RoJo as well. But I am a Buc Homer lol.

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      • Yeah I’ve had zero correlation between fantasy and reality through 4 weeks so far. I’ve played Godwin as my WR2 all 4 weeks and my fantasy team is 3-1, the Bucs are 2-2. But I’ll say, i almost talked myself into benching Godwin this week because of the hip and bad matchup. Except I came to the conclusion that CG12 is a beast and far and away the best slot WR the Rams have faced all year. And 51.3 pts later, he single handedly won me my fantasy matchup

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  7. You guys see what winning does? Its late at night out here in the West and the Bucs are getting extra coverage on ESPN and the NFL Network. They cannot believe our explosion. We lose and..yarn.. it’s just the Bucs. Small market teams make their names by winning. But can we do it consistently? Put together a string of wins. That’s the question. Beat New Orleans and we might..be on to something. 2-2 means nothing. It simply says you are 500..average. Bridgewater is no slouch. Do not underestimate him. Enjoy this one buc fans. The Saints will be tougher. Lets see if we are for real here.

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    • I hear you TW, but every time I read one of your Radioactive post or Buc Ass it’s like uhggg. Its nice to finally read a positive post from you this time so let me respond: You say 2-2 means nothing but you know what neither does 3-2. Its a long season and it doesn’t matter how you start, it only matters how you finish. We all want the Bucs to win & make a playoff run but its a process, most of us come on here to support our team even in a lost. Last week when we took one the worst loses that I can ever remember since watching football over 40 years you made it a point to go after several posters commenting on how to better this team and even went as far to call all of us supporters “Idiots” because we love and support our team. Nobody wants to be attacked for expressing their loyalty to this team especially after a lost like that. But hey I’m not trying to take away your freedom of speech or anything like that, I’m Just Saying!!

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      • Well there Capt Sly..I’ve been a fan probably before you were a twinkle in your parents eyes..since team inception. I..say the things many want to say but are afraid of the down votes. Them downers mean nothin to me. So forgive me if I don’t wave the pom-poms. Been disappointed by this team so much..I’m truly numb. A win is a Win. This was huge for us. But we gotta string a line of’em together to get respect. I was born and raised in Temple Terrace. Fl is my home. Although I had to move on for the $$$. Its just hard going down the same road every yr with my Bucs. I’m still not convinced just yet. But yes, it does seem as though we have improved. Now what that translate into..Who Knows?

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    • Why are you on here, on this Bucs feed if you are not a fan? With your comment “Enjoy this one Bucs fans” it has become glaringly obvious you are just a troll who follows a different team.

      Oh and by the way…to your lame comments last week regarding “now you’re going to see a real defensive line” how about getting 55 hung on that “real defensive line” troll???!!!

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      • Well said buc-philly. All week we had to sit here and listen to twspin spew his rhetoric about how good the “Real defensive line” would look for the rams. Did Aaron Donald even play because I didn’t hear his name one time. Eat crow buddy

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        • Donald got swallowed up by this so called”poor offensive line”. This was a great offensive performance.

          The secondary is a real issue. We can’t sustain that type of offensive output so they will have to improve but an overall great game.

          Surfer, twspin and buc ass can suck it! Live with this great win fellas. You will have to wait another week to go troll!!!

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      • Not a troll. BIPF. Been a Buc fan probably..before YOU..were even born. I’ll continue to make comments. Besides, Every group needs a constructive dissenter . What the hell would this world be like if we were all alike? its been 12 yrs since this team made the playoffs. As a paying fan of this team, that gives me the RIGHT..to voice my opinion concerning their failures. I passed the cheerleading stage long ago. I let you kids do that. I WANT WINS!! That’s all I care about. To hell with improved..we do that every year!

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        • Yours is that of negative banter just to be negative. As you even stated yourself a “constructive dissenter”, doing it just for the sake of it. This comes off very poorly.

          You have every right to say what you wish but in doing so you open yourself to criticism and interpretation. So speak on! I will continue to point out your careless perspectives as I too have been around since this Teams inception. I just choose to not play Chicken Little!

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          • If one has been fully supporting a team since its inception and feels mngt and ownership are not up to the task then they have every right to be critical. And when need be, I will do so. Continue to waive your pom-pom and I will waive to a different beat. GO BUCS!

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  8. The Saints r always tough! But I have to believe that they r just a little bit worse off with Brees out. If we can just hit him a couple of times early then I believe he will feel the heat and give us a turnover or three! Go Bucs!

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    • From watching Teddy this year, you can see that he’s still gun shy and that plays into our hands very nicely.

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  9. When Ndomukong Suh was running towards the promised land

    I witnessed all the years of Bucs fan trauma fall away with each step

    This was the statement game of all statement games

    The one we all waited for to see our #1 overall pick completely take over the game and come into his own

    This game will be remembered like the game against San Diego in ’97

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  10. Here is what is becoming the good things I saw as well as the bad. This team is a mixed bag but is learning how to win and not make too many mistakes. The team that made the fewer mistakes won today. If the Bucs can keep the mistakes down, they actually seem good enough to win.

    The Good
    1) Winston for the most part. Throwing four TDs including accurate long passes (again… where has this been the past four years?) is a new thing for him. The one INT pick 6 was a groan, here we go again but he righted his play and did not throw another bad pass the rest of the game. Not bad, not bad at all.
    2) Running game stayed alive. They alternated backs but managed a decent 89 yards against a tough Rams run defense. Average yards per carry was not great but the Bucs stuck with it and kept the defense honest.
    3) Defense made enough big plays when it was needed. The three INTS and particularly the strip sack returned for a TD sealed the game.
    4) Gay recovered for the most part. Almost missed the first extra point but did an amazing job with a 58 yarder that he did make. Big difference from last week when he missed so many.

    The Bad
    1) Pass defense overall was not great, and allowed the Rams back into it as they gave up an unforgivable amount of yards. Secondary may be young but it is not playing all that well. The defensive line is playing well which is keeping them in games, but if the secondary is not opportunistic with the multiple INTs this would have been another loss.
    2) Winston’s pick 6 was a poorly made pass. Hopefully he learns from that and does not make that mistake again this year. I think that is three overall he has done (two the first week, one more today).
    3) Defense cannot take the pressure off the QB very much. The strength of this team is the rush. I noted whenever the Rams made a big play, the Bucs rushed only 4 people and when they had the lead they did that more often… and if it was not for the turnovers, this would have been a different outcome. They obviously have to mix it up, but rushing four does not seem to put much pressure on the opposition.

    Biggest positive – this was very tough road win, and they actually pulled it off and finished the game and won. I always thought 8-8 would be a successful season. With play like this, it may be possible still.

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    • This is not an 8-8 team. This is an 11 or 12 win team.

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      • In terms of talent they are a .500 ball club. But if they win 11 or 12 games this year then Arians should win coach of the year award easily.

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      • Still think they are an 11 or 12 win team? I sure don’t I still think 8-8 is the ceiling, that is getting harder to hit each and every week!

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  11. Congrats Buccaneers and Buccaneer fans! What a game! Big-time plays and big-time players stepping up! This game was so much fun! Thank you Bucs!

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  12. Our offense went for a ton of yards, our defense gave up a ton of yards. But we won the turnover battle and so won the game. Simple as that.

    Winston has to win the turnover battle virtually the entire rest of the season to be made our franchise $100 million QB for the next five years. Running hot and cold gets you nowhere in this league, it’s all about consistency. I truly hope he can do it, the next 12 games will tell the tale.

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  13. Thank you Jason Licht for signing Suh and Barrett. Excellent FA signings that won the game. I’m sorry about your father.

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    • Amen to that. My father (who is also a Ron Sr) passed away early this year. We would’ve had a lot of fun watching this one together. My condolences and prayers to Licht and his family. It was a special game given the circumstances. Here’s to hoping for a special season. Cheers!

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      • Yeah the hardest thing is making progress in my life based on what my father taught me. But he isn’t around for me to share of the joy and triumphs that I have overcome. It is indeed bittersweet for me.

        Condolences to Licht as losing a father weighs heavily on all that have to endure this.

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        • Yes it does Alldaway.

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  14. I give the secondary a bit of a pass. We blitzed a lot and when you play man there will be something open. Did not like seeing guys free deep but Goff also made some great passes in tight coverage.

    We need up get better but we did what we needed to do. LA did not have a bad game. They came to play and just got beat…makes the win all the sweeter

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  15. BA has said repeatedly that our defense is built around stopping the run. That has become obvious after these first four games. We have shut down some of the best runners in the NFL well.

    He previously had said that our secondary was fixed. That one is still a puzzler to to many. Let’s see if it becomes clearer what he meant in the next four games. Maybe, he was looking over all of the sixteen games during the regular season. I don’t see us making any moves to acquire the likes of Jalen Ramsey for example.

    This year’s Buccaneers are learning how to win as well as how to be “steady on” after emotionally draining losses.
    _____________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  16. I predicted they beat Rams and I think they beat the Saints too. I had Bucs at 9 wins this year. I’m not changing it I think will be about right five or take 1-2. just depends if they can get better play from secondary and not lose any key players. They also need to clean up penalties if they want to beat Saints. Bridgewater doesn’t scare me but they seem to have trouble with dink and dunk crap. Kamara is hard to stop too but they have done it so far against every great RB.

    Go Bucs!

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  17. We all need to sit back take a deep breath and realize what we just did. We beat (soundly) the NFC defending champs who were 3-0 with a win over the Saints. That was huge! D-Line is no joke and the offense can score points on anybody. We aren’t there yet but we have a damn good team. I don’t know how many games we will win but we shouldn’t be afraid to pick the Bucs over anybody. They surprised me, they surprised the media, and they surely surprised the Rams. As always I’m proud to be a Buc fan. Go Bucs!

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    • Agreed, the psychological impact that win had on the team and the rest of the league will continue through the entire season. Confidence is contagious and so is fear. When teams know they have to try to score every chance they get just to keep up with this offense, it allows the defense opportunities for turnovers. Which they are clearly getting.
      It’s gonna be fun again watching Buc games this season!

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  18. We won and that’s what we will remember; that’s what counts, not how we won. Players deserve to enjoy the win today, enjoy their day off, then get ready to play a good defensive/offensive team, but still their beatable if we put up numbers on offense. Go Bucs!

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  19. This was a great win, and it proves we can play with anybody, anywhere. Now here comes the but. We have to string these wins along. Right now the national conversation is the Bucs upset the Rams. Fans, and football people alike see it as a fluke. We play the real NFC champs at there house next week. If we want to stay in the national conversation we need to beat two good teams in a row. If we lose next week to a back up QB we go back to being the SOB’s, and the Saints will have a strangle hold on the division. The Saints just beat the NFL darlings, we need to beat the Saints. We’re .500 at the quarter mark. It’s a good start, but we have to do better to make the playoffs. This is it guys, knock off to playoff teams in a row, and people will be saying, how bout them Bucs!!

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  20. I’ve been very critical of Jameis especially after week 1 and I called for him (not that he is listening) to prove all of us who have been doubting him wrong. He’s been doing that and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong. Just hope he continues to get better every week. That pick 6 that brought the Rams back in it really scared me but he bounced right back and drove the team down to make it an 8 point game. No meltdown like in the past. OLine played amazing. Godwin is a top 10 WR in this league. DLine is awesome. RoJo is slashing and dashing and can simply not be arm tackled. Now could some one explain to me why Carlton Davis was on kickoff duty for the last minute of the game? And why is it a flag to throw some one down to the ground if they are carrying the ball but on kick off if you pick some one up, throw them on the ground and land on them on a kickoff its not. Cichy got a severe injury due to a cheap shot in the last minute of a meaningless kick off. Truly hope he can make a full recovery. That was brutal.

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  21. No doubt the injuries to NO and CAR have been a huge boost to hopes of an improved season for the Bucs….hope is realistic in 2019 for something better than we’ve seen the last couple years.

    However – not to rain our parade – if we’re really going to be serious about “playoff talk”, we need to clean-up several things:

    1) Winston CANNOT be throwing INTs in the 4th quarter of a game that take a “down-and-out” team and give them back hope (down 5 points with 8 minutes to go after that pick-6).

    2) our offense CANNOT settle for field goals in the 4th quarter that keep the game within a single score’s reach for the opponent (8 points) instead of getting the knock-out TD.

    3) our kicker CANNOT be missing 4th quarter kicks (fortunately he got a second chance yesterday).

    4) our secondary CANNOT give up 500 yards of passing in a game – cover somebody, anybody

    5) our OLine (and Winston has a role here too) CANNOT allow pressure on nearly 25% of passing plays (compare that to NE at closer to 10%) – (more) bad things happen under pressure.

    6) did I mention our secondary…

    Some of this we can fix – I’m starting to buy-in to the hope….

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    • I agree with a lot of this.

      A lot of the issues can be fixed based on continued coaching and learning. I also think where the team can really turn that corner this year is if the rookies clean up their play. Gay, Nelson, Muprhy-Bunting, Dean, Edwards and White have been inconsistent but that is what rookies do and it has only been four games so far into the season.

      I hope to see this team hit its stride by the mid point mark and well into the rest of the season. That would be a nice change to see this team competitive into Nov and Dec.

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  22. At 2-2 this is actually a better starting result than many forecast for the Bucs.

    The problem is with a .500 team is we get whipsawed each week, from the highs of winning one week to the lows of losing the following week. One week people are fitting players out for their Super Bowl rings, and the next week they want to get ready for the draft.

    Maybe if the Bucs can actually put a string of wins together then we can figure out what we really have this season.

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  23. Maybe the Bucs need to start practicing in Ray J some? Maybe that might help it become more of a home field for them.

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