Sunday’s 45-17 win in Philadelphia might have been the Buccaneers’ most obvious sign of improvement since the beginning of the season, but according to Lovie Smith, it was far from the first.

Bucs head coach Lovie Smith had his team ready to play in a 45-17 triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles - Photo by: Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 22: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The head coach, who received a great deal of criticism for saying “it takes a good football team to get out to a 24-0 lead” following the monumental collapse in Washington, stood by his claim that the team had shown signs of growth even in losing efforts.

It was just time for the Bucs to learn how to finish and show that progress on the scoreboard, which was exactly the case last week.

“A lot of you didn’t want to hear that, [you] just wanted to see the score like all of us,” Smith said. “[You] wanted to see the results at the end… (But) it takes a good football team to get up on someone 24-0. Now, to see our football team learn how to finish a game that way (In Philadelphia). We didn’t see that type of game (in Washington), but at the same time you see those improvements showing up on Sunday. That’s what happened (Sunday).”

After consecutive wins – the first time for the Bucs since 2013 – Tampa Bay sits as 5-5 and in the hunt for a wild card spot. The talk of improving has turned into talk of playoffs. But while Smith knows his team is relevant and in contention, the message heading into next week hasn’t changed.

“It’s about that next opponent,” Smith said. “All those other things will take care of themselves. We talked an awful lot about getting to 5-5. Now we have chance to get over .500, win three games in a row. That’s what we’re going to talk about.”

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at:
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5 years ago

Since we won the Superbowl we have only done this well at week 10 (500 or better) 5 out of 12 seasons…and the last time was 2012. It feels good to be relevant again…to say the words playoffs and Bucs together without being laughed at…in a league of parity we are again at least on-par…

Reply to  EastEndBoy
5 years ago

that should be “after 10 games”…6 out of 13 counting this year…