The PewterReport.com Roundtable features the opinions of the PR staff as it tackles a topic each week that involves the Bucs.
This week’s topic: Which Upcoming Bucs Game Do You Want To See The Most?
Table of Contents
Scott Reynolds: To Be The Best, You Have To Beat The Best
There are several big Bucs games coming up within the next month, including a rematch with the Saints for the NFC South title on Sunday Night Football on November 8, a trip to Carolina to face an improving Panthers team on November 15, then a Monday Night Football game at home against the Rams, followed by a home game against the Chiefs. Tampa Bay has already had a couple of statement games wins this season over the last two weeks in a 38-10 demolition of Green Bay, and Sunday’s 45-20 drubbing of Las Vegas. The Bucs will have a month’s worth of opportunities of getting a few more signature wins in November.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes – Photo by: USA Today
So which big game do I want to see the most? Well, since I’m from Kansas City it would have to be the Chiefs. I gave up my allegiance to the Chiefs when I moved to Tampa from Kansas back in 1995, but I was rooting for Kansas City over San Francisco in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski knocked out Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City three years when they were with New England en route to winning a Super Bowl, so those two QBs have some history against each other.
If the Bucs can get a win over the defending Super Bowl champions I think it only enhances Tampa Bay’s own chance of making the Super Bowl, which will be played at Raymond James Stadium in February, this season. It will be interesting to see how Todd Bowles’ defense matches up against the likes of Mahomes, running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and it will be fun to see which offense scores more points and comes out on top.
Mark Cook: Time To Beat Up The Playground Bully
Before the Buccaneers can worry about taking on the Super Bowl champs, or even maybe dream of a potential Super Bowl match with the world champions, there’s a big obstacle in the way. To go deep in the playoffs, the run starts with winning your division. In order to do that, you have dethrone the NFC South champs, the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are in the Bucs head. New Orleans has beaten the Buccaneers the last four times the two teams have played, with the Bucs last victory coming when Tampa Bay opened the season in New Orleans with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center as Jameis Winston was serving a suspension. Seems like forever ago doesn’t it? And those last four games really haven’t been close. While the scores don’t indicate blowouts, the Saints were in firm control pretty much from start to finish and seem to have the Bucs number.
The Saints are the playground bully and have been stealing the Buccaneers’ lunch money for the last two years. At some point you have to stand up for yourself, punch the bully in the nose and show the crowd gathered around the playground that you are just as tough, if not tougher. Before the Bucs can make a Super Bowl-worthy statement, they have to make an NFC South-worthy statement. The Saint game will be nationally televised and will be full of electricity as the two best quarterbacks of all time square off for what likely will decide who ends up with the NFC South crown.
Jon Ledyard: Watch Out For That Rams Defense
The Bucs haven’t faced many great defenses this season, mainly because there really aren’t many across the NFL. In the most compelling games remaining on the Bucs schedule, the Saints and Panthers defenses have struggled, while the Chiefs defense is improved from last season, yet still not formidable.
The Rams, however, have patched together one of the best defensive units in the NFL despite a dearth of talent outside of Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald and John Johnson. First year defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has been creative in his defensive fronts and coverages, preventing the big passing plays that kill most of the league’s defenses. And we haven’t even gotten to the ingenuity of the Rams offensive scheme, led by mastermind Sean McVay.
There are ways to beat the Rams, but they are one of the hardest teams to prepare for in the NFL on both sides of the ball. The Bucs coaching staff will need to show they can out-scheme some brilliant young coaches in Los Angeles, and Tom Brady will have his work cut out for him to keep the big play Bucs offense rolling against a stout Rams coverage unit. It should be a fun one in Week 11.
Matt Matera: You Have To Knock Off The Champs To Become One
The great Ric Flair used to say, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” And that’s exactly what needs to take place for the Bucs when they play against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on November 29th. By that time the Bucs will have already played against the Saints and Rams, meaning this is the last game in their gauntlet of match-ups against some of the league’s best teams, and we’ll find out where the Bucs rank among them.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Photo by: USA Today
Looking at this game, there are two aspects that really stick out for me. One is the opportunity for the Bucs’ defense to face the juggernaut that is the Chiefs offense. As it stands today, Tampa Bay’s defense is third in the NFL with 291.3 yards allowed per game and ranks second with 25 sacks. They also dominated the Packers’ league-leading offense three weeks ago, holding a team that was averaging 38 points per game to just 10. If they can stop Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce and new running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell, the Bucs will have bragging rights for quite a while.
The other thing I’m looking at is the Tom Brady vs. Mahomes match-up. As Reynolds also mentioned, the last time they faced each other was the AFC Championship game in January of 2019 where Brady and the Patriots beat Mahomes’ Chiefs in a thrilling, 37-31 contest in overtime. Anytime these two quarterbacks are on opposing sidelines, it’s must-watch television.
Taylor Jenkins: It All Starts With A Divisional Title
I know that with the way the Bucs have been playing it’s easy to look ahead on the schedule and salivate at the idea of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady squaring off in a battle between two teams who may find themselves on opposing sidelines come Super Bowl LV in Tampa. But the Bucs have a long way to go before that and it all starts with winning their division, something Tampa Bay hasn’t done since going 9-7 in 2007, and their remaining game against the Saints could go a long way in ensuring that
Saints QB Drew Brees – Photo by: USA Today
While Tampa Bay does hold the lead in the NFC South at 5-2, with New Orleans right on its heels at 4-2, the Saints are absolutely not a team that the Bucs can look past simply because they lead the division through just seven weeks. Not only did New Orleans already best Tampa Bay in their first meeting this season but they also have a very talented roster than has run the NFC South for the better part of a decade. New Orleans has won five divisional titles since 2009, including three in the past three seasons, and as far as I’m concerned the Saints should be considered the front-runners up until the moment that they’re knocked off.
But to make a divisional championship even more important for the Bucs, the NFC has a very tight race for the wild card game. Along with the Bucs at 5-2 sit the Arizona Cardinals, coming off of a big win against the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Rams, who Tampa Bay will host later in the season, and the Chicago Bears, who already hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the Thursday Night Football match-up with Tampa Bay in Week 5. So while the Bucs vs. Chiefs game may look like the premier match-up out of the team’s remaining games, Tampa Bay’s Week 9 game against the Saints carries much more weight.
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: email@example.com
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