Bucs LB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
PewterReport.com is beginning a new feature off an an old one this week called the PR Roundtable. In the new edition of the Roundtable the staff will take just one topic each week and share some brief thoughts. Take a look and tell us what you think, and share your feelings on the topic in the comment section.
Pewter Report Publisher Scott Reynolds: Will Sunday’s 15-10 win over the New York Jets spark a turnaround for the 3-6 Buccaneers? No. I could see Tampa Bay winning one of its next three games by beating the Dolphins in Miami, but only if the defense plays remotely close to how the unit played against the Jets on Sunday. The Bucs haven’t given up less than 30 points per game in any of the team’s four road games this year, so that has to change this Sunday if the team has any chance of winning its first road contest of the year. Offensively, this team is going nowhere as it can’t run the ball consistently. Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is completing just 57.3 percent of his passes and completed only 50 percent of them in his first start for the Bucs against the Jets. By not having a strong running game, Fitzpatrick will be asked to make more throws and that could lead to more turnovers as he already has three interceptions in seven quarters of action this year, including one versus the Jets.
There won’t be any turnaround for the Bucs if they aren’t scoring more than 20 points per game, which is something the team hasn’t done in the past three weeks. After scoring just three points at home against Carolina, Tampa Bay had 10 points at New Orleans before scoring 15 against New York. I guess you could say that’s progress, but it’s the middle of the season and shouldn’t this team be capable of scoring more points than a combined 28 over the last three games with the weapons it has in its arsenal? It should, and the fact that it’s not, coupled with how poorly the defense plays on the road leads me to believe that Tampa Bay will either be 4-8 or 3-9 by the time the Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium to play Detroit – and out of any hope of making the playoffs.
Pewter Report Editor Mark Cook: Ummm….well I mean quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said it could. And DeSean Jackson addressed the team saying the Bucs need to build off of the win and make it seven in a row. So technically yes, it could spark the team. Will it? Let’s see what happens this week at Miami and we will know more.
Football is a game of emotion and momentum. You never really know what it is that helps teams all of a sudden just get into a groove – or a free fall. We saw it last season after a 3-5 start. A blowout loss to the Falcons on Thursday Night Football and then the Bucs reel off six wins in eight games. And just like yesterday, it started with a turnaround on defense. This team is capable. And while Bucs fans would love to see the team win six of their final eight, then the question is, why did it take so long two straight seasons for this team to get things together? The what-ifs come into play leaving Bucs fans and the organization scratching their heads all offseason. If it does happen it won’t be easy. Rematches with Carolina and two more games with the Falcons leaves me wondering where many more wins can come from.
I am going with the cautious approach and the conservative answer and said no, and hope they prove me wrong. I don’t mind being wrong, but as I mentioned, it will have to start and continue with defensive play like we saw on Sunday against the Jets. I just can’t say I have much confidence in it continuing.
Pewter Report Intern Austin DeWitt: Following the victory over his former team, Ryan Fitzpatrick said that this is the type of win that can spark a turn around for a team. Coming into the year, no one thought that this would be the language used to describe the Bucs’ season nine games in, but here we are, and the Buccaneers are in dire need of a spark. The Bucs ate the all-important W on Sunday, but I’m not so sure their performance against an overachieving Jets team is a sign of a turnaround.
The next four games are winnable. The problem is, three of the next four come on the road and, as our own Scott Reynolds has pointed out, the Bucs have been abysmal. They haven’t come out of an opponent’s house without surrendering at least 30 points. The defense will need to channel shades of their home form if there is any shot at righting the ship.
The offense will also need to be much more consistent in all phases. The running game has left much to be desired and the Bucs have often failed to convert sustained drives into touchdowns. It was great to see the ball in the hands of DeSean Jackson’s early and that trend needs to continue regardless of who is under center.
This was a great win in terms of lifting spirits. For the first time in a long time the atmosphere in the locker room was lively with grins even extending to the face of Dirk Koetter. While it’s great to see the morale of this team lifted, I fear the damage has already been done. The Buccaneers have dug themselves into quite a hole and I don’t see them finishing any better than 8-8. In reality, even .500 seems overly optimistic.
Pewter Report Beat Writer Trevor Sikkema: A week or so ago people asked me if this Buccaneers team was going to win a single game again this season with eight games to go. I told them that absolutely they would, and people were skeptical.
It has looked bad for the first eight weeks, but I knew that, one: the NFL is a whacky league and teams that aren’t suppose to win win all the time, and two: this team was way too talented to go 0-8 in any stretch, even with suspect coaching.
So, what do we take away from the Bucs’ first win in over a month? Well, I don’t see them rattling off nine or ten in a row, so playoff potential isn’t a takeaway, for me. What I do take away from the game is some big time positives on the defensive side of the ball. I like the fact that Ryan Smith, Justin Evans and Kendell Beckwith are getting playing time. Beckwith is getting better every game, as is Evans. Those two are have been the most consistent players, along with Lavonte David, over the last few weeks. I also love that this defense is playing more aggressive, both in execution and in play style. For the early parts of the season, we saw this team run soft coverage and stunt blitzes; it fail them miserably. On Sunday against the Jets, we saw them get closer with press coverage on third downs while adding blitz pressure up the middle and it resulted in the Jets going just 3-for-15 on third downs.
On another note, I love the fact that Robert Ayers and Kwon Alexander got into it on the sideline. If you missed it, after a penalty on Chris Baker that led to the Jets only TD pass, Alexander went up and confronted Baker. Ayers saw Alexander getting in Baker’s face and then got in Alexander’s face. The two had to be separated by Gerald McCoy. But, the thing I love is that after the game, both players were fine; it was just passion coming out. You need a team that is fiery enough to hold others accountable, yet respect each other to know that that’s what it is. The defense playing well, playing aggressive and playing passionate was my takeaway from the Jets game. Maybe they can be what they thought they would be in these last seven games.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
I agree with your assessment of the sideline spat Trevor, It is great that the players are now holding each other accountable.
Was disappointed to see all three Pewter Report writers pick the Jets in a win yesterday.
I’m glad your guys aren’t strict homers but come on man. I know at least two of you were around to see Josh McClown QB the Bucs. The 2-14 record was indicative of his and Mike Glennon’s talents.
Can the team run the table. I doubt it.
But they still have an outside shot at finishing 8 and 8.
The Bucs DL has always been it’s weakest link and year after year I hear your staff calling out for TE’s, RB’s, and worst yet, CB’s.
The game always starts in the trenches and behind the center.
Look what happened to poor Dak Prescott yesterday. Adrian Clayborn hasn’t collected 6 sacks in 3 years but yesterday he all of a sudden becomes the second coming of Simeon Rice. Give me a break.
This team has the necessary nucleus to go to the playoffs, but if it doesn’t solve its piecemeal approach to building both lines, it will languish in mediocrity forever.
Also, would u guys please quit pushing for Jon Gruden for HC.
First off I enjoy him more on TV.
Second of all I don’t think all that highly of him as a coach helping the team in the draft or have u forgotten Michael Clayton, Cadillac Williams over Aaron Rogers and the pencil necked Gaines Adams.
Speaking of Michael Clayton, he is absolutely horrible on the pre and postgame radio show.
I turned the pregame show off on the ride up and almost turned it off a couple of times on the way home.
He absolutely ruins both shows.
Have to agree with drdneast. The Bucs just don’t have the horses up front to run a streak beyond maybe Miami next week. For all those who wanted to blame Jameis for the sky being blue, we saw why Fitz is a journeymen Q.B. past his prime. Thank goodness we only needed 15 pts to beat the lowly Jets. This is still a disjointed team, with many more questions, then answers. Whatever spark might’ve been ignited, I don’t see it catching fire.
You mean Fitz didn’t come in and hang 35 on the Jets like some posters thought? Shocker. This problem with the offense lies in the scheme, no run game AT ALL, and bad line play. AS drd posted above, look what happened to the golden boy Prescott when he had no run game and a bad line for a game.
It is hard to run the ball when any RB has to grind just to get to the line of scrimmage.
I like Marpett a lot but the right side was better with him at RG. The guy playing there now is weak bad back and all.
I agree both lines are not very good but a win is a win. As far as Fitz goes not great but not to bad as a backup QB.
Interesting that there was no mention of Winston’s expected time off for shoulder rehab and his expected return. GM Jason Licht made news Sunday when he stated that Winston will miss the Jets and Dolphins games with a shoulder injury for sure, but there is no timeline for his return, meaning he could be out for “an extended period of time”.
As Surfer suggested and many of us know that Fitzpatrick is not likely to salvage the season beyond a possible Miami win. Would have been nice to hear the panel’s opinion on what effect Winston’s return or extended absence will have on the team.
Mac after listening to LIcht talk about it, unless this team makes a surprise run, which I don’t see happening, I would be shocked to see jameis play again this year.
It’s not like there is huge difference between them, both prone to turnovers and neither is very accurate. The biggest difference is Winston is more likely to change the play to a pass so he winds up with more yards. Fitz can make anticipation throws better and hit players in stride, Winston can’t or wont.
If Fitz get’s in sync with these guys he has good chance to out perform Winston and that’s part of this teams problem.
Fitz makes anticipation throws better? you must be joking. And if you think Fitz is anything different than what you saw this last week, you must not have watched any game of his for the last decade or so. 50% of his passes completed this week, that is neither anticipatory, or accurate.
According to Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, he said in his presser today that he fully expects Winston to be back under center before the season concludes.
When asked if the team’s plans call for Winston to play again this year regardless of what the Bucs record is or where they are in the standings, Koetter said “I do’’!
Stay tuned. Mixed messages coming from OBP now. Pretty sure there is more to come. Go Bucs!
Six sacks is not too shabby.
The offense is anemic with or without Jameis. We would need to start putting up a lot of points per game to turn this season around.
I do want to see some consistency, intensity and fewer penalties from here on out. Let’s see what we can do in the remaining seven!
We beat 39 yr old QB in McCown and the Jets in a slug fest at home calm down people in even thinking this win will turn us around with Fitz behind center are you guys serious? I still can’t believe we are giving Stocker a 10 yr career in Tampa for doing absolutely nothing but a block here and there, wasn’t it bad enough we gave guys like Sammie Stroughter 4 yrs and Maurice Stovall 5 yr s? GEESH!
Hey Jon, Stocker caught a TD last week. That’ll get him a massive contract extension. Haha
It’s all about the OL & DL ; My opinion, 1st priority is protecting the QB and we need a new left offensive tackle. Then we can draft some DE’s. Go Bucs!
SR hit the nail on the head the Bucs are allowing over 30 ppg on the road and only half of that at home. If there is going to be wins on the road it will be against a lethargic offense like Miami’s or they will be home wins where the defense actually shows up.
Josh McClown looked terrible … no surprise. We don’t get to play McClown any more this year…end of story.
I’m sure there were some folks here who thought the Bucs would be better off with Fitz under center. They anticipated a 70% completion rate, a willingness to run to make a few yards, and great decision making. It was the same wishful thinking going all the way back to the time fans cheered when Gary Huff lay injured and we trotted out the back-up QB (Can’t remember who. Maybe Jeb Blount). Now I do expect Fitz to have better games than this past Sunday, but the only reason he left with a win was that McCown was even worse.
Scubog, I was at that game where classless Bucs fans cheered the injured Huff as he lay on the ground after completing 7 straight passes. 1977 season against Chicago I believe.
And you wonder why I have such disdain for many classless clueless Buc fans and their propensity too find scape goats.
Clueless would describe Buc fan Jlog. Oh yes Jlog, the way Fitz led Godwin over the middle when he had his defender beat into an INT was great! Beautiful way to lead a receiver. Fantastic. Outstanding!
Give me a break.
Winston throws 50 percent with a bad shoulder on a more windy day against better Panthers defense.
The Bucs offence looked stagnant because the Jets did not have to double-team Evans, with Evans in-game other receivers and running can get open because of lack of coverage, Next week we will see what the offence can do.
Fitzpatrick is a smart QB with “OK,but not great skills” but with Evans in the game, Fitzpatrick should look better.
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