Three in a Row? Yes! Bucs Upset Lions

Wouldn’t you know – it’s a winning streak.

After beating two teams with sub-.500 records, the Buccaneers went to Detroit on Sunday and knocked off the first-place Lions, 24-21. The Bucs forced five turnovers and blocked a punt. They didn’t have Darrelle Revis in the second half due to injury, and still hung on to win a game they probably would’ve lost earlier in the year.

Mike Glennon was solid once again: 247 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. One of those scores was a beautiful deep ball to Tiquan Underwood. Mr. Glennon will be a strong rookie-of-the-year candidate if he keeps this up.

But when you look back at this game, the 5-0 turnover ratio is what stands out. The Bucs picked off Matthew Stafford four times. One of them was returned for a touchdown by Leonard Johnson. It’s the second week in a row the Bucs have had a pick-six. Then there was Keith Tandy’s interception down by the goal line. And in the final minute, Calvin Johnson appeared to make a catch inside the 10-yard line, but Kelcie McCray knocked it out, and the ball popped right into Jonathan Banks’ hands.

Of course, the Bucs tried hard to give the Lions more lives in the fourth quarter. After Tampa Bay blocked a punt and got the ball deep in Detroit territory, Ryan Lindell missed a makeable field goal. After the Bucs picked off Stafford again, Lindell missed another FG.

Man, I miss Connor Barth. He was money.

The Bucs still commit too many penalties; they had nine of them in this game. Hey Greg Schiano: that’s coaching!

But they were able to win regardless.

Now it’s on to Charlotte to face the red-hot Panthers next Sunday.

Photo Courtesy: AP

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A Day at Ray-Jay: Bucs/Falcons Gameday Photos

I was going to write a full article on how much I enjoyed being in person for the Buccaneers’ 41-28 victory over the Falcons on Sunday. As someone who can usually only make it to one Bucs game per year, I need to savor the opportunity.  But instead of writing a piece, I will just let the pictures tell my gameday experience.  Enjoy.

Oh, there are some pics of the cheerleaders, too.

A Day at Ray-Jay: Bobby Rainey Goes House (Video and Photo)

No Doug Martin.

No Mike James.

No problem.

Enter Bobby Rainey, making his second appearance in a Bucs’ uniform.  All he did against Atlanta on Sunday was rush for 163 yards and two touchdowns.  He also caught a TD pass from Mike Glennon.  I was lucky enough to have a good view of two of his scores.  Below is a video of his short TD run, and a photo taken after his TD reception.

Bucs Win!! Rub Your Eyes – It Actually Happened!!

Everyone take a deep breath and savor this one for a little while.

The Buccaneers finally had a lead in the fourth quarter and didn’t blow it. They beat a team that, right now, may have even more problems than they do. This was far from perfect, but these days we’ll take a win any way we can get it.

How did the Bucs win a game in which Mike James broke his ankle on the first drive? How did they win a game in which their two touchdowns were scored by Donald Penn and Bobby Rainey? How did they win a game in which they blew another double-digit lead?

I don’t care. The point is – they won.

Maybe we should’ve known it was going to be Tampa Bay’s night when Penn – yes, Penn – caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter, then proceeded to spike the ball over the crossbar. Then there was Lavonte David sacking Ryan Tannehill in the end zone for a safety to put the Bucs up by 12. The defense held the Dolphins to two yards rushing. TWO.

Still, these are the Bucs, and by the end of the third quarter a 15-point lead had turned into a four-point deficit. But Tampa Bay rallied in the fourth quarter with an 80-yard drive, punctuated by Rainey’s long run and short scamper into the end zone. And with the clock winding down, the Bucs sacked Tannehill twice, and Darrelle Revis sealed the deal with an interception downfield. It’s about time they closed out a game.

This was far from perfect. The Bucs had less than 300 yards of total offense. Mike Glennon’s numbers were “meh.” They still had far too many dumb penalties. For much of the night, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden focused on the bullying scandal within the Dolphins, something I will not get into here. And one win does not change my opinion that Greg Schiano should be fired. But for the first time all season, we the fans finally get to celebrate a victory.

Next weekend, I’ll be at Raymond James Stadium for the game against the Falcons. Next Monday, I’ll be posting my annual (or so I hope) “My Day at Ray-Jay” here on the blog, complete with photos and whatever else I can get my hands on.

Photo Courtesy: AP

Bucs Build 21-0 Lead, Then Blow It – ARGH!

In this mess of a season, only the Bucs could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as they did on Sunday in Seattle.

They built a 21-0 lead in the first half. Everything was going their way. The running game was working to perfection. They capitalized on a botched kickoff by the Seahawks. Even Mike James threw a touchdown pass. Even when the ‘Hawks started to get their act together, Tampa Bay still had a double-digit lead. Heck, when Keith Tandy picked off Russell Wilson late in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers – still clinging to a 7-point lead –were in a position to pull off a monumental upset.

Nope. It wasn’t going to happen.

James rushed for 158 yards in this game. But didn’t it seem like the Bucs were throwing the ball more often as the second half went on? Why, Schiano? Why? When we got to OT, the Bucs got the ball first, but couldn’t do anything with it. Once Marshawn Lynch started marching down the field on Seattle’s first possession, I knew it was only a matter of time before it was over.

Schiano has now lost 13 of his last 14 games. He’s 0-7 in games decided by three points are fewer. With regards to that second stat, that means his team can’t close out games. And despite being 0-8, the Bucs have been leading late in the fourth quarter a few times. When will Schiano be fired? If it hasn’t happened by now, we may be stuck with him for the rest of the season.

On to Monday Night Football…

Photo Courtesy: AP