Hello all. I’m back to blogging after a few weeks off – a break that had nothing to do with the rough stretch the Buccaneers went through in November. Sometimes, you just need to pause what you’re doing, and that’s just what I did.
Now, back to the matter at hand. The Bucs are now 8-5. They beat the Vikings yesterday in a game they absolutely couldn’t afford to lose. Tampa Bay now owns the tiebreaker over Minnesota if it comes down to that.
As I reflect on this game, did the Bucs win, or did the Vikings self-destruct. I think it was a little of both. The biggest headline was Minnesota kicker Dan Bailey missing four kicks that cost his team ten points. The Bucs were fortunate to avoid being penalized twice for personal fouls, and they were lucky to benefit from a pass interference penalty on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half (how often do you see a flag thrown on one of those?) Anyway, Tampa Bay got a bonus three points as a result.
Tom Brady had an average day. He hit Scotty Miller on a beautiful deep ball for a touchdown, but he also missed at least two other wide-open receivers downfield. And I don’t want to hear any more about “they haven’t had enough time together to build chemistry.” We’re 13 games into the season!
Defensively, they sacked Kirk Cousins six times. All of them were huge, because they had no answer for Dalvin Cook, especially in the first half. It was yet another slow start where it looked like the Bucs might be in for a long afternoon. But they were fortunate that Bailey left points on the field with those missed kicks. But never complain about a win in the NFL. Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, you take it.
So now, the Bucs have three games left, all of them against teams with losing records: two against Atlanta and a trip to Detroit. Keep winning, and we’ll be celebrating a playoff spot for the first time in 13 years.
Photo courtesy: USA Today