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

Bucs Look Awful Again, and Schiano is Still the Coach?

So the Bucs lost again Thursday night, this time to the Panthers, 31-13. There was only one thing different about this game: it was on national TV, so now everyone knows just how bad Tampa Bay really is. Aside from that, it was the same old, same old that we’ve seen for awhile now.

Did you see some of the fans wearing paper bags over their heads? Did you hear them vaguely chanting “Fire Schiano” at one point? At what point will the Glazers decide that enough is enough? Forget all of the stuff that’s swirling out there about Schiano for just a moment…

Here’s a fact: the guy’s lost 12 of his last 13 games. If that doesn’t get a coach canned then what will?

And yet, you listen to him in his postgame news conference, and he keeps insisting that things will get better. The only way this situation will start to improve is for him to walk the plank. There’s a good chance the Bucs will be 0-8 at the halfway mark, since a trip to Seattle is up next.

The offense has been awful. They didn’t find the end zone until the final minutes of the game, and the issue was already decided by then.  Yes, Doug Martin was out, but they haven’t been scoring TD’s even with him in the lineup.

And in the last three games, the defense has given up at least 30 points a game. And the worst part: there isn’t even a glimmer of hope that things are going to get better anytime soon. Schiano may not be the only problem, but he’s got to be the first one to go.

Fire Schiano! We, the fans, are demanding it at this point!

Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times

Bucs Now 0-6; Can We Please Fire Schiano?

After another week of the usual nonsense, can we please get rid of Greg Schiano once and for all?

The Bucs lost to the Falcons on Sunday, 31-20. The game wasn’t much different than what we’ve seen all season long: bad coaching, bad play-calling and too many penalties due to a lack of discipline. At some point, the head coach has to take the fall for this mess.

There is one moment I want to focus on: it came in the fourth quarter, with the Bucs trailing by 14 – i.e. two scores. A long drive led to first-and-goal from the 5. Two penalties later, they faced 4th and goal from the 23. Schiano elected to kick a field goal. That accomplished nothing; you’re still down by two scores. Why wouldn’t you go for it, even though you need 23 yards in one play? Yes, I know 4th and 23 is desperation time, but wasn’t Tampa Bay in a desperate situation already? It was a mind-boggling decision that may not have mattered in the end, but we’ll never know.

Mike Glennon threw a couple of TD passes to Vincent Jackson, but also lost a fumble that Atlanta returned for a score. Doug Martin got knocked out of the game trying to catch a pass down by the goal line.

Schiano has now lost 12 of his last 13 games. He’s winless in 2013. The hot seat can only get so broil so much.  Please ship this guy out of town A.S.A.P.

Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Bucs 0-5; More Heat on Schiano

It just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?

With a 31-20 loss to the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs are 0-5. There are two things to ponder: will the Bucs win a game this season, and how much longer will Greg Schiano be the head coach? That second point is the one most fans like me are screaming about. First, a quick recap of Sunday’s game:

Mike Glennon played fairly well. He threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, both to Vincent Jackson, who finished with 114 yards receiving. The Bucs actually had the lead at the half, and were only down by one in the fourth quarter. But this time, the defense was not at its best. They allowed Nick Foles to throw three TD passes, including two to DeSean Jackson.

That’s the game in a nutshell; now back to Schiano. How much longer will the Glazers wait before they pull the trigger on this guy? In my opinion, it can’t some soon enough. First you have the fiasco with Josh Freeman. Then there’s the report in USA Today that Schiano was the one who leaked the information about Freeman taking part in a substance-abuse program. Then you have all those penalties – a sign of an undisciplined team. That’s coaching. Finally, consider this: Schiano has only won one of his last eleven games. The Bucs opened the pocketbook in the offseason and brought guys in to win NOW. Schiano hasn’t done that.

It’s time for a change.

Photo Courtesy: tbo.com

Bucs Cut Freeman

The Josh Freeman era in Tampa Bay is officially over.

The Buccaneers cut him on Thursday, more than a week after he was benched in favor of Mike Glennon following an 0-3 start. The Bucs tried to trade him, but they didn’t find any takers. So they said “adios.”

Here is the official statement from General Manager Mark Dominik from the team’s official website:

 “We made the decision today to release Josh Freeman. We appreciate his efforts over the past five seasons, but we felt this was in the best interests of both Josh and the Buccaneers.”

Not only does this mean this ugly saga is over, it also means head coach Greg Schiano is next in line to be the fall guy if this season keeps spiraling out of control. If the team doesn’t show any improvement, it’s hard to picture Schiano being the head coach for much longer.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Bucs Blow It Late Against Cardinals

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Buccaneers had a 10-0 lead over the Cardinals on Sunday heading into the fourth quarter. The Bucs were starting a rookie quarterback, who played like…well, a rookie. Yet with the game on the line, Tampa Bay found another way to blow it.

Jay Feely’s 27-yard FG with 1:29 remaining proved to be the difference as the Bucs lost, 13-10.

There is one play in particular that has Bucs fans calling for Greg Schiano’s head (again.) With just over three minutes remaining, and nursing a seven point lead, the coaching staff called a pass play with Tampa Bay deep in its own territory. Mike Glennon picked a bad time to throw his first career NFL interception. Patrick Peterson picked it off, and on the very next play, Carson Palmer found Larry Fitzgerald for the game-tying touchdown.

Glennon had a chance to mount a comeback in the final minute. But he was picked off by Peterson again, and that was that.

Glennon finished 24-of-43 for 193 yards and a touchdown to go along with the two picks. He had some good and some bad moments, typical of what you’d expect from a rookie making his first start. Mike Williams caught the scoring pass in the first quarter. Doug Martin could only muster 45 yards on 27 carries against a Cardinals’ defense that’s among the best in the league in stopping the run.

The defense is not the problem here. This unit has been playing fairly well, and Sunday was no different. They intercepted Palmer twice, including the first by Darrelle Revis as a Buc. When you only give up 13 points, you normally have a good chance of winning. But these are anything but normal times in Tampa.

So now, the Bucs are 0-4, and fans are furious with Schiano and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. It’s hard to argue with that, since Tampa Bay has scored a measly 44 points through the first quarter of the season. Will we see another change soon?

The Bucs have their bye week next week. Praise the Lord for that.

Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Week 4 Preview: Buccaneers vs. Cardinals

On Sunday, the winless Buccaneers will host the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium.

The headline here is obvious: this will be rookie Mike Glennon’s first career NFL start.  He takes over for Josh Freeman, who was benched this week after an ineffective first three games.

Glennon takes over an offense ranked 31st in total yards.  The Bucs have only scored 34 points in three games, and six of those came on an interception return.  So it’ll be a challenge for Glennon to put points on the board.  He does have Doug Martin in the backfield, who’s rushed for nearly 300 yards so far.  Expect him to see a lot more action in an attempt to take pressure off the rookie quarterback.  The Cards, however, are third-best in the league in stopping the run.  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson suffered a rib injury against the Patriots.  It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

Defensively, the Bucs will try to control the league’s 26th-ranked passer, Carson Palmer.  The Cardinals rank 23rd in total offense.  That’s bad, but not as bad as Tampa Bay.  And just as the Bucs got blown out in New England last week, Arizona suffered a similar fate in New Orleans.

Kickoff is at 1:00 on FOX.  Your announcers are Sam Rosen and Heath Evans.

Photo Courtesy: USA Today