The Buccaneers will go
for their second straight win on Sunday when they host the Giants at Ray-Jay.
The headline for this
game – at least on a national level – is the quarterback change made by the
Giants. Eli Manning is on the bench, and
rookie Daniel Jones gets his first career start. For any Tampa Bay fans who think this is
great news, I will politely remind you that the Bucs have a history of making
rookie and backup quarterbacks look like superstars. Remember Derek Anderson?
In addition to
preparing for Jones, one of the keys for the Bucs will be stopping Saquon Barkley,
much like they were able to contain Christian McCaffrey last Thursday night.
Offensively, this is stating
the obvious: the Buccaneers have to protect the football and cut down on penalties. The latter has been a big problem in the
first two games.
Another reason this is an important game: Tampa Bay won’t play another game at Ray-Jay until November 10. The next six weeks consist of four road games, a “home” game in London, and the bye week. Yikes.
Kickoff is at 4:05, and will be televised around here on Boston 25. For the second time in three weeks, Kenny Albert and Ronde Barber are the announcers. Barber will be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor at halftime. His pick-six in against the Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship game is arguably the greatest play in team history.
As a journalist, I’m supposed to come up with new and creative ways to state my opinion. After seeing the same old story from the Buccaneers on Sunday in Carolina, I’m open to new terminology.
Josh McCown is pathetic. All three of the Bucs turnovers can be traced directly to him: two lost fumbles and an interception. Sure, you can argue all you want about that phantom fumble that was revered on a challenge by Ron Rivera. But the bottom line is, this guy is dreadful when it comes to protecting the football. Then there’s the lack of a sense of urgency. Down by two scores late in the fourth quarter (before McCown found the end zone with his legs) he took forever getting his team organized at the line of scrimmage. Even Dave Moore, the Bucs’ radio commentator, was all over him for that. Would Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers ever play like that? No way.
And yet, Mike Glennon, who stood on the sidelines once again, wonders if he’ll ever take another snap for this team. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue saying it: Glennon is not the answer at quarterback, but he’s sure looked a LOT better than the guy now known as “McClown.” Josh needs to be benched, but if Lovie Smith hasn’t done it by now, it’s probably not going to happen.
And the defense? They lost to backup QB Derek Anderson for the second time this season. They made him look like a star. He threw for 277 yards. The entire Bucs offense only had ten more than that. Carolina held the ball for over 37 minutes, as the defense could not get off the field. We saw this in the season opener, and we saw it again on Sunday. They did force a turnover down by the goal line, but there were other chances – especially in the fourth quarter – to get the ball back and they couldn’t capitalize. An interception of Anderson was wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty. Then there was Alterraun Verner’s inability to hang on to a sure pick.
Again, we’ve seen these problems all year long. Why should they change now? The Packers will be angry when they come to Ray-Jay next weekend, having lost to Buffalo. And in the season finale, the Saints may need that game to win the division that nobody seems to want.
But hey – the Bucs are still in the running for the No. 1 draft pick!