It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an update here, so consider this an opportunity to get all caught up.
Flash back to October 25. The Bucs came up with a big win against the Las Vegas Raiders. I was out in Vegas watching the game with a group of fans called the Buccaholics. I had never hung out with them until then, and I can tell you, they are fantastic. I went in there as a solo traveler from the Boston area, not knowing anyone else, and I felt like I had been a member of the Buccaholics family for 30 years.
Next week, it was Monday night football against the Giants. The Buccaneers did not play well in the Meadowlands, but eked out a win by foiling a game-tying 2-point conversion. Tampa Bay was sitting pretty at 6-2.
And then, last night happened. The mother of all disasters, in a huge game against the division rival Saints. Only one team showed up, and it wasn’t the Bucs. Who deserves the blame for that debacle at Ray-Jay? I say, the entire team: the players, the coaches, everyone. And just like that, even with a positive 6-3 record, a lot of Bucs fans are ready to jump ship, just as they were after the opening game in the Superdome.
But I’m not walking the plank. While winning the NFC South will be tougher, now that the Saints own the tiebreaker, it’s not out of the question. That said, Tampa Bay’s cannot afford another repeat of what happened last night when they play in Carolina. The play-calling needs to better. The execution needs to be better. The secondary has to, well, cover people. And if they ever get to 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, they’d better come away with seven points inside of zero.
Look – last night was as bad as it gets. We diehard fans hope the Bucs got it all out of their system last night, and bounce back against the Panthers. I hope Ali Marpet comes out of concussion protocol, too. We need him to make Donovan Smith look like less of a sieve.
Until next week, go Bucs, and stay safe. And to the Buccaholics: I hope I get to see you again very, very soon.
Photo courtesy: Associated Press