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.
Stop me if we’ve seen this act before from the 2018 Buccaneers.
They can’t stop anyone from scoring, consistently making other bad teams look like Super Bowl contenders.
They keep turning the ball over.
They can’t take the ball away.
They fall behind by a ridiculous amount of points, then rally in the second half to make things interesting, only to come up short in the end.
The game against the Giants was almost a mirror image of what we saw in Cincinnati. This time, it was Ryan Fitzpatrick who got benched in the second half after throwing three interceptions – including a pick-six – and Jameis Winston coming in off the bench to lead the charge.
Heck, Eli Manning only had one incompletion for the entire game. One! And I happened to be watching when it happened. The receiver was open; it was a poorly-thrown ball. The Buccaneers did sack him four times – got to give them credit for that.
Am I surprised the Bucs lost this game? Of course not. This is what Tampa Bay does best. I’m sure they’ll make the 49ers look like superstars next Sunday.
But in two weeks, Buccaneer Bri is coming to Ray-Jay. The excitement is building.
Photo courtesy: Associated Press
I’d love to sit here and write, “I told you it was coming.” But with the Glazers, you can never tell.
On Monday, “it” did happen. The Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano, who went 4-12 in his second season and 11-21 during his two-year tenure. The axe didn’t stop there; Mark Dominik is also out after five seasons as general manager. During those years, the Bucs were 28-52.
Yes, it was time for a change.
Remember back to last year, when the Bucs were 6-4 after ten games and right in the middle of the playoff hunt? Since then, they’ve gone 5-17. Schiano will be more remembered for incidents like telling his team to rush Eli Manning during a victory formation. Then there was the ugly saga involving former quarterback Josh Freeman. The Bucs got off to an 0-8 start, and never recovered.
Then there’s this: Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs in six years. The Bucs haven’t won a playoff game since they won the Super Bowl.
So who are the potential candidates for the head coaching job? One name I see mentioned a lot online is former Bucs’ assistant coach Lovie Smith, who also has head coaching experience with the Bears. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job. But who knows; the Schiano hire came from out of nowhere.
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images