It seems like the Buccaneers have been playing a must-win game for nearly a decade now. In the NFL 16-game season, an argument can be made that every week is a must-win game.
This Is The One
This is the rematch of the Buccaneers 2019 coming out party back in Week 2. Tampa Bay fans and the national media for that matter had not discovered how good this defense was playing the run.
A confused and possibly injured Cam Newton was tormented by Shaq Barrett and the Buccaneer defense kept RB Christian McCaffrey contained.
What Has Changed
Well, for one thing, McCaffrey has found his happy place and that seems to be the opponent’s end zone. Cam Newton is still recovering from a foot injury. Backup QB Kyle Allen will continue at the position for the Panthers.
No need to reload the Buccaneers’ history against back up quarterbacks. Oops, just did.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner is aware of the pressure Todd Bowles defenses will bring. Turner has also found a nice combination of running and passing. Allowing McCaffrey to round out into what some are saying could be an MVP season.
The Buccaneers will need a spiced up game plan to catch the Panthers off guard this week. Look for the rowdy Buccaneer fans to make some noise taking full advantage of the home field.
Wait. What’s that? England??? What the hell!
Do Or Die
The season does not hinge on this one game. A division game is always a +1.
You can bet the Panthers are as anxious to avenge that week 2 loss and get a “W”. The Buccaneers are quick to get rid of the bad taste of last week’s divisional loss to the Saints.
But It Is…
Whether it is back-to-back 5-11 seasons, a 2-14 meltdown, or over a decade since the last playoff appearance. Every game is a must-win for a team that so needs to change the culture, image, and recent history of bad decisions.
The Buccaneers need to get off the plane at Heathrow, grab a cup of tea on the run, and take care of business. The NFL saw fit to rip one of the Buccaneer home games and put it on another continent. It’s up to the Buccaneers to remind the fine people of England why the British colony should still fear pirates.