Coming off of the bye week at 2-4 with 10 games left in the season is where the Buccaneers find themselves. More questions than answers. More defense than offense. This is still an exciting time to be a Buccaneers fan. What this team needs is to break off a winning streak and start showing the NFL that they mean business. But how did we get here?
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The Buccaneers almost beat one of the best teams in the NFC in Week 1. The 49ers are one of only two still undefeated team this season. The Buccaneers came close to sending them back to California with a big “L”. (Bucs 0-1)
Week 2 in North Carolina was trending up for all the right reasons. Division opponent. The first victory of the year. seeing the defense stopping McCaffrey. The Buccaneer defense starting to let their identity as a run-stopping machine be known. (Bucs 1-1)
Week 3 back in Tampa saw the “Ute Boot“, Matt Gay face his first NFL regular season pressure situation. A missed field goal is all that stopped this team from overcoming a rookie QB, beating the Giants, and sitting on a record of 2-1. Unlike the placekicking problems in recent years, fans knew this was an anomaly and just one of those ‘football deals’. (Bucs 1-2)
Like a cold glass of water on a Summer day, Week 4 in Los Angeles was so refreshing. There have been statement games, like opening day in New Orleans last season. But this was the defending NFC champions in their house. The Buccaneers were 0-5 all-time in the city of angels. (Bucs 2-2)
Week 5 brought major heartburn from Teddy Bridgewater, the Saints, and some really bad officiating. Currently sitting at 6-1, the Saints look like the second-best team in the NFC. Behind the 49ers. The rematch of these divisional opponents will be in Tampa Bay on November 17th. This game will be all business, regardless of record. The Buccaneers should send the ‘Aints back to the French quarter with Tampa cigars sticking out of their… (Bucs 2-3)
Finally, there was Week 6. A wretched meal of English blood pudding and mash. Christian McCaffrey was more effective as a receiver than an RB and backup QB Kyle Allen made a Carolina statement. The statement being; “How slow can Cam Newton heal?”. Allowing Ex-Buc Gerald McCoy to get three sacks made this game even less appetizing. Although hats off to GMAC. He was a gentleman about it, as we all knew he would be. (Bucs 2-4)
Where Do They Go Now
Jason Pierre-Paul practiced with the team this week! A three-week window to designate a return, there’s even a chance that JPP sees the field this week in Tennessee. Putting the Buccaneer 2018 sack master in this defense doesn’t guarantee anything. What it does do is make things a lot more interesting on that side of the ball.
There have also been flashes of brilliance lost at times in a sea of inconsistency. The good news is there is no quit in this team. Just remember, there are 31 teams each year that don’t hoist the Lombardi Trophy. What you want to see is an improving team. Even more good news is that there is a lot of room for that improvement.
How Do You Want To Go Out
So the team is 2-4. Win 10 in a row and the Buccaneers finish 12-4 and are the darlings of the NFL. That’s how you want to do it anyway. Nobody wants to punk into the playoffs starting hot and limping to a wildcard spot on a losing streak. They want a string of wins of historic proportions — putting six players into the Pro Bowl, displaying innovative and creative formations, walking into night clubs all around Tampa Bay to standing ovations and fist-bumping everywhere.
Can you count to 10? It starts at 1 and goes up from there.