Unusual Expectations for an Unusual Buccaneers Season



Opinion Editorial Written by The Dude


OK let’s be honest, after last week’s loss to the New Orleans Saints many prognosticators and team faithful alike started losing faith in this team. We heard “Oh my god Antonio Brown has already ruined the Buccaneers chemistry”. Then it was “Tom Brady is losing it” and “The game has passed Bruce Arians”. My favorite was “Brady and Evans have beef”. 2020 is indeed wild.

Turns out Antonio Brown isn’t poison, evidently Brady found it and Arians apparantly caught up. Or, maybe, just maybe some got “caught up” in a different way.

So as to quote another NFL quarterback, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers came out Sunday and said “R-E-L-A-X”.

To hear the narrative all week you’d think the Buccaneers were entrenched in the middle of their decade long double digit loss streak. I get it, the expectations are high, the hope is palatable. All of which points to expectations, and rightly so. The drubbing at the hands of the Saints didn’t end the season for the Buccaneers.They just calmly re-charted their course.

Unusual Expectations

When the expectations of a fanbase are so high and they are used to the bar being so low, hyperbole happens. There’s not alot of perfection in the NFL, not by players or teams. We all know there’s only been one perfect team and that was nearly five decades ago. Yet the Buccaneers have a clunker of a game last week against the Saints and it was time to fire coaches and cut players. On a 6-3 team, a Buccaneers team that is 6-3 and somehow armageddon is near?

Oh the hyperbole isn’t reserved for losses either. Early in Sunday’s game Ronald Jones fumbled the ball and social media went a buzz with “Ronald Jones must be benched” and “RoJo is a NoGo”. Yet the same coach (Arians) who earlier in the week was “passed by the game” said R-E-L-A-X and stuck with Jones. We can’t forget early last week the rumblings of Antonio Brown aka “Malignancy Man” was destroying the chemistry in the Locke room. The passive aggressive tweets flew, “Brown kills team in his first game”, or “Antonio is gonna Antonio”. Take a deep breath and wait for it…R-E-L-A-X. On Sunday against the Panthers Brown wasn’t a Diva, there was no “ME”. It was strictly “What can Brown do for you?”

The reality is the Buccaneers are now 7-3 and a legitimate playoff contender. When was the last time those words were true? Yes the team will frustrate you. When that happens just take a deep breath and…well you know.