The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL at the moment. They’ve managed to win 4 straight games. The first two games weren’t exactly the prettiest, but the last two were absolute things of beauty. And a win is a win, no matter how ugly it is. I was initially pessimistic about this teams chances during that rough patch, but Decemberfield football has all but saved the team.
Though the run game regressed mightily on Sunday, it has been making a lot of improvement. All the credit goes to Dave Canales for that one. A lot of people, myself included, were not exactly happy with his insistence on the run. And while I think that was justified in some areas (more so on the times in which he chose to run it), the fact that he stuck with it I think was a boon for this offense. As good as Baker has been for the team, the team does not want him to throw 50 times like he’s Brady. The more of Rachaad White in the game, the better.
I also have to take back a lot of my criticism for Todd Bowles. While it has taken him a while, he has been coaching very well. There are definitely flaws on the defensive side of the ball. 3rd and long still gives me night terrors. However, when our starting CBs are rotating in and out of the hospital room, I can’t fully place all the blame on him. He has been better at managing the game clock and being aggressive in the right situations, something he has struggled with most his tenure.
Looking farther ahead to the future, I like the Bucs odds with Baker at the helm. A lot of people when Mayfield had been playing fine were writing him off as a long-term solution. Those people have strangely vanished. According to Ian Rappaport, there does seem to be interest in the team resigning Mayfield and he seems to want to stay. Now, that can of course change depending on his performance these final games, but the fact they found Mayfield for $4 million is the bargain of all bargains.
The reason that this is great for the future of the team is that they no longer have as much pressure in reaching for a QB in the first round. They can instead focus on working on the defense on maybe interior o-line and pick-up one of the project QBs later in the draft. I much prefer this scenario since the Buccaneers would be in a better position to draft a different skill position based on where they will likely pick as opposed to QB.
Like i said, the future of this team is looking good. Baker looks like he can be the future of the team and Bowles no longer is waiting for a pink slip. While this can unfortunately change, this is the most confident I have felt about the team in a long while. We’ll see what this season will bring, but I am thoroughly enjoying Buccaneer’s football.
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Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett