Stats are for losers, Bucs are the winners
Ok, so it wasnít as pretty as we wanted it to be; the final product that is. Because when you look back at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17 win over Indianapolis, the Bucs really did put a beat-down on the Colts, the Bucs where about 12 yards away from a 500 yard offensive performance. They seemed to move the ball at ease, and yet, we were always behind or tied on the scoreboard.
Hmm, maybe thereís something to this Raheem Morris ďstats are for losersĒ thing?
Of course it wonít be long before some of the local fans, err, haters, say the Bucs opponents werenít that good and thatís why the Bucs are first place in the NFC south. Sound familiar? Same thing was said about last years Bucs team; of course no one mentions that the Bucs had the exact same schedule as the Saints, Panthers and Falcons, minus two games.
Thatís all the NFL gives you different than your division rivals. Two games against the other Conference divisions that parallel what place you fell the year before. For example, the Bucs finished in 3rd place, so we play the 3rd place team in the NFC West (this weekís 49ers game) and 3rd place in the NFC East (Dallas at the end of the year). Other than that, maybe the difference between being home or away, every team in our division will share 14 of the same games on the schedule.
Bottom line is this young team is growing up before our eyes, and they are looking better and better each week. On defense, the Bucs pass rush seems to improve each week. Adrian Clayborn is the most promising defensive end the Bucs have drafted since the first player ever taken back in 1976. Iím sure you know whom Iím talking about.
And when do you remember the last time the Bucs milked the clock in two back to back games with a 4:00 offense; and were effective in doing it?!? Maybe 1983 and í84 with James Wilder, although he really didnít have a lot of save opportunities.
Maybe the only thing disappointing is the play of Josh Freeman, if you have to reach for something; I guess that is the only thing to reach for. Freeman avoided another red zone interception when it was dropped, and he made a poor decision taking a sack at the end of the half. But if this is as bad as it gets, if this is Josh Freemanís Sophomore Slump, weíll take it. I mean what will the kid do, give us another 4 or 5 4th Qtr comebacks?
This young team clearly isnít HERE yet, but when I watch Mason Foster make defensive calls and react to good plays with a physical presence we havnít seen in many, many years.