The return of the Cardiac Kids
The 1982 season started poorly for the Bucs, as they went 0–3 before a player's strike shut down the NFL for seven weeks. When the league resumed play, the Bucs were nicknamed the "Cardiac Kids" for winning five of their next six games all in the final moments to go 5–4 and qualify for the expanded playoff slate.
Now 28 years on the 2010 Pewter Pirates can once again take the that particular title and with good reason.
After a win against the Rams in the dying seconds and a nailbiting, Defense inspired, win over the Arizona Cardinals in the past two weeks Bucs fans across the globe have experienced what the other Glazer owned sports team's legendary manager once coined "Squeaky Bum Time!".
The buzz surrounding Josh Freeman is in no small part due to his 4th quarter heroics. Already in Josh's young career he has bought this franchise back from behind to win multiple times and showed similar poise and maturity in throwing a bomb to Arrelious Benn to setup LeGarrette Blount's game winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter last Sunday.
The Bucs continue to have to fight back showing great character and determination, both traits of their young head coach, but why is this necessary? Why are Tampa finding themselves in a hole on a regular basis?
The biggest reason, I can see, is the lack of a run game that the Bucs have had to date in the 2010 season. Before Blount went over 100 yards on Sunday the Buccaneers had struggled to make any notable yardage on the ground. Lack of rushing means difficulty in clock management and even more difficulty in allowing your defense to recouperate between series.
Last Sunday we saw, with multiple takeaways and scores, that a well rested defense can bring to a team. In the same way that a lack of run game on Offense has hindered the 2010 Buccaneers so has the opposition's ability to run all day long against the Buccaneers D.
With teams controlling the clock and scoring through big plays the Buccaneers are finding themslves behind and with minimal time to work with in games. This has seen players like Micheal Spurlock, Kellen Winslow and, of course, Josh Freeman step up and make big plays down the field to keep the drive, game and even season alive.
As Super Bowl winning coach Brian Billick pointed out on Sunday's commentary (he is the best TV analyist out there by the way) Josh Freeman is almost happier to be in the come from behind situation than he was with a three-point lead.
Up to now maybe some of Freeman's poise can be put down to him feeling less pressure as people don't expect the young QB to bring a team back from the brink, however that is changing and fans are beginning to almost expect this. There will be a week when super #5 doesn't pull off the comeback and that will be a big test of Freeman's composure in future games.
At 5-2 and games against 49ers, Panthers, Lions, Redskins and Seahawks to come the Buccaneers must now be looking at making the 10 wins that Raheem Morris told his team they were aiming for.
If they achieve that mark the post season beckons in the most unexpected of seasons, obviously all fans are over the moon with this mark but it would be nice to just watch us tie up a win without having to perform heroics every week...not sure I can take much more!