Maybe Not A “Big” Win But Certainly Important

September 12th, 2010
E.J. Biggers interception was a key turning point in the game.

E.J. Biggers' interception was a key turning point in the game.

It’s irresponsible if not idiotic to call a win in Week 1 big but it was certainly significant for these young Bucs.

The offense was struggling early. Lethargic. The Bucs, built to beat the heat, seemed wilted by the conditions, with a heat index on the field of well over 100 degrees. Even Dave Moore  on the Bucs radio network was suggesting the Bucs were on the brink physically in the second quarter.

But as all Bucs fans have become familiar with over the years, the defense turned the game around. First it was Ronde Barber nearly housing Jake Delhomme, returning an interception to the Browns-3.

Later in the game, Cleveland was constantly picking on cornerback E.J. Biggers, playing for the suspended Aqib Talib. Biggers, who missed his rookie year with an injury, played like a veteran, was targeted clearly. The Browns picked on him and picked on him and picked on him before Biggers picked on Cleveland, picking off Delhomme in the fourth quarter.

Seemed as if Cleveland never got over that.

So yeah, the defense did the job. Again. The offense may also have learned how to win.

If nothing else, Josh Freeman and Mike Williams appear to be a pitch-and-catch combo Bucs fans will become used to for years to come.

26 Responses to “Maybe Not A “Big” Win But Certainly Important”

  1. McBuc Says:

    Joe, this is not college ball, all wins are wins. They do not have to win by 30 points to move up in some black magic ranking system. Enjoy the win!


    If nothing else… We won’t get shut out of wins this season. GO BUCS!!!!

  3. BamBamBuc Says:

    I think the turnover ratio will be the biggest “tell” to how the season will go. If the D gets the ball back (either 3 and outs or turnovers), and the offense doesn’t give up cheap turnovers, we’ll be fine.

    With 2 picks and 1 fumble recovered (3 forced), and only giving up one INT and one fumble lost, we won the turnover battle. I don’t think Freeman throws the pick if his thumb is healthy. Graham cost us fumbling inside the 10. That takes points off the board (at least 3, maybe 7).

    Good thing is we have a win and the young guys have another week to grow before going out and doing it again.

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    Normally no this would not be that important of a game, but this is a young team that struggled to win last year. One things for sure though; a loss would have been devastating. This win could give them just enough confidence to continue winning.

  5. BucMike Says:

    Nice win…..gotta build momentum. One question…what happened to Huggy Bear?

  6. passthebuc Says:

    Considering they are mostly rookies the D line deserves a lot of credit. However we must do something about having to play the game with 10 D players. Ruud does not count. He hits like a girl and is very seldom around the action except for following up from the rear. On the O side of the ball, fine work by the receiving corp, Cannot give the O line much more than a C grade and play calling a D. They are going to find out that without much push by the O line on running plays, they will need to try to run the big back more. Freeman’s grade no more than a C-. Maybe its the hand and maybe its not, time will tell. Punting was shaky at best and the penalties on special teams needs to stop. Nice open field tackle by the kid from VT.

    Overall, a C to C- for the game.

  7. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    what about Huggy? he’s a backup

  8. bucfan Says:

    tough win, but great one, one more week of experience for these young guys in the books.

  9. BucMike Says:

    Even as a back up….he should have 5 – 7 carries, especially w/ Caddy’s history.

  10. jaytek74 Says:

    It was great to pick up a win our first game. A win is a win regardless of how it comes about. Also, I do not love to see us have to punt the ball since that meant a drive stalled and did not produce points, but I must say that the new punter did a really good job for us pinning the Browns back a few times and getting good distance on punts when we were backed up. I only bring that up because everyone else has already analyzed every other aspect of the game.

  11. BamBamBuc Says:

    Huggins got in the game a couple times. Didn’t get the ball once. I think they either handed it to Graham, or passed. He did pick up a blitz on one play (got pushed back pretty good, but at least he slowed the guy down).

    As for Ruud, I’m not gonna throw him under the bus. He was in on the play at the line of scrimmage several times. He was in on run stops. When he was “chasing down plays” it was when he was in coverage and had to get to the sideline to track down the ball carrier. He did, however, get his helmet on the ball on the fumble by Hillis that Black recovered. Watch it close, it was Ruud putting a big hit on Hillis at the line of scrimmage forcing the fumble.

  12. Adam Says:

    Will the game be aired in tape delay at all?

  13. McBuc Says:

    I disagree with some of you guys…I toiught Ruud played well, and the punting was great. ST needs to tighten up a bit, but the punting was great. The D made adjustments at half time and hled the browns. The Offense will get better as they play, b ut I would like to see a bit more from that side of the ball…all and all the young guys played well.

  14. George C. Costanza Says:

    any win is big

  15. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    Great win by the Bucs today! They had to win this game and they did. There is no reason to downplay this victory at all. In the NFL a win is a win, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. jbyrd Says:

    I drove from Orlando to St Augustine to watch it. It was well worth it….even if it wasn’t very pretty. I think with Talib back the D is going to look good.

  17. eric Says:

    Nice win Rah. Congratulations. Kept the team disciplined and hanging in there after some shoddy play in the first half.

    Defense played excellent second half. From what I could see Geno had a very good game.

    Beautiful pass by Freeman to Spurlock.

    Nice to see an old man turn the game around, kudos to Mr. Barber.

  18. BamBamBuc Says:

    Agreed, eric. And yes, Geno had one hell of a game!!!

  19. jesse j Says:

    ERIC! alright man, great to see that type from you. Exciting game!

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Thankfully, I got to actually watch the game online…no lag at all this time around. I do have some thoughts on what I saw:

    1) In previous years, the defense has been running out of gas the first few games of the season…resulting in teams scoring on them. This includes last year. Clearly, this has changed.

    2) Seeing hte defense reminded me a little of the Dungy days. Remember when they were young? They seemed to always take a quarter to get warmed up, but then they would finish strong. This team did so tonight.

    3) Ruud was responsible for the fumble, and he did indeed play well…sorry bashers, time to move on.

    4) The most frustrating part for me was the inability to move the ball down the field on offense. I know this will improve with time, but it’s hard to be patient when watching the game.

    5) Freeman’s thumb was clearly still affecting him. The spin on his throws and the accuracy were off a lot.

    6) The offensive line needs to protect Freemans blind spots better. He trusts his line to protect him, only to get hit from ‘behind’.

    7) Biggers has a future in this league.

    8) Heart. It was all over the place.

    And finally…it may have been a tough win against an equal team, but luck didn’t win the game for us. The refusal of the team to give up did. They player from start to finish at full throttle.

    In the first half of the season, with the team being so young, I’ll take as many “ugly” wins as possible. The more we get now, the better it will be for the confidence of our guys later when they start ‘getting it’.

    And, as I suspected…certain people are not eating crow.

  21. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hey Eric, did you have that Beer in my honor? If so, thank you! Glad you got to see a Buc win! And you got to see McCoy and Williams first game. I think some day you’ll be able to brag about that!:) Joe. This team is so young,and developing confidence and teamwork, it would be idiotic and irresponsible NOT to consider this a big win. You were practically calling it a must win earlier this week. Huge win, and I think they beat Carolina this week!

  22. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Huge win! Almost 24-14. Just 9 wins left

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yeah, Javier the rahdom and zerointelligence seem to be missing tonight ? Big surprise there! Sucks to have people tell you that you are an idiot, and don’t know what you are talking about, for months. Even worse when the first game of the season proves it! Sucks to be a slow squad hater today! Of course, I think it would suck every day!!

  24. Capt.Tim Says:

    Oh, by the way. Lion Qb Stafford has another shoulder injury, and is out indefinitely. Before the draft, I, and everyone else, said the Loins had to Draft OT Okung, to keep Stafford healthy. The Suh pick was ignorant then, and even more ignorant now. Your franchise QB is out. Won’t matter what your DT does!!

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    I really don’t mean to gloat, but we WON. Everybody picked Cleveland. Hey guys, Haters, suck it. Our defense played well and only gave up 14 points. Cribbs or whatever his name is, was a non factor down the stretch. Delhomme was pressured time and again in the 4’th quarter and choked. The Bucs fought back, fought hard. They should have scored a couple of times in the 4’th but the defense held tough. The defense was strong. This was Buc Ball and I loved it. Way to go Raheem, it’s a “W” and they will improve from here, but this was an awesome win. Our fans were pumped and hopefully The Steeler game will sell out.

    On a side note, Freeman looked a little rusty and not as good as JJ has lately, but a 43yd run, way to go Josh.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    BigMacAttack “hey guys, Haters.-Suck It!” Confucius couldn’t have expressed that better, buddy!