THE OPTIMIST: Strong Finishes Are Now A Trend

September 16th, 2010

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also wants you to know THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the team goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

Don’t look now, but it’s happening right in front of our eyes. While your at it, don’t leave Raymond James early this year. You’re going to have to stay to the end no matter what the score because your Tampa Bay Buccaneers are turning into a fourth-quarter team.

You don’t have to be a statistician to see that this coincides with the arrival of Josh Freeman as starting quarterback.

We can find the beginning of this pattern last year under the direction of the other Josh, Johnson that is, in the Week 6 battle with Carolina in Tampa. With just a few minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Sammie Stroughter returned a kickoff 97 yards to bring the Bucs to within one touchdown. Then, going into the fourth Quarter, Tanard Jackson intercepted a Jake Delhomme pass and took it back for the game-tying score.

But a porous Jim Bates led defense allowed Carolina to score and end that particular attempt. Two games later, however, the Josh Freeman era began, as the Bucs wore their throwback Bucco Bruce uniforms and Mr. Freeman became the youngest QB to win an NFL game since 1970; and yes, he did it in the fourth quarter.

Now I’ve asked Mr. Sabol to hold off on the “NFL Films Josh Freeman’s 4th Quarter Comebacks” DVD, at least for the momet. But all the magic began right there. Down 28-17 to the Packers, the Bucs under Freeman’s guidance scored 21 unanswered points in the last stanza and they have been making a habit of it right on up through last week’s game against the Browns.

In Miami, Freeman threw a 33-yard TD to Maurice Stovall, and then led the Bucs down the field for a Cadillac Williams TD run with under two minutes left in the game. Problem was that defense again, as Miami was allowed to go downfield to kick a FG and take the victory away from our Bucs.

In the upset win on the west coast against the Seahawks, most of the second half points were already on the board after three quarters, but the very next week in New Orleans against the would be Super Bowl Champions, the good guys were down to the Men in Black 17-3 when the final period started.

Even in the loss to Atlanta in the season finale, the tying touchdown was scored in, you guessed it, although it wasn’t enough to preserve a victory and make it three in a row to end the year.

Fast-forward to the Browns on Sunday a sloppily played game in the first half did not get these Buccaneers down one bit. They kept clawing away, bettering their field position with good defense until the opportunity sprung a perfectly laid pass right into the open arms of Run Micheal Run Spurlock.

Whether they’ll be ‘Comeback Kids,’ or be Dungyesque and play games close for three quarters and then make a move to win it in the fourth through the season, no one knows. But so far, the 2010 Bucs look like they plan to continue their trend of delivering interesting finishes, by making plays in the end.

13 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Strong Finishes Are Now A Trend”

  1. Derf Says:

    Maybe you should change your name to the “Flavor Aide” Man.

    Wow I would love to believe what you wrote but there are more holes in that scenario than a block of 5 year old Swiss Cheese.

    Let’s see how the boys in Pewter do this Sunday before declaring them the “comeback kids”.

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Righteous! Righteous!! Again the optimist is spot on! Yes, Freeman’s knack for putting this team ahead in the fourth quarter is the surest sign that he can be a franchise QB. You don’t teach that. That will to win is something you are born with. And Josh diffinately has it! That’s why he is the One! This guy is gonna be great!

  3. Jbyrd Says:

    I agree Capt. Tim…I love the way this team is headed

  4. Capt.Tim Says:

    Especially when you add in the young recievers- Williams,Spurlock, Stroughter,Benn,Preston, and Briscoe,! The future is looking good in Bucland

  5. Derf Says:

    Actually wouldn’t it be better to be AHEAD then BEHIND headed into the 4th quarter?

    As for myself – last year doesn’t count.

    BTW can someone PLEASE explain how a punt return putting the Bucs into the game shows Freeman is a franchise QB?

  6. NegativeExpectations Says:

    “As for myself – last year doesn’t count.”

    I’m sure it doesn’t when you are purposely trying to make excuses for RAH-HEEEEEm.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree with Nick and company too.

  8. Lakeland Bob Says:

    I see we have a new hater.Derf-you can take Mushmouths place.Plenty of new spots opening up.A few more wins and all the Rah haters will go into exile.

  9. Cannon Says:

    You gotta admit, the Freeman does have a knack for making things happen in the fourth quarter.

    I for one would like to see some of that magic happen a bit earlier in the game… but I’ll take a win anyway we can get it.

  10. McBuc Says:

    Steve Young and Ellway had a bunch of these, so Derf, I guess you would not like the Bucs to have the same outcome? A wein is a win, who cares when the points are scored.

  11. Will the Beast Says:

    This article is right on point great info copy and paste it to Peter King mike and mike and the rest of the chisleheads out there pissing on the Buccaneers. Freeman is better than dirty sanchez plus he has plenty of bimbo’s waiting for him at his locker to. Everyone is riding Sanchez’ jock and the lame is a University of Spoiled Children crybaby his D won’t be able to carry his lame ass this year.

  12. New Era Bucs Says:

    Freeman to
    Williams is going to be something we hear all season long

  13. Blackmagic00 Says:

    This is just now making sense? The writings been on the wall for… oh… never mind.