Bucs In A Full-Fledged Playoff Race

November 1st, 2010

raheem morris 1029aNo, Joe’s not joking with that headline. It’s true, crazy and delirious as it seems.

The Bucs are 5-2. Three more wins and they could sneak in as a wild card in this weak NFC. Raheem Morris’ goal of 10 wins doesn’t sound nearly as psychotic as it did a few weeks ago.

Are the Bucs a good team? Record says yes and Joe won’t quibble despite glaring, stunning flaws. But let’s think playoffs for a moment.

Let’s see if Raheem’s goal of the “Race to 10” is a reachable goal:

After yesterday’s win, going 5-4 the rest of the way isn’t that outrageous of a concept. The Bucs have four games left in the division, two games against Atlanta, one home game against Carolina and one trip to the Big Easy. The Bucs should split those four games. If that happens, that means the Bucs only need to win three remaining non-division games against the following teams:

Frisco is a winnable game.

Washington is a winnable game as the Redskins are a complete trainwreck right now (Really Mike Shanahan, eight weeks into the season and you claim that your starting quarterback, Donovan McNabb, doesn’t know your two-minute offense, but Rex Grossman does, really? That says a helluva lot more about you than it does about McNabb. When’s the last time you did anything without Joe Montana or John Elway? Maybe Al Davis isn’t so senile?).

Detroit is a winnable game.

Seattle is a winnable game.

Getting to 10 wins actually seems reasonable.

The Bucs are in a playoff hunt. For 2010. No joke.

Two months ago if you would have said Joe would type those very words, Joe would have had you committed.

23 Responses to “Bucs In A Full-Fledged Playoff Race”

  1. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Wow, I just can’t believe Shanahan ? Maybe now, Washington Fans will realize why Denver cut ties with their Super Bowl coach ?

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    Bucs have glaring holes on defense, but the offense is on the verge of something special. Williams, Benn, Blount, Winslow, Freeman…

    (Shanahan is an idiot for that stunt.)

  3. TrueBlue Says:

    The thing is even mediocre players can play with the big boys for a couple of series. Given a few quality receivers and a bruiser of a running back, and most of all a quarterback with a fourth quarter mentality and vision, good things can happen at the right time. He inspires average players to play above their heads at the right moment. Fans spend three quarters throwing beer and pretzels at the television, using all kinds of colorful adjectives, and suddenly the happy dance breaks out for uncommonly stunning play that wins games in the last minute. Wow, what a fun team this has become.

  4. Miguel Grande Says:

    The uncommonly outstanding play was Blount’s 48 yard run, where he started left, ran into his blockers, ran right, hurdled a tackler, poured on the speed and dramatically ripped the life out of the Cardinal’s defense. I startled my family when I jumped out of my chair and roared like a lion. Wow, what a fun team this has become!

  5. nick Says:

    The real question will be how this town reacts. It seems like everyone wanted Raheem and the Bucs to fail miserably. 7-8 wins would’ve been a successful season. Now that seems like a disappointment. The haters will have to realize that this is our team. We’re in a full fledged playoff race now. Lets act like it

  6. eric Says:

    Shanahan is an idiot.

    Personally, I am more shocked that ours isn’t!

  7. lakeland bob Says:

    Way to throw out the compliments Eric.Hope you didn’t hurt yourself with that one.

  8. Sensiblebuc Says:

    Lmao Lakeland

  9. The White Tiger Says:

    C’mon Joe – it’s not like any of the teams we’ve beaten have winning records!

    I’m still bringing the voice of reason to this discussion – reminding everyone that our offense is explosive, but young – we gave up a 2 TD advantage and the team gave up 21 points in almost as many seconds…this should NOT be a playoff team.

    The voice of reason pleads for sanity here – if we continue on the current track we should finish a very respectable 7-9. We play some tough defenses, and after seeing what San Francisco did to Denver yesterday, that game is far from “winnable” that defense is very tough.

    I see all kinds of progress, but setting unrealistic expectations isn’t going to help – especially if we don’t get our STARTING offensive linemen back by the time we play games against divisional foes Atlanta and New Orleans – that look absolutely lethal.

    What I’m trying to say is…until we beat someone we’re not supposed to… we should all just “simma’ down, now…”

  10. Joe Says:

    The White Tiger:

    Joe has already written that the Bucs still have glaring holes. That defense yesterday may have been the worst Joe has ever seen from a Bucs team. It was Jim Bates-like. Despite getting four picks and two pick-sixes, they still gave up 25 points to a couple of hacks like Max Hall/Derek Anderson and choked away a 17-point lead.

    As Joe wrote before, LeGarrette Blount won that game.

    However, the NFL isn’t college football. Teams are not penalized for playing Miami of Ohio and Appalachian State. It’s all about wins.

  11. BamBamBuc Says:

    As stated in a previous post, we may not be beating teams that are great, but the teams we are beating are in the hunt for the wild card spot.

    The Rams & Cardinals are both looking to get to 8-8 or better and make a run, but we’ve beaten them both, giving us a tie break over both of them.

    We still play the Seahawks and the Redskins. Both are looking to make a playoff run, and wins against them would also give us tie break against them if it comes down to that.

    Then we have our division, which we still have two games against the Falcons, one against the Saints, and another vs the Panthers. If we can win two of those four, we’re in good shape. If we only win one (Panthers), we’re still in for the #2 wild card. The only teams that seem to be serious threats that we won’t play and have possible tie breaks against are the Eagles/Giants, Packers/Bears (whichever isn’t the division winner).

    Talking playoffs with this team is not far fetched, and should get a lot more attention in coming weeks.

  12. The White Tiger Says:

    Joe – the NFL does penalize a team for only winning against Kent State, App State, BUT losing to Ohio State and Florida – it’s called “No-televised-home-games-for-you” and “If-your-own-fans-don’t-believe-in-you-why-should-we”!

    Our Bucs could do us all a favor and beat Atlanta – it might just make believers out of us fans AND the NFL suits…

  13. The White Tiger Says:

    Regarding LeGarrette Blount – could not agree more.

    I just want to know why Caddy keeps being forced into the starting game-plan. Blount has sown he can pick up on the very difficult corner “blintz” (as the sawmi has begun to call it), Blount averaged almost 6 yards a carry and took over that game in the closing minutes…

    Loved it – just wondering if Olie is “getting it”?

  14. Joe Says:

    oe – the NFL does penalize a team for only winning against Kent State, App State, BUT losing to Ohio State and Florida – it’s called “No-televised-home-games-for-you” and “If-your-own-fans-don’t-believe-in-you-why-should-we”!

    You actually think attendance would change (for the better) if the Bucs played the toughest schedule in the league?

  15. The White Tiger Says:

    No, I don’t think the attendance will change until we can WIN while playing the toughest schedule in the league.

    No need for me to fork over a ton of cash only to see my Bucs thouroughly humiliated – ESPECIALLY in a nationally televised game…

    Are the Glazers holding us back? Clearly, not from a scheduling standpoint, but if you’re factoring coaching and acquiring free-agents that could elevate our play (ala’ Kyle Vanden Bosche)…?

    I’ll have to get back to you…

  16. gitarlvr Says:

    White Tiger- Your not the voice of reason when you don’t expect a 5-2 team to make the playoffs. The odds say a team starting 5-2 makes the playoffs. 7-9 would not be continuing the current trend. They are 5-2 after 7 games so continuing that trend would make them either 11-5 or 10-6 after 16 games. They have not beat a team with a winning record but they have 4 more teams left on the schedule that don’t currently have a winning record. The Rams and Cardinals would both have winning records if the Bucs hadn’t beaten them. And the Bucs are just getting better now with the addition of the running game. Outside of one 30 yard rush yesterday the run defense was fairly stout. The Cards feature back Beanie Wells long of the game was only 14 yards. He only gained 50 yards for a 3.1 average. The Bucs new running back is averaging 6.1 ypc. This isn’t the same team it was a few weeks ago. Its a better team. Now thats reasoning.

  17. gitarlvr Says:

    And as I said in a previous post the Bucs would not be better off paying “decent” free agents like Kyle Vanden Bosche(Yes he is not an elite player, check the stats). Overpaying for guys like Kyle Vanden Bosche now could mean not having the money to resign some of the teams budding stars down the road. The Glazers are absolutely doing the right thing and its short sighted not to see that.

  18. The White Tiger Says:

    Putting a better rush DE on our defensive line would make our entire defensive line better.

    Joe, read gitarlvr’s posts and tell me this is what you want?

    gitarlvr – Sam Wyche couldn’t GET the local media to buy into his team when they achieved a “5-dash-2” record. Here it is to save some time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_Tampa_Bay_Buccaneers_season

    Long story short: after a “5 dash 2″…the Bucs ran into the REAL NFL caliber teams on their schedule and folded like a cheap suit…and finished “7 dash 9”.

    They had begun to acquire the talent, they fired Wyche…and the rest, as they say, “is history”

    …or was that prologue…?

    Keep your powder dry.

  19. Rob Says:

    We only have 3 real NFL heavyweight teams left on our schedule…ATL(2),NO,and BAL…the rest of the season should be very winnable

  20. lakeland bob Says:

    The teams we have beaten have wins over the Ravens,the Saints who were beaten by Cleveland and Arizona, the Chargers and the Raiders.The pairity in the NFC is closer this year.The Falcons struggled last week against the Bengals at home.We win the turnover battle and I think we win this game.Just keep it close and let Josh do his magic in the 4th quarter.

  21. McBuc Says:

    White Tiger…I think the Bucs have only been favored in home games, and then only by the traditional 3 points for it being your field. In other words, they are beating teams that they were not suppose to. Also, every team in the NFL is an NFL caliber team. Some are better than others, but they all play in the same league. Every NFL team can win on Sundays, just like every team can lose. I agree that the team has more growing to do, but that will always be the case. Like Joe said, there are no style points. I am going to enjoy the wins. Atlanta look great, but these Bucs may surprise you. At that point, I hope no one says that ATL gave the game away…but I am sure they will. Hopefully next week you will be drinking the koolade through a funnel.

  22. The White Tiger Says:

    I don’t drink koolaid, I wait for the real thing.

    If you intend to tell me that Cleveland (2-5) , Carolina (1-6), Cincinnati (2-5), St Louis (4-4), and Arizona (3-4) are “real” then I will assert Pittsburgh and New Orleans are SURreal.

    We have NOT beaten a single team with a winning record.

    Until we do – then I remain emphatically grounded in the belief that we are a 7 win team. Nothing in our recent past, nor defensive prowess points to anything more…

    I truly enjoy our current play and record – I am just not dillusional.

    You may want to look up the whole “koolaid” reference – because in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: “…I do not think it means what you think it means…”

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    I keep hearing this “5 dash 2” regarding the Sam Wyche season, but what about the other seasons we went “5 dash 2”? How about 1979 when we went from worst to first? Started the season 5-2, made the playoffs, beat the Eagles, and lost to the Rams in the NFC championship game? Or even better, how about 2002? I think everyone here can recall how that turned out. 2005 found another 5-2 start, and another playoff birth. Yeah, we lost the first round, but we made the playoffs that year.

    “5 dash 2” has turned out to be a good thing more often than a bad thing. In fact, in 1979 the Bucs got blown out 42-14 by a mediocre at best Saints team, they also got shut out by the Bears 14-0 (the Bears finished 10-6, same as the Bucs). It wasn’t pretty, but we went 10-6 after a 5-2 start and made the playoffs. 2002’s 5-2 start led to 12-4. 2005’s 5-2 start led to 11-5. In 05, we lost to the Panthers 34-14, and the Patriots 28-0.

    All it says is you have to beat the teams you should beat, take a couple from teams that maybe you shouldn’t (I’d put the Cincy game in that category), and make the playoffs. Why is 1995 the “5-2” year? There are much better examples of what a 5-2 start can do for this team.