Not Just Another Game

December 2nd, 2010

“One game at a time.””

“They’re all important.”

Yeah, Joe’s heard all the politically correct mumbo jumbo.

The Bucs-Falcons game (if the Bucs win) could change the history of the franchise, let alone put the Bucs in the driver’s seat for the playoffs. So it was refreshing to hear Ronde Barber step a little out of the just-another-game cliches in a chat with the Atlanta media yesterday.

Ronde Barber: “… If we’re not geared up to play this game, we’re not geared up to play anybody. This is the one that has to count for us. You get into December and you have to start peaking. If you can’t peak against the best team in the NFL, then we have other issues to worry about other than getting to the playoffs. I don’t think that will be a problem with us. I think we’re all geared up. We had a tough loss last week against Baltimore and I think we’re going to come out on Sunday pretty hungry and that’s what we have to expect.”

Joe’s fired up. And Joe wasn’t kidding when he wrote a win Sunday could change the course of the franchise.

A “W” Sunday would change how the team and this regime is perceived by the masses locally and nationally, likely for a very long time.

44 Responses to “Not Just Another Game”

  1. nick Says:

    And Joe wasn’t kidding when he wrote a win Sunday could change the course of the franchise.


    I believe it. I saw it happen when we beat the 49ers when Sapp took out Jerry Rice and Steve Young. I hope the fans are as geeked as the players

  2. Chris Says:

    I am so FREAKIN ready for this game! “IF” we can roast a bird sunday, we will be taken serious and hopefully the stadium will start to fill up again. GO BUCS!

  3. Vince Says:

    Good read, but I think a bit dramatic. Losing to one of the hottest teams in football doesn’t necessarily mean we have some horrendous problem. Green Bay lost to them. Baltimore lost to them.

    A win Sunday doesn’t necessarily change the media/public perception. Certainly not for a “very long time”, unless we start winning and making the playoffs consistently, no single victory will change the status of a team. Beating New Orleans last year didn’t stop the media from dumping on us.

    This game is a good litmus test for THIS season. I don’t believe it’s any more than that. With that said, I am truly pulling for the Bucs and I freaking HATE the Falcons and would love a win.

  4. gitarlvr Says:

    This would be a good win but I would hardly call the falcons the best team in the NFL. They have a weak schedule remember? Full of cream puffs like the NFC west teams. Just like the Bucs.

  5. Jonny Says:

    To people who think we are expecting too much out of young Bucs. It is a good thing we are holding them to high standards and demanding good results. They seem to be doing the same thing and they are obviously not complacent with being just mediocre.

    Good days ahead for Bucs fans.

  6. JDouble Says:

    If we had got blown out by the Falcons in Atlanta, and got beat up in Baltimore last week, I would assume we are the same team we were in the first quarter of this season when we got outmatched by the Saints and Steelrers.

    That fact that we hung tight with the Ravens and the Falcons in thier own stadiums tells me we have gotten better and we as fans should raise our expectations. We are no longer the 8-8 team I thought we were coming into the season. We should win 10 or 11 games and fight for that Wildcard spot.

    This Sunday’s game is huge. Nobody thought the Bucs would be playing any games this significant for years, but here we are. If we beat the Falcons tomorrow we are 8-4 with a 3 very winnable games ahead and then another huige game against the Saints in week 17.

    If we lose Sunday we could still technically make the playoffs…but not really. This Sunday is a must win if we wanna be a real post season team. A win makes us for real, a loss makes our fairy tale season all but over.

    As far as getting respect…well you can’t get much more respect than beating the top team in the NFL, which is the consensus among NFL analysts. Personally I think the Falcons are over rated and it’s laughable to put them in front of the Patriots or even the Jets. Thier ecord may say #1, but they are more like the 4th or 5th best team right now.

    All I know is we can, should, and will beat them this Sunday. I would honestly be completely shocked and amazed if we didn’t win this Sunday.

  7. DieHard Bob Says:

    I just looked at this weeks “Power Rankings” and see the Bucs listed at #13 and the Falcons are at #1. It would be HUGE if the Bucs knock off the #1 team on a national stage in December. No one would be able to overlook them for the rest of this season because it would show that they can hang with anyone in the NFL on any given Sunday. GO BUCS!!
    One other thought . . . wouldn’t it be nice if the Bucs would “Throwback” the remaining ticket prices to 1976 prices for the throwback game??? Wonder how full RayJay would get then??

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Seeing Ronde in that hat and jacket tells me he needs a raise or a consultation from Stacy London. Is Wesley Snipes out of jail? Tiki, can we get a little help for your bra.

  9. d-money Says:


    Did you see Pat Ya-stink-sa’s piece on Ronde and the HOF?

    He, as can be expected , doesn’t think Ronde is a HOFer but the interesting thing is that almost 100% of the commentors disagree with him.

    He makes the usual “system player” argument once again showing that he comes up with no new material of his own.

  10. gitarlvr Says:

    Im not quite sure what a system player is. All players play in some kind of “system”. Ronde is one of the best zone corners of all time. He is probably the best pass rushing corner of all time. He is one of the best run support corners of all time. Man coverage. Thats where people think he doesn’t measure up. But its a complete misnomer that Ronde can’t cover man to man at all. Yes the bucs played plenty of zone over the years but Ronde has seen his share of man coverage in all these years of playing, and contrary to what people like Yasinskas believe he hasn’t been burned every time he has had to play man coverage. You measure the guy’s achievements based on what he accomplished doing what he was asked to do as a player.

  11. Buc You Says:

    Doesn’t Barber have 40 INTs?

    Isn’t that near the top?

  12. gitarlvr Says:

    No there are a at least twenty guys that have more. Past that the list I looked at cuts off. But most of those guys are in the hall of fame or on their way there also. Suprisingly it doesnt look like any of the big time corners of Ronde’s era are on the list either. But he compares favorably with the other big time guys of his era who will hope to make the HOF. I will post a by the numbers comparison with some of those guys in the other thread on Yasinskas comments.

  13. TrueBlue Says:

    The only thing that will change the perception of this franchise is a trip to the playoffs and a win. This year or next or the year after. That is what it will take. Until then it’s the schedule or luck or something. And truth is, I’m okay with that. Until then I’ll enjoy the W’s whenever and where ever they come.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Yes BU, but all the top INT players can’t touch Ronde in sacks #’s. Rodney Harrison is close to Ronde’s numbers in both, but no cigar. Dick LeBeau has something like 65 INT’s when he played. It is no wonder that he is so good at Defensive Coordinator in Pissburgh.

  15. Jonny Says:

    What I really am concerned with our Bucs is LACK OF HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. We are a team contending for a spot in playoff and every single game we play is huge, but the thing is, the attendance at our stadiums is not good enough to give us an advantage or scare oppositions.

    Look at Atlanta, the once LOWLY Falcons are enjoying one of the best home field advantages in the league today.

    Crowd got into Freeman’s head against both Atlanta and Baltimore, how about our crowd, wait a second, no crowd. No wait a second, crowd, of opposing fans!

  16. gitarlvr Says:

    Here’s a comparison between Ronde and three other guys from his era that are in the conversation for HOF.

    Ronde – INT’s- 40
    combined tackles- 809
    sacks- 26
    passes defensed- 112
    defensive TD’s- 7

    Champ Bailey – INT’s- 48
    tackles- 657
    sacks- 2
    passes defensed- 117
    TD’s- 4

    Sam Madison – INT’s- 38
    tackles- 321
    sacks- 2
    passes defensed- 63
    TD’s- 2

    Charles Woodson- INT’s- 47
    tackles- 583
    sacks- 12.5
    passes defensed- 91
    TD’s- 10

    As anyone can see Ronde’s numbers across the board stack up perfectly with any of these guys.

  17. gitarlvr Says:

    And oops can’t forget this guy

    Ty Law- INT’s- 53
    tackles- 449
    sacks- 5
    passes defensed- 60
    TD’s- 7

    But you get the idea. Ronde stacks up to any of the guys at or near retirement who started in the mid to late 90’s.

  18. gitarlvr Says:

    At risk of belaboring the point, Ronde was voted #2 best cornerback of the decade behind Champ Bailey by a USA today poll.

    SO SUCK IT YASINKSAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Of course, I want Tampa to win. It just may not be easy w/o Grimm and Joseph. I will be at Tampa Stadium Sunday supporting them either way.

  20. Gavster Says:

    Im just shocked people are picking the bucs to win this game. it looks like we may already have some respect but a win in this game would be huge

  21. thomas 2.1 Says:

    What happens if they get BLOWN out you sheep? Just another game. It wont be Rah’s, I am guessing that it will be corey lynch’s or the injuries or we werent supposed to be competitive anyway . . blah blah blah blah blah.

    If they BATCH slapped again, well maybe some of you realist will acknowledge that they are, in large part, benefactors of the schedule and qb’s they have played.

  22. Gavster Says:

    What if its close again thomas?

  23. Culverhouse Blazer 808 Says:

    “blah blah blah blah blah.” Thomas, that’s the meat of your post; you could have left the rest out.

  24. thomas 2.1 Says:

    close losses are losses, and sometimes the score is misleading b/c the team in the lead takes the air out of the football in the second half with a two score lead, or gets td’s called back etc.

    If it is a close win – the team will get a lot of credit from me – i just dont think it will happen, they would have to catch the falcons on a real off week and I doubt that will happen.

    So, they lose by 7-17 points is my bet, but I have been wrong before.

  25. Squadoosh1 Says:

    Thomas 2.1 says….”but I have been wrong before”………no shi# buddy !

  26. thomas 2.1 Says:


    stop obsessing about my meat!

  27. Buc You Says:

    I disagree that this one game I’d a deciding factor either way.

    What matters are the next five games. Then can the team do it again next year. It is not easy to win 10 games in the NFL… especially if you don’t have a lights out defense.

    That’s what really matters. If Rah has a bad year next year, then it would be difficult to keep dealing with the excuses.

    I think too many people already assume that this team is just going to keep getting better and better at a linear pace. Sorry, but that doesn’t really happen in the NFL. It isn’t easy to win 10 and expecting 11-14 wins a year is just not realistic unless you are Belicheck and play in the NFC Easy.

    I still think Raheem is very questionable in regards to dealing with adversity and winning a real game. He threw a b!itch tantrum last week and I am not sure he has grown from that. I have yet to see him man up and lead his team when they needed it most in a big time ball game.

  28. thomas 2.1 Says:

    Much better bucyou.

  29. Pete 422 Says:

    8-4 here we come.

  30. BamBamBuc Says:

    thomas….. if they are benefactors of an easy schedule this year, then was the 3-13 year last year, in part due to one of the most difficult schedules in the entire NFL? Last year we played the NFC East, the AFC East…. yep, the Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, Skins, Patriots, Dolphins, Jets and Bills. Add that to the NFC South twice every year and that was a vicious schedule. Not to say we were any good at all last year, but all I heard was how Raheem Morris was the worst thing ever seen on the sideline in Tampa, and he should be fired because going from 9-7 to 3-13 was all his fault, nothing about the schedule last year.

    You play the schedule the NFL deals you. There is no choice, or picking your opponents. Every year there will be teams that benefit from the schedule. This year, the Falcons, Saints, and Bucs have benefited from an easier than usual schedule. It goes to show just how bad Carolina is this year playing the NFC West and AFC North and losing so badly, so often.

    Compare Carolina and their schedule this year against the Bucs and their schedule last year. Who’s worse? The Panthers are obviously much worse than the Bucs were last year. If this team was to begin a rebuild, last year was the perfect timing. The schedule was against us, the draft in 2010 was supposed to be loaded. Rebuild in 2009, suffer the growing pains against tough foes, get the high pick in a loaded draft and come out in 2010 much closer to ready to contend with an easier schedule. The young team is gaining confidence and learning to win with this schedule and these players. Next year, no matter the schedule, these guys will be much more prepared to play, to win, and to contend. It’s a 3 year rebuild, and we’re right on schedule (with a chance to make the playoffs in year 2)

  31. d-money Says:

    Buc You,

    That actually made sense. I don’t totally agree but it’s like you actually put some thought into that comment.

    So my question is…

    Who are you and what have you done with the real Buc You?

  32. d-money Says:

    Thomas and Buc You,

    I don’t think everyone can agree that the schedule has been very favorable to the Bucs this year.

    But you have to admit this team is much better than anyone thought they would be and that they are improving on a week to week basis. Like it or not that improvement comes from coaching.

    Raheem may still have some growing to do in the game management department but make no mistake this team is where they are because of his coaching.

    They probably aren’t in the upper echelon of teams but they can hang with anyone.
    The Falcons are a far different team on the road than they are at home and so far Josh Freeman has rebounded pretty nicely after he has a bad game. It’s not that far fetched to think that they have a good chance of winning this game on sunday.

  33. d-money Says:

    I meant to say…. I think every one can agree……..

  34. derf Says:

    This weekend’s game is BIG. A win and the Bucs would be considered ‘for real’

    A loss and it’s ho-hum….

  35. Teflon Don Says:

    I think the falcons are overrated. Why is it that when we come up in the conversation its “they have an easy schedule” our whole division plays the same teams! Give me a break! Matt Ryan is also over rated he never throws the ball further than 10-15 yards. I think we pull this one out in a close game

  36. MTM Says:

    Unfortunately the Bucs have to win games to get national recognition. If you watch ESPN regularly. They are rarely brought up. They played the Ravens last week and I did not see the highlights at all. They should the Jets, N.E., Philly, Giants, Steelers even the Browns repeatedly. And if Gruden is around the Buc’s don’t seem to be brought up. Am I the only one the notices this.
    I would love to see the Buc’s beat the “Dirty Birds” badly and have to watch Gruden squirm. When having to go over the highlights on Monday Night football.


  37. oar Says:

    Matt Ryan is overrated? Let’s see so far this year; 9-2 record, 19 tds to 5 ints, 64% completion, and 5 game winning drives(including his 4 4th qrter comebacks). Man, Atlanta is lucky to have such an overrated QB!

  38. MTM Says:

    oar Says: Take away a couple of those non calls or bad calls at the end of games and Matty’s win/loss record it not so great.
    Every team that has a great record, usually has some luck through out the season. I just feel Atlanta’s is going to run out soon. Wishful thinking.

  39. McBuc Says:

    MTM…Gruden has actually been pretty nice about the Bucs, he thinks they ahve a good team.

    Buc You…What about all the hissy fits gruden used to have, did you have an issue with him? Also, you keep brining up the ‘excuse” thing, but you still have not told us what these phantom Rah excuses are.

    Thomas…You are just a bit of a tool, so I have nothing to say to your post.

  40. Teflon Don Says:

    OAR- If you watch any falcons games you will see that all matt ryan does is throw short dink and dunk type of passes.. yea i think he is over rated freeman has about the same amount of INTS and a few less TDs with young wideouts.. lets give freeman a pro bowl receiver and H.O.F TE and see what he does.. No disrespect to K2 hes a great TE but he is not Tony Gonzalez

  41. oar Says:

    I really don’t watch the Falcons(Bucs fan here), except when we play them. Just cause a QB doesn’t throw 50-60 yard passes all the time, doesn’t make him overrated? I don’t think he’s overrated. You have yours and I have mine. Go Bucs!

  42. oar Says:

    Please! You think the Falcons are the only team to have some calls go their way? Do you watch any football? Come on, the Bucs have had two, that I can think of, where they were able to win the game, too! Is Freeman overrated? The Patriots get away with mugging calls every game. Must mean Brady is overrated! LOL!

  43. McBuc Says:

    I agree Oar, Ryan is not overrated. The system ATL runs is short dink and dunk passes, and it is working for them. I still think the Bucs win this one though.

  44. oar Says:

    And no, I’m not comparing Brady to Ryan. I’m sure somebody will put those words in my post!