It’s Only Fair

November 16th, 2011

Last year Joe vividly remembers how Bucs fans would angrily slam down their bottle of beer on the bar whenever someone mentioned the Bucs had not beaten a team with a winning record.

It was true, an ugly fact that didn’t change until the final week of the season when the Bucs beat Drew Brees and the Saints in the Superdome in the final week of the season.

Well, the opposite is true this year. Opposite meaning the Bucs 4-5 record is, in part, due to the fact the Bucs schedule has been down right tough.

ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas documents just how tough.

Tampa Bay’s opponents are a combined 48-37 (.565 winning percentage). No other NFC South team is even in the top 12. The Seattle Seahawks have had the league’s most difficult schedule so far. Seattle’s opponents are 49-33 (.598). Minnesota and Denver are the only other teams that have played more difficult schedules than Tampa Bay’s.

The Carolina Panthers are No. 13. Their opponents are 43-39 (.524). The Atlanta Falcons are No. 21. Their opponents are 40-43 (.482). The New Orleans Saints are No. 25. Their opponents are 42-50 (.457).

The Bucs are the only team in the NFL who have played their last five games against teams who now currently have six wins (New Orleans twice). Things do get a little easier for the Bucs going forward. Their remaining opponents are a combined 31-32 (.492).

Now does this excuse some of the Bucs play? No. Does this mean the Bucs haven’t painted themselves in a corner in trying to reach a playoff berth? No.

But, just like last year’s record, the strength of schedule sheds some light as to why the Bucs are 4-5.

Playoff chances aren’t dead yet, though are a reach.

If somehow the Bucs can beat the Packers — unlikely, but hey, who thought the Rays, 12 games out in September, would be in the playoffs? — the season suddenly has a new outlook.

The Bucs are on a losing streak. Sooner or later it has to snap. The team has gone through rigorous practices this week to try to sharpen its edge.

The Packers are rolling. History suggests they will lose sometime. They had a laugher of a win Monday night and have a short week of work this week.

One of the teams the Bucs will have to beat out for a wild card, the Lions, have a brutal schedule the rest of the way.

Just saying.

32 Responses to “It’s Only Fair”

  1. Travis Says:

    “to be fair”
    We haven’t lost to a team that we were better than

    The disgusting thing is how uncompetative we have been in some of those loses.

    Detroit? The score was MUCH closer than the game was
    San Fran? What a joke….
    Houston? One of the most embarrassing days EVER as a buc fan.

  2. RichinNC Says:

    Stats are for losers… four and five.

    We can beat the Packers. They might play soft being undefeated and such. Never know until the second half starts and how much we are down.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Agreed, Travis. I don’t care how tough the schedule is. If you are a “playoff team” you don’t lose 48-3 and 37-9 against two real playoff caliber teams.

    Sure the schedule has been tough, but when you don’t show up to 3 of your games during the season, (and when you did in the other ones, it wasnt until the 2nd half) you’re not going places.

    Related: I wish Raheem really would have made his motto “one game at a time” instead of winning the division, when the latter was clearly a pie in the sky kind of goal, all things considered. Mayyybe that kind of mentality would be a better way to get games started quickly? Idk…

  4. Jake Says:

    The problem is not that the Bucs are necessarily losing to these better teams. The problem is the manner in which they are losing. They are flat out getting blown away. They have not even been competitive in many games. They seem ill prepared, out manned and out coached in many of these loses. That is the part which is most disturbing. There is no shame in losing games to the Texans, 49ers but at least look like you belong on the same field as them.

  5. sunrisejeff Says:

    Gotta agree with you there Jake. I know a L is a L but I would feel a lot better about the team’s direction if they lost like the Giants did to San Fran rather than what we did.

  6. Nick Says:

    Playoffs???? Playoffs!!!!???????????

  7. thomas 2.2 Says:


    The bucs were eaking out wins against Jake Delhomme’s Browns (he was benched shortly thereafter), Max Hall’s (Cards) and Rookie Sam Bradford’s Rams all by less than 3 points (thet also had a 3 point win against the hapless 2010 Bengals and a 1 point win against the horrible 2010 Redskins (dropped PAT).

    This year they are getting blown out and embarrassed by the 49ers and Texans, and really the Bears and Saints also (I know they got close at the end but both teams went to clock-burn mode in the 2nd half).

    They barely beat the 0-9 Colts and terrible Vikings.

    Legitimately, they have looked terrible in 7 of their 9 games – look at the statistics on Time of Possession, Yardage Gained and Allowed, pressure stats etc – they all tell the same story – this is a bad football team.

    Someone recently pointed out to me that last year despite 10-6 (4 more wins than losses) their Points for vs Against differential was one of the smallest margins in NFL history for a 10 win team. That means – you are barely beating teams when you win and getting beat handily when you lose (i.e. NO and Pitt).

    The point: even though last year was a facade if you examine the season more closely – it becomes obvious that they were not a good team last year they simply benefitted from the Max Hall’s and Troy Smith’s and Jimmy Clausen’s of the world.

  8. bucsman27 Says:

    if we beat the packers then we have a chance to get to 10-6 this year after looking at the schedule. a very very slim one at that. it seems impossible but we’ve all seen crazier sh!t happen

  9. Eric Says:

    Thomas 2.2 you have to understand the world the sheep live in.

    Strength of schedule only applies to excuse bucs losses, not explain wins.

    The 31st ranking of the bucs defense is no reflection on Raheem Morris.

    This season is all explained by lack of OTA work due to the lockout.

    Dom is a rock star.

    Glazers are misunderstood great owners with a foolprooof plan of delivering championship after championship.

    Poor attendance is the fans fault.

    Get with the program.

  10. KD Says:

    I think the guys inside the Rays’ clubhouse believed they could come back from 12 out. The way these guys are playing there’s no way they believe they’re a playoff contender. You can see it on the field, their body language, the way they finish plays. If this team is down 2 scores in the first next week it’s over.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    Not concerned about playoffs this year. What’s important is the Raheem regain control of the team. His strong point was that the team played hard for him. Last week, you had more than the usual taking plays off.
    For Raheem to still be the answer at Coach, he must refocus the squad, eliminate penalties, and get the young guys paying attends ruin to their fundamentals, and sticking to their assignments. If he can’t do that, then a change may be needed

    Unlike the haters, or the idiots who think the team should be in the superBowl every year, I know building a winning team is a journey. And journeys require patience. This team has come along way from the wretched teams Chucky forced on us. But it has a long way to go.

    But Raheem has to get control of the reins again, to prove he’s the coach to take us there. I hope he does! But it will take a big change in attitude from the players for that to happen.

  12. Nick Says:

    Strength of schedule only applies to excuse bucs losses, not explain wins.


    Eric, child please (lol), the whole group of haters pointed directly to the weak schedule last year. Whats good for last years haters is good for this years believers

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    And Eric, old friend. I’m sure I’m one of the sheep to you and Thomas, but I am actually just a realist.

    Rebuilding a team with young players and coaches isn’t a one year deal. Or two. And there is no magic formula to make it happen faster. Everyone points to San Fran’s “overnight success. I disagree. They have been terrible for years. They have been stockpiling talent for years. They brought in a good coach, and showed rapid improvement. But they’ve been “rebuilding” that team since 2002.

    Young players make youthful expect anything else, is like hollering at an baby for falling down, while learning to walk. It’s just unrealistic.

    What’s unacceptable is lack of effort. Lack of discipline, playing “favorites with some players, who are not required to play hard.
    Those things concern me about Raheem

    Dom’ built thru the draft only plan sucks. Our drafts haven’t been that great, and he ignored gaping holes in the defense, that could easily have been strengthened thru FA.. That’s s huge mistake.

    But people make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world

    You said yourself, I predicted both last season and this season accurately. Not really hard to do. While dome things have gone worse than expected, and must be fixed, I still think we are on the right track.

    But some things must be corrected. I’m willing to see if they can do it!

  14. Eric Says:

    You have been spot on Captain, and we shall see.

    Packers might be all bloated up thinking they are the 72 Dolphins and stub a toe.

    Might benefit the bucs if the weather is bad, to keep Rodgers under control.

    And, the bucs do better against high octane passing games than running teams like Texans and San Fran.

    Well see.

  15. BamBamBuc Says:

    Capt Tim, you have to understand the world these haters live in.

    A win isn’t a win if it’s against a weaker opponent, a backup QB, or there’s any other potential excuse to say they “stole” a win.

    A loss counts double if it “looks bad”.

    All playoff contenders have experienced coaches and boat-loads of free agents.

    The Eagles are STILL the dream team because THEY have experienced coaches and boat-loads of free agents, EVEN THOUGH they just lost to a bad Arizona team with a back-up QB.

    Nothing will ever be right by this team, even if they win a Super Bowl. It’ll just be a fluke, a weak schedule, or something else. The coach of that team will be a god, even if he show no consistency for the next 6 years.

    I have to admit, the team has looked bad this year, and weren’t great last year. Last year they won games, in part due to strength of schedule. This year they’re losing games and looking bad, but they’re beating some quality teams (Atlanta, New Orleans). Based on appearances, I’d have to say the team has taken a step back this year, not that the stronger schedule is “making them look worse”. Same team as last year, but unimproved or maybe even slightly worse. Combined with the schedule, 4-5 isn’t so bad at this stage. Not that I’m satisfied with 4-5, just that it’s really not that bad “all things considered”.

  16. K2theSoldier Says:

    @ Eric, last I checked worse teams than the Bucs have no problem selling out their stadiums.

  17. Nick Says:

    Eric your right, its all the fans fault. We hate free agents, have misunderstood what a true defensive genius Raheem is and will never understand the Glazers grand plan of youth (cheapness.) We deserve all the blackouts and when Raheem wins the Superbowl we will all be back on the bandwagon. NOT

  18. KD Says:

    I don’t want to sign a boatload of free agents, blame the schedule, or say all is lost. Losing like we have been losing is unacceptable. Being physically dominated week in and week out is getting really old, really fast. This team better get competitive real quick because right now we’re not in the same league as the ‘playoff teams’. Too bad Raheem thinks he has one.

  19. Bobby Says:

    Nick, you’ve never been on the bandwagon so shut up dude. Capt. Tim you are right on the money. This is a journey just like it was for the Texans and just like it was for the Packers. The Packers have never had to do as complete of a rebuild as we have had to but they went from 13-3 in 2007 to 6-10 in 2008 when they started Rogers who had been drafted in 2005 so it was his third year. In 2009 they go 11-5 but then fall back to 10-6 in 2010 and barely make the playoffs but still go on to win the Superbowl. So they draft Aaron Rogers in 2005 and win the Superbowl 5 years later. We draft Freeman in 2009 and here it is 2011 and we expect him to be performing like Aaron Rogers when Rogers had the luxury of studying the system for three years before starting??? On top of that, we started more rookies than any other team in the history of the NFL last year and continued that trend this year and fans wonder why we struggle against division leading teams?? Let’s get real here people. I can’t tolerate lack of effort and that HAS to get cleaned up but I’m not surprised that we are losing to good teams. I just want to see progress. I feel like the team is regressing in effort here lately and that is not acceptable. I don’t care who gets injured, you have to find a way to play hard as a team and not get distracted. I believe we have the talent but it going to take time to develop and no one said we are a finished product. I think we’re still 2 drafts away. When it’s done it will be a beautiful thing. On a side note, in 2008 when the Packers went 6-10 McCarthy replaced 8 asst. coaches so we’ll see if any moves are made during the off season if we don’t turn this around.

  20. Nick Says:

    Bobby a beautiful thing will be when you put down the Glazer kool aid and step away from the table. Your right anyone can see we are moving towards a Superbowl. Are you kidding me???? I like Freeman and some of our young talent but if you can look me in the eye and say Raheem has this team under control after 3 years I will laugh at you.

  21. Eric Says:

    One other characteristic of the sheep – delusional thoughts and rediculous comparisons to successful teams.

    I notice they are getting a little jumpy. Must be the fall shearing season. You know where they all stare around in disbelief when “Rah” hasn’t brought us to the promise land – yet again.

    But the spring is around the corner, where they can all have a collective sheep woody thinking that Dom has landed another Hall – of – Famer in the draft. Always the best time of year for sheep………

  22. Joe Says:

    Must be the fall shearing season.


  23. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe, I’m as big a homer as you’ll find among Bucs fans (up until the last few games, which have opened my eyes regarding Raheem). Having said that, you are seeing an oasis in the desert that’s actually a mirage if you think the Bucs beat the Packers or even come within a handful of games of reaching the playoffs.

    I understand it can be dry in the desert of Bucs fandom and it’s tempting to believe there’s a spring of water over the next hill, but this year it’s simply not happening. No more 4th quarter comebacks, no more catching teams off guard, no more sliding by with less than mediocre play. Those days have come and are now gone.

  24. Capt.Tim Says:

    BamBam- I hear you brother. But I think the problem with some guys is just Deeper than that. I think Eric and Thomas have been Buc Fans a looong time. Eric said he was at the Bucs first playoff game, back in ’79.

    I was there too. After those few years, we had 20 years of some of the worst ProFootball imaginable. It was heartbreaking. every year you hoped things would change. Each new coach brought renewed hope.every Sunday you sat there, Broiling in the old Sombrero, thinking this was the year. We drafted Bo Jackson, Vinny Testaverde, we got Steve Young.

    And nothing changed. Each year, hope vanished. It sucked

    After 20 years of that kind of discouragement, you protect yourself by believing it’s always gonna suck.

    I dont believe that, but it’s hard to have faith, after spending my formative years getting laughed at for being a Bucs fan

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Or they are both just Joe, keeping things hopping

  26. kappa08 Says:

    you can mealy mouth this however you want…the bottom line is that this team is CLUELESS…just watch Ravens game then a Bucs game and TELL ME that the Bucs don’t look like weak sauce…you will never see a Raven miss a one on one tackle and the attitude of REAL Men speaks volumes…I’m sorry but this team is boring and lifeless and if there was a relegation system it would be lucky to be in a C league….

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    Kappa- then don’t watch! Just quit crying, cause there is probably another year of youthful mistakes. It’s a rebuild. Everybody just glows when they rave about the Packers. Well, I remember when they absolutely sucked for snot 12 years. We were in their division, and they called our games ” bay of pigs” bowl. We won a SuperBowl, all of our players got old. We drafted like fools, and ran outta talent. Two years ago, we started over from scratch. Last year, some talented kids surprised the league. This year. The league has had time to study them, and they aren’t surprising anyone!

    We still need CBs and OLber to be a competitive defense. We have some great pieces to build on, but it’ll take time.

    If you don’t want to wait, then Don’t. Come back in two years, when we are dominating, and tell everyone what a loyal fan you’ve been. I won’t tell on you. Not everyone has patience.

    Me, I like watching young players develop. I watched Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, Barber, etc, go from kids to elite players. I’ll watch this bunch. But if it hurts your feelings that bad when they lose, then give yourself a break! We’ll meet back here in two years- no problem!

  28. Bobby Says:

    Great post Capt. Tim. The problem with fans is…they think like fans and not like business owners or GM’s. Business people realize it will probably take 5 years to show a profit when they open a business but they are willing to go through the struggle because they believe once the business takes off it will be profitable. Same with a rebuild. You have to be willing to see the big picture and not start crying about ‘what a lousy business (team) it is after two years. Two more drafts, that’s realistically what it’s gonna take and then I believe we will be a force. I guess if it makes you guys feel better to constantly whine then go ahead. I don’t think games like last week are acceptable on any level and that lack of effort has to be cleaned up but I certainly never had delusions about this team going to the playoffs this year. Was it possible?? Sure. Was it probable? Heck no!!

  29. traew Says:

    Eric –

    Loving your sheep anologies.


  30. kappa08 Says:

    So you two are okay with players that are unable to tackle in the NFL?…wow talk about a mediocre mentality…Before you go all you’re a true fan i have been a resident of this state for over 40 years and have always been a fan… I even supported the plan of drafting and watching this team grow…BUT I will NEVER accept a team that is gutless and this team is on every level….if you have a problem with that then you kind of don’t matter in my world…suckers do as suckers be….

  31. kappa08 Says:

    Funny you say that Bobby…do business people invest and accept a financial loss in those 5 years?…ummm yep.
    Show me the investment….I NEVER expect a championship every year. What I do expect is effort and a PLAN…Dominick can’t hold McKay’s jock when it comes to evaluating talent or spending money on his players….And as for said investment…if you honestly think spending the least amount of money the past 5 years is an “investment” then your lost…..It’s one thing to not spend it’s another to take a communities hard earned money on a franchise the Glazer’s paid very little for while we subsidized the rest FOR GRANTED…if you’re okay with that then enjoy wasting YOUR money and our glorious weather for 4 hours every Sunday…me?….I’ll be “selfish” and show up when I FEEL like it…dig it

  32. Mikenice Says:

    Excellent post Capt. Tim! I’m with you on this a few more years we will bdominating! And like always I’m sticking around for the ride. People just dont have the patience for a rebuild and I understand that..but it needs to be done and whn it is finished great things will happen. People act like this is a multiple championship team that is just struggling through a few bad years..this team was competitive for a few years in the late nineties and a few years throughout 2000-2010. After a solid rebuild with continual progression and continual solid draft years and continual effort from the owners, coaches, players and fans then this team will be a constant force throughout the NFL and the championship team I and all of our fans want. I’m saying another 3 years..maybe 4. Can’t wait.