The Silliness Of The Close-Games Argument

December 18th, 2014

LovieRefereeLast year, the Bucs (4-12) lost three close games to winning football teams, the Saints, Cardinals and Seahawks, by a combined eight points.

This season, Tampa Bay (2-12) has lost just one close game to a winning football team: the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lovie Smith says the Bucs have dropped a lot of close games and “true football fans can see we’re on the verge.”

That sounds nice, until you realize the Bucs are in the worst division in modern NFL history and the majority of all NFL games have single-digit margins of victory.

Last year’s Bucs played more close games against winning teams, and they actually won four games. (Wins still count, too, you know.) Was that team on the verge, Coach?”

It really irked Joe when Lovie tried to sell that “true football fans can see” the Bucs are close to being a winning program, especially without a decent starting quarterback. Joe considers himself a “true football fan” and Joe can’t see how the Bucs are close.

As of now, most Bucs fans would dance in the streets if the Bucs miraculously bounced back with an 8-8 season next year.

40 Responses to “The Silliness Of The Close-Games Argument”

  1. finishers Says:

    8-8 would be great at this point! We should have brought Gruden back!

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    The vast majority of games in the NFL are close. The league likes it that way. That’s what a salary cap and draft accomplish.

    This is one time I agree with RAH stats are for losers. Playing the what if’s is even worse. If the bullfrog had wings he wouldn’t scrape his butt jumping over the big rocks!

    The good teams are the ones that figure out how to win the many close games they’re in each season.

    The bad teams commit stupid penalities…dead ball penalities…they turn the ball over at just the wrong time…and they lose the ability to even count and put twelve players on the field.

    I do not believe the Bucs EVER played to their potential. This team sucked and it’s mostly on Lovie!

  3. Robert 9 Says:

    when you’ve already lost and the opposing team gives you garbage points it does not mean it was a close game.

  4. Zam Says:

    Lovie really knows how to tick fans off doesn’t he?

  5. CAN'T FIX IT Says:


  6. CC Says:

    @ Joe
    Could you put together a list of the ridiculous weekly Lovie quotes? Like the one where he said in his presser ” I didn’t want to put points on the board before the half.”

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    I expect 6-10 or 7-9 next year, so yeah 8-8 would be pretty exciting. But yeah outside the Lovie sycophants like Brandon everyone can see this is a worse team than last year and the signs to the future are about as bright as they were last year. The only thing people have is the draft pick, as if somehow that’s a lock to work out splendidly.

  8. Stanton Says:

    Joe, completely agree with you here. The close games argument is nonsense. Almost every game in the NFL is a close game towards the end. Those close games you mentioned last year we actually probably should have won. That Seattle game, this team when they were 0-8 fought tooth and nail against the Super Bowl Champs who were absolutely DOMINANT last year. That Cardinals game was Glennon’s first start and our defense was playing off the chain that game before two late turnovers.

    Anyway, its pretty obvious we have REGRESSED big time. Lovie is condescending to the media and disrespectful to the fan base. He needs to be let go but it wont happen sadly…

  9. Tom Edrington Says:

    It’s as simple as that………….

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    Last year’s Bucs played more close games against winning teams, and they actually won four games.



    Please read and re-read the above statement. Quit telling us how the players quit on Schiano and were always getting blown out. Facts speak otherwise.

  11. NewTampaChris Says:

    The Bucs series of close losses is not due to unlucky bounces or just “one play” that went the wrong way in a game.

    It’s a 3-hour continuum of ineptitude. Dropped passes, incompletions, dropped interceptions, overtime fumbles.

    Football is not like baseball. Losing a bunch of 1-run games can be unlucky. The Bucs lose close games because they stink.

  12. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    I thought 7 or 8 were a realistic expectation to start the season. Losing 14 is simply something not even the biggest troll expected let alone a fan like myself expected. Sure it does not come close to the biggest missed prediction in Buc history: that would be Pat Yasinkas predicting the Bucs would go 0-16 with a bad O-line in 2002 right after he moved from Tampa to write for the Charlotte Observer. I bet the Colin Montgomery lookalike still catches a bit of flack over missing that prediction by only 15 wins…. Still: tis team is far worse than I thought in August and L&L are reminding me of Culverhouse and Leeman circa 1986….

  13. Soggy Says:

    Lovie is full of this kind of BS.. Maybe he believes it.. Hope he is not that dumb and just thinks we are..

  14. willie d Says:

    Hot Air Lovie, you said you wanted to compete this year….lol….cutting 2/3 of the team and replacing half the offense with rookies and a very special journeyman QB who you once cut screams of win baby win!

  15. willie d Says:

    wasted year to be a little behind where we were last year at this time

  16. Brandon Says:

    In your opinion, that’s silly. In my opinion, it’s silly to develop a man crush on a collegiate QB and then shove him down your readers’ throats.

    Joe’s readers are not held against their will and are free to move about the cabin. –Joe

  17. mikeh Says:


  18. DallasBuc Says:

    The local afternoon drive time sports talk show host also had the same contention that we have lost many close games due to a turnover here, dropped pass there and plain “bad luck”. Are you saying that he is being silly too?…because he will yell and scream at you and you will be sorry, “as far as that’s concerned”

    Joe already addressed this subject with Steve Duemig on Wednesday, live on the air. –Joe

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I don’t expect 8-8…..7-9…..0-16…..16-0……that’s why I am one of the few perpetually happy Buc fans….I am not disappointed by unmet expectations…..I am disappointed in losing and especially losing close games…..that is a sign of an inferior team….usually coaching.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo expects his Bucs to go 6-12 next year”

  21. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    What’s the diffence Brandon between a man crush as you call it for a guy who inherited Rah’s mess and won 7 games year one vs Lovie who had some pro bowl caliber talent (McCoy, Revis, David) talent and has made this team worse? How you cannot admit this is bizzare. And the cupboard was bare BS is comical…guys Lovie let go are playing productive football on other teams this year.

  22. mikeh Says:

    don’t worry people we will get the last laugh! if they do move glennon pick up a QB in the draft. and MG shines on another team. and the bucs continue to suck. those are the kind of things that get coaches fired. just give this moron enough rope he will hang himself. its just a matter of time. just look at his big free agent talent he hand picked this season. lovie pissed away a lot of money this year. and owners are in this to make money! u can bet the glazers are talking about all of this. he will start next season on the hottest seat.

  23. CalBucsFan Says:

    No doubt that “true football fans” comment by Lovie was in very bad taste. I’ve been following the Bucs since before they were officailly named the Bucs, have the seen the best and mostly worse over those years and this years team is among the latter.

    Hey, health issues can derail anyone’s game plan and certainly what happened with Tedford had a major impact on the offense’s woes, but Lovie has no one to blame but himself for the defensive upchuck. Sure it’s come around the last few games, but there’s constant mismatches in personnel and alignments that are only explained by the wrong personnel on team, the wrong system for the personnel, or the wrong coaches for the system.

    Year one is Lovie’s fault, year two is up to Licht. Tick-tock, Mr. Licht, are you the right GM to turn this ship back to port for repairs before setting out to sea of 2015? Tick-tock, you are the one I will watch the most this offseason.

  24. lightningbuc Says:

    “true football fans” know a turd when they see a turd, and this is a turd

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    Close football games in this day and age are a field goal or less. Losing because the opposing team kicks a last second field goal I can accept. Having to come back from three scores down to still lose by a touchdown are unacceptable loses to me.
    The question is this. Are we closer to winning by bolstering the o-line yet again and building a defensive-running football team or are we a good qb away from putting up some points? This question needs to be answered before free agency.

  26. NewTampaChris Says:


    That same drive host also defended Josh Freeman passionately after the first game of last season — the terrible loss to the Jets. According to the host, “Josh had the team in position to win at the end.”

    That was only because the offense and the QB played so badly that the game was much closer than it should have been.

    A close game can mean many things. Unfortunately for the Bucs, it usually means they failed to generate offense when they could have. I take no solace from close losses.

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Speaking for Maria, Pablo’s mistress..

    “Pablo was in a bad mood when he called for a 6-12 record next year. That’s because I had a headache last night and he didn’t get lucky.”

  28. chickster Says:

    Its not silly some of the close games could of been blowouts if we had any king of offence this team will be fine as it moves along what fans thought we were going to be a playoff team in his first year WOW and joe is like a girl bla bla bla more tabloid news than anything

  29. Buccfan37 Says:

    If we could now turn back the clock to before Lovie, would the fans raise such a stink at the thought of hiring him? Some here knew Lovie was bad news and grossly over rated. The rest got excited at the retro hire. Sold a bill of goods that turned out to be lacking. Mediocrity reigns supreme. Bucs fans got the short end of the stick with Lovie’s arrival. Outdated, past expiration date Lovie is in over his head.

  30. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If you go back and watch the pittsburgh game…..the steelers were offensively just joking around, and were “on the verge” of jamming 3 scores in the 2nd half to make it a 28 point victory for the steelers, but a few drops and misses leaves the bucs with the ball and last second win…so really the bucs are on the verge of 1-14 to 1-15

  31. Curse of Gruden Says:

    What else can Lovie say? We’re 2 and whatever…

  32. jb Says:

    Screw 8-8 Joe! This team had better turn it around….and fast! Lovie has been selling us a pile of steaming feces since he arrived, it’s time we, along with the Glazers hold his feet to the fire. It’s obvious the plan he and Licht cooked up has been an unmitigated disaster. So what are we supposed to do, start this same garbage all over again? No Way! Fix this mess or move the **** on Lovie!

  33. DB55 Says:

    Gotta give you some love Joe cuz you straight hustling. Gotta hustle! Love the hustle. I wish Lovie and the boys put in as much work into their craft. How you manage to write all these articles everyday about these uninspiring scrubs is beyond me, but im simple so there’s that.

    Gotta do what you gotta do! I feel your pain brother.

    Close games? I almost got laid last night but I didn’t instead I slept on the floor but I’m on the verge trust me. Lmao

  34. OB Says:

    I think Lovie is talking about a 50 to 100% increase in wins next year. That is huge.

  35. tickrdr Says:

    StPeteBucsFan Says:
    December 18th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Speaking for Maria, Pablo’s mistress..

    “Pablo was in a bad mood when he called for a 6-12 record next year. That’s because I had a headache last night and he didn’t get lucky.”
    Speaking for someone who is good at math:
    The only way for this to happen is to win the division next year with a 5-11 record. Win a home playoff game to go 6-11, and then lose in the next round to go 6-12. Seems kinda unlikely to me, especially with the current regime.


  36. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Really all Lovie has to do to regain some confidence from a lot of fans I s get his team prepared and put an ass whoopin on the Packers and or Saints. Show us “non-true fans” something that shows he has a clue on how to improve upon his epic failure season one. I’ll gladly get off the fire Lovie bandwagon if he can put a good old fashioned beat down at home on either the Packers or Saints…like the Falcons and Ravens put on Lovie’s Bucs. The dude deserves every bit of vitriol he gets here…thankfully Joe has now pointed out statistically how much WORSE this year’s team is than last year’s all while playing a far easier schedule and having fewer off field drama. I truly am baffled that anyone here can try making a case to retain Lovie another year barring at least one definitive home victory in the next two games!

  37. Walter White Says:

    So I overheard part of Mike & Mike this morning and they suggested a possible trade planned to send Cutler to Tampa to reunite with Lovie. If this happens, I’m done. Offically done as a Bucs fan. I’m sick of people defending him. It’s so easy. If you just look at actual facts, real things that really happened, the results are crystal clear. This guy is a complete moron. Tedford is no excuse – yeah, that was unexpected for sure, but given Lovie’s proven track record of bad OC hires, it still falls on him. He made a bad hire. Tedford didn’t want to come back because he realized he made a big mistake hitching his wagon to Lovie.

    You want a youth mens club where the players love the coach cause he lets them wear flip flops and floppy hats? Or do you want a professional competitive team that is taken seriously not as a perennial joke? Fire him.

  38. pick6 Says:

    reminds me of schiano’s “laughingstock” comment late in his tenure. it’s a shame that coaches are contractually obliged to continue opening their mouths even when their season are in the toilet. nothing useful ever comes from asking a coach to expound on his 12th loss of the year

  39. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Speaking for Maria

    “Yes you are correct. Pablo has never been good at math since he lost those two toes mowing the lawn. He’s never been good at counting.”

  40. seminolebuccaneer Says:

    Are we suprised? This is lovies style, ive heard everyone say “this style worked for him in chicago” this is an ever changing league, a league tht has put the emphasis on offense. Lovie is and always has relued on the defense to score. Now im not saying good defense isnt a key in this new nfl but unlike offense it isnt a premium. Sadly lovie has shown time and time again that he is mystified by offense and thats what cost him his job in Chicago and will do the same here