How Close Are The Bucs?

October 16th, 2015


As Joe wrote Sunday, if the season ended now, a two-win team would make the playoffs in the NFC.

Guess what? Your Bucs have two wins, and the NFC South just tightened up.

Joe was among the many millions watching the Saints take the previously undefeated Falcons to the woodshed last night in New Orleans.

Drew Brees put on one of his classic surgical passing clinics against a defense that couldn’t breathe on him. The 5-1 Falcons have just seven sacks all season, two by some part-time player named Adrian Clayborn.

The Falcons might be the worst 5-1 team in the history of the NFL. Joe’s not going to recap their games here, but Atlanta already had a season full of good luck through their first five games.

New Orleans, folks, is not a good football team.

The Bucs aren’t good, either, but perhaps with their newfound momentum, they aren’t that far away?

It’s easy to be optimistic this morning. The Bucs can’t lose this weekend! And their next game, at Washington, is surely winnable. Heck, they won there easily last year.

A 3-3 Bucs team would have a legions of locals entering November fantasizing about making Wild Card road trip in January.

47 Responses to “How Close Are The Bucs?”

  1. Maybenot Says:

    Umm next weekend

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    They are 1 head coach and a new staff away from having hope.

  3. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    We are close, have been all season, it’s really just who executes better on Sunday win the game. Simple as that. The Bucs have good players and a heady coaching staff. Look for the bucs to make a run if they stay healthy.

  4. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I don’t think we are very close to sniffing the playoffs, but I am expecting us to win some of our games, because they are virtually all winnable. If you look at our schedule, there isn’t one team on it that strikes fear into you (possible exception St. Louis with their pass rush). We don’t have the Packers, Arizona, Patriots, etc. on our schedule. Obviously we won’t win them all, but I don’t think it’s out of the question that we could (and should) win 6 or 7 games. We have the talent. If we don’t, then there’s only one thing that could mean – coaching.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    That gives light to the chance that the Bucs can beat the Falcons.

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    The Bucs are Jacksonville Jaguars good. That’s how good they are. Jags good.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    So far, yes. However, talent-wise, wouldn’t you agree we are much more talented than the likes of the Jags? Does Atlanta, Carolina, or New Orleans have more talent than us?

  8. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Closer to the #1 overall pick than they are to the playoffs, I assure you

  9. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    With Jaboo, Dougie, VJax, ME, Sims, an improving OL, and a pretty good OC, the team’s chance for success depends almost entirely on a rickety secondary, provided we stop the turnovers and stupid penalties. The defense overall is weird. Big plays galore, but bad tackling and terrible coverage by our CB’s. Fix that, win in DC, and maybe, just maybe we get on a roll. Nothing like a few wins to make a team look like it has talent.

  10. tmaxcon Says:


    I would give you more talented than Saints and equal to or just below Carolina. ATL stumbled last night and need some defensive help but I would put them ahead of bucs talent wise. Ryan, Jones, Freeman and Cambell are awful good on offense. Until bucs play up to or are coached up to maximize their talent it’s just on paper. Did you notice even losing the Falcons play harder and faster than bucs. That is effort not talent I understand that but it was obvious to me they played hard. Bad turnovers killed them.

  11. mike10 Says:

    Close to what? Winning the lowly NFC South, or not coming in last in it.. Being the team in the playoffs that has no business being there? Or are we talking about building a contender. Because to do that you have to run this division, have a target on your back and not be the team everyone else is circling for a gimme-win.

    Good news is we matched our win total from last yr, bad news is just look who we have yet to play.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Hawaiian Buc…Any given Thursday.

  13. flmike Says:

    The reality is Carolina and Atlanta were and are both very weak undefeated teams, Atl lost last night and Carolina will be exposed on Sunday when they have to fly cross-country and play a not very good (but still better than Carolina) 2-3 Seattle team. The NFCS is up for grabs any team who goes on a mid-season 5 game run can win the div, though Atl has a pretty easy schedule ahead of them they still only escaped from Washington with a win because Kirk Cousins always throws that interception, same with the Giants and Eagles games, 2 and 4 point wins don’t make you world beaters. And lets face it, beyond Cam and Olsen the only thing holding the Panthers together is that defense.

  14. OneLove Says:

    The Bucs are NOT close… Only an idiot would say that looking at the names on this roster!! It is going to take years people! Our Savior Lovie Smith aka “Mr. competent” will lead us out of this mess and right this ship!

    “It’s as simple as that” – Lovie Smith aka “Mr. Competent”

    “Lovie Smith is a GREAT Coach” – Kwon Alexander

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’d like to see us beat a very good team…..will have to wait a few weeks.

    Are we close…..I don’t think so…..until I can see our secondary shut down a passing attack….we are vulnerable.

    I do think we are close on offense….which surprises me….thought the defense would be the best unit this year.

  16. Dean Says:

    What is so funny, is that one of our strong points was the depth at defensive back as we entered the season. Weak area was the offensive line. What a difference 5 games make.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    What Tampabaybucfan said above pretty much sums it up.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Unfortunately, Banks will only make a small difference. They will just throw towards the other corner, whether it be Jenkins or Jennings. Putting Verner back at corner would help, but apparently that’s not going to happen. Lovie has his guys now, and nothing is going to change his mind.

  19. tickrdr Says:

    Of course we’re CLOSE. All we have to do is replicate the simple formula for a win we showed against JAX.

    1) Have our kicker send 5 of 8 kickoffs thru the back of the endzone, then make all three extra points, and all three field goals.
    2) Have our return man win special teams “player of the week” honors for the entire NFL.
    3) Have our RB win Fed Ex Ground “player of the week” honors for the entire NFL.
    4) Have our defense get 6 sacks and score a defensive TD, and then hold the opposing QB to only his second NFL game with more than 300 yds passing (First was against the Titans in 2014), and only 4 TDs.
    5) Finally have “America’s QB” become an “efficient” game manager, and not throw any INTs, let alone any “pick 6’s”.

    Easy Peasy, right!

    BTW, “America’s Backup QB”, threw for 8 TDs and only 3 of those pesky INTs through his first 5 games in 2013. The teams and defenses he faced then included the 6th ranked Arizona Cardinals, and the 12-4 2nd-ranked Carolina Panthers, and the 13-3 #1-ranked Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

    Now it is true that “America’s QB” did crush the immortal Jaguars ( kudos to him btw), and actually has thrown for 9 TDs already this year, but I will respectfully point out that only 7 of them went to his teammates.


  20. Buc1987 Says:

    tickrdr says :

    “BTW, “America’s Backup QB”, threw for 8 TDs and only 3 of those pesky INTs through his first 5 games in 2013.”

    Yes but how many victories did he achieve with that dinking and dunking?

    You knew that was coming tickrdr…

  21. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Get off of Glennon’s jock. How many of those games did America’s Backup QB” win? How many deep balls did he under throw? Let’s see, he lost 31-13 to Carolina the first time, then 27-6 the second. Magnificent effort, right? He lost 13-10 against Arizona, with 2 INT’s in the 4th quarter that cost us the game. Granted it was his first start, but you’re an idiot for even mentioning that game. He kept it close to Seattle only because Mike James went off and Seattle made some early turnovers. He did squat himself. But you go ahead and revise history as if he was excellent in those games. Do you know how difficult it is in today’s NFL to be getting crushed every week, yet still barely be able to crack 200 yards (and sometimes he couldn’t even crack 100 yards)? That’s what Glennon did.

  22. Mo_Downs Says:

    This team will go as far as the defense will carry them. Before anyone can predict the outcome of any game a quick look at the injury report is needed.

    The Bucs may be able to get a few more starters back and be well rested after the bye. Conversely, the Skins may have more injuries after facing a very good Jets defense this weekend. Critics may want to look at Cousins’ QB rating, TD/Int ratio and Completion %. It ain’t pretty.

    One week at a time. Our pass defense will improve and our rushing offense will improve as well. So, it’s all up to the players sticking to the game plan.

    There are no monsters on our remaining schedule.

    Go Bucs…!!!

  23. tickrdr Says:

    Fair enough about Glennon, and yes, of course I knew it was coming.

    But JW3 has started two of his five games by throwing a “pick 6” on his very first pass of the game, and three other INTs in the game against Carolina.

    And if you all are giving Jameis credit for the win against a crippled Drew Brees and the Saints, as well as for the game I detailed above, then I’m just SMDH.
    I will admit that Glennon had the luxury of playing behind a MUCH better offensive line than Jameis.


    Funny thing about those “checkdowns” though. How did they result in TDs?

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    tickrdr….JW is wired to take chances with the football. Like Brett Favre as I always say. Glennon on the other won’t take a chance and rather just throw the ball out of bounds…

    BTW…how many of those players he played with are still left on this team today? It’s practically a whole new team since 2013….

  25. Buc1987 Says:

    You can continue to compare Glennon all you want. Right up until he walks out the door if you like. Follow his career right to another teams bench.

  26. orlbucfan Says:

    Nothing like reading Glennon love on here. The jury’s gonna be out for awhile regarding Winston. Been a diehard/long-suffering Bucs fan since ’79. Lovie’s ego doesn’t impress me. Wins and improvement do & that’s happening wif the O. I like our OC. It will be an interesting Sunday. Patriots will lose; Belicheat can’t keep it going forever. Good riddance. Also noticed the radical improvement on ST with just bringing a competent kicker back.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…Atlanta and many other teams have the ability to hang a 50 burger on us. That’s how atrocious our secondary looks to me.

  28. Bobby Says:


    You’d have to be an idiot to NOT think we’re close with the names on this roster.
    We’ve got an offensive line starting to gel and three 6’5 receiver when ASJ is healthy. We have a rookie QB who is developing quickly and a stud RB in Martin as well as Simms and Rainey. On the defensive side of the ball we have McCoy, LVD, Kwon Alexander, Jacques Smith, a possible emerging star in Howard Jones, Banks, Melton, McDonald, Gholston, & Verner. We need to draft a corner, a safety and a left OT. I think we’re exactly one draft away from winning our division. Next year is our year. This year we should see constant growth and we’ll win about 6 games total and be competitive from here on out. Winston will make his share of mistakes but next year he’ll be ready to ball right out of the gate. Just a few more pieces and this team will not only be good, but I think damn good.

  29. Tom Edrington Says:

    All these posts would make sense if they were written well past 5 pm on a Friday.

  30. Gooberville Says:

    Momentum!? Playoffs?!! For crying out loud Joe you’re delusional. Let the team win 2 in a row at least. We have lost to the 1 win Titans, the 1 win Texans. We are very far from being good. We’ve beaten a bad Saints team and a worse Jags team. I say we are still waiting for that signature win. And beating (if we win) the Redskins will still not be it.

  31. Fsuking Says:

    Ok I’m really tired of hearing bad things about the NFC south with two 5-1 teams. No NFL team is bad and going 5-1 is truly impressive. With Lovie Smith 2-3 is damn impressive. Dumb people abound. Now we won’t make the playoffs unless the Panthers or Falcons crumble like stale bread but I like where we are heading if Lovie can find the unemployment line next year.

  32. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ll be a believer if we can beat a couple of teams that are contenders……Falcons or Giants would be a good start.
    Either that or blow away a couple of bad teams….Redskins would be on that list.

  33. BucFan20 Says:

    Here we go with the ‘HE lost” BS. Blame it on One person. See when it is convenient people like to play that game. So let’s play that game. As of now the Bucs record is 2-3. Winston is a loser just like Glennon.

  34. CC Says:

    We need Mike Evans to play better. He is at the bottom of the league in drop rate %.

  35. tickrdr Says:

    @Tom Edrington:

    Reading and writing English are not a requirement here, so I apologize for my poor attempts at sarcasm. I know I should probably tag those comments when I am being sarcastic, to help the “reading-challenged”, and I certainly don’t mean you.


  36. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Tom Edrington Says:
    October 16th, 2015 at 2:54 pm
    All these posts would make sense if they were written well past 5 pm on a Friday.

    And you would certainly know…..weren’t you one of those guys that hung out at Malios….downed 10-12 vodkas….then trolled Dale Mabry hoping to get lucky?

    Or was that Hugh $mith?

  37. DefenseRules Says:

    Tampabaybucfan … I don’t really think we’re close either, mostly because of our defense. DE positions and our secondary (CBs and Safeties) need upgrading for us to be competitive for a playoff slot in the NFC. And oh ya, our OLine still needs work.

    Fsuking … If we change coaches and coaching staff again next year, odds are we’re back at Square One. I’m not enthusiastic about some of the things Lovie has done either (I’m being kind), but coaching changes every 2 years have been at the root of our problems. As long as the players continue to play hard for Lovie … and our record improves steadily … I’d much prefer that we keep him.

  38. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I’m with you, but I would argue the Falcons and Giants aren’t true contenders. Can you see either team beating Arizona or Green Bay? I don’t. The NFC has a bunch of average and below average teams, with really only 2 or 3 good teams. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s ballgame, and that includes Atlanta. Even Seattle looks mortal. As for Carolina, I have to see more. To be honest, I really wasn’t that impressed from what I’ve seen. They are very good at taking advantage of other team’s mistakes, but I have doubts if they can beat a team that doesn’t beat themselves. Time will tell.

  39. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Talent wise, we are close, but these young guys need to still gain experience, and experience in winning. Coaching staff has to get these guys prepared for everything and anything. They arent there yet. Not with the NFL limits on practicing. The players are close, i can see them breaking through and becoming a decent team. Its going to take another year or 2 under lovie to get all of these young guys on the same page. team chemistry is key in football. These guys have to know exactly what the guy next to him going to do. And that just takes time. We are on the right path. Go Bucs!

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…is that thee Tom Edrington?

    Like as in the former sportswriter from the Tribune….the worst sports page on the planet?

    Damn… it never dawned on me that he might actually BE that guy.

  41. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Hawaiian

    They are more contenders than the other teams we are scheduled to play…….Carolina is our last game of the season….

    We can’t help our schedule….so we need to win no matter how good the team.

  42. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Hawaiian

    And by contenders….I mean continding for their respective divisions….not the conference or certainly not Championship or SB.

  43. bucsbedabest Says:

    The Bucs are more than likely not going to make the playoffs. Then again you never know in this league. Bottom line is that no one expects us to make the playoffs and there is no pressure to do so. I am tired of hearing about how bad the Jaguars are. How bad the Saints were. How bad the Texans are and so on. I don’t know about you butt that New Orleans team looked pretty darn good last night..The game made me proud to sit there and think “we beat these guys”. The Saints beat an undefeated team and that ain’t easy to do. IMO other than the Tennessee game we were in every game and could have won. In Houston it was our kicker. Carolina was our QB. We could be 4-1 right now and that is how I look at it. Take a look at the PFF rankings for the teams we have played – My point is that our opponents are not bottom dwellers. Things are not as bad as people are making them out to be.

    Tennessee Titans – OFF (15) DEF (9)
    New Orleans Saints – OFF (13) DEF (29)
    Houston Texans – OFF (18) DEF (15)
    Carolina Panthers – OFF (7) DEF (12)
    Jacksonville Jaguars – OFF (11) DEF (28)

    Average OFF (12) DEF (18)

  44. PRBucFan Says:

    Our team last year was one of the worst we ever fielded.

    No QB would have done well behind it.

    McCown is behind a line that gives him time, and now he is flourishing and he hasn’t been up against scrub D’s either,

    But J Dub is our guy, end of story,

  45. Brent Says:

    Close to what? 7-9.. That’s if Lovie can remember how to coach defense.

  46. Tom Edrington Says:

    @ Tampa Bay Bucs Fan:

    I was never a vodka drinker back then and when you write for a newspaper you work at night…..

  47. MikJohnson Says:

    Lookayear….The offense is long as we keep Jamis’s interceptions down. The Defense? Got a ways to go. Once we get our D back in the top 10, we are going to be hell. Bank on it. Question is…How long is this going to take?