How To Make Playoffs

March 30th, 2016
Bucs should not expect America's Quarterback to carry the team to the playoffs this season.

Bucs should not expect America’s Quarterback to carry the team to the playoffs this season.

It is getting to the point that it’s been so long since the Bucs made the playoffs, the memory is cloudy in Joe’s hard drive. Yes, it was 2007, some nine years ago.

Could the Bucs finally break that drought this year?

Well, the fact the Bucs were in a Wild Card chase last season starting three rookies on offense, including at quarterback, gives Bucs fans reason for hope. Oh, and the hope that the pass defense just might hold opposing quarterbacks to less than a 70 percent completion percentage is also reason for optimism.

Former FOX Sports columnist Jeff Smith, now typing for something called Today’s Pigskin, explores five elements that could lead the Bucs to meaningful January football. One point is, don’t put everything in the basket of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

There’s no reason the Buccaneers can’t ask Winston to do more during his sophomore campaign. What they can’t do, though, is force him to have to take over games too often. Winston will still be growing and learning as the 2016 season rolls on, and asking him to throw the ball a massive number of times just isn’t a good idea. Ready for a fun fact? In the games last season in which Winston threw the ball 30 times or more, the Buccaneers were 1-8. On the flip side, when he threw the ball 29 times or fewer, they were 5-2. It’s pretty amazing to consider, but the less Winston was asked to do, the better he played and the more the team won.

Well, Joe gets Smith’s inference, but this is one of the oldest football stats to debunk in the history of the sport. One reason a quarterback throws a lot is because the team is behind and has to play catch-up.

If the Bucs don’t beef up the wide receiving corps between now and training camp, then Smith’s take is spot on. Jameis is good but rarely do quarterbacks carry teams. They may for a few games ,but sooner or late it usually catches up with them, save for the Brett Favres or Andrew Lucks of the world.

Oh, Eli Manning did twice. But by the time Manning took the Giants to the postseason, he was an established veteran.

If Jameis gets the Bucs to the playoffs with the current thin group of receivers, then Joe will write about him in the same breath as Favre or Luck or Manning.

24 Responses to “How To Make Playoffs”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    it’s simple

    1. Protect Winston
    2. Give Winston Weapons
    3. See Rule 1

    Winston will take care of the rest. As long as there is not a Lovie Smith style defense crapping all over themselves week in and week out bucs have a shot.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    his best friend will be the run game…pound the rock…control the clock…play solid defense…GO BUCS!!!

  3. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Andrew Luck did it with the Colts, why not Jameis? He got compared to Luck during the draft (football IQ, work ethic, etc.), so he should be able to take over some games and carry the team on his back next year. The Bucs are not devoid of talent, especially on offense…heck Glennon had less to work with and has been criticized for not doing enough to carry the team on his back. Let Jameis do what a #1 pick should do…be the hero on the field when he needs to be.

  4. "The kevin" Says:

    Lol playoffs.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Good article Joe and it got me curious about the importance of having a balanced team, offensively and defensively. So looked at the past 50 years of Super Bowl winners to see how their offenses and defenses ranked in the year they won.

    This webpage gave a nice synopsis of those rankings …(

    It looks obvious to this old country boy that balanced teams rise to the top the majority of the time. Only 7 Super Bowl winners in the past 50 years ranked outside the top 10 defensively. Only 9 of them in the past 50 years ranked outside the top 10 offensively. And only 1 team in the past 50 years (the 2007 Giants) ranked outside the top 10 both offensively and defensively.

    Looks to me like the Bucs are on the right path: improve on BOTH sides of the ball to build a perennial contender.

  6. Guzzie Says:

    Number 5 offense number 26 defense equal 6-10

  7. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I do not dispute that our current group of receivers looks thin. But that could change just as quickly as our O line did this year.

    If our first round draft pick finds his head and his hands the rest of his skill set is remarkable and he’ll be one of the best in the league.

    IF our TE finds his head and his health that will become a position of strength for us…ASJ…Brate…Stocker…not a bad trio.

    If VJAX regains his health and finds one more good year….if Humphies continues to develop and Murphy makes it back and Bell actually turns out to be a player…..then we have a very good set of receivers.

    It’s obviously a lot of IFS but we at least have some hope. And that’s before we get to FA’s or the draft.

  8. BucTrooper Says:

    I’m sorry TMAXCON. I see where you were going, but I don’t care WHO’S behind center, you’re not going to win many football games when your defense lets the other team complete 7 of every 10 passes.

  9. tmaxcon Says:


    I agree with you completely. I firmly believe the days of 70% completion percentages left the building with Lovie Smith and is Friends and Family incompetent coaching staff. As LUVMYBUCS has pointed out many times the majority of super bowl winning teams the last decade have had middle of the pack defenses. With the free agent additions, upgraded coaching staff and renewed enthusiasm from defense players I expect the defense to be head and shoulders better.

  10. BucFan20 Says:

    Not a big deal. Joe already said we wrote this season off anyway. Why even talk Playoffs?

  11. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    My opinion is we’ll take the vikes spot this season. Teddy ain’t ready for big time. I can see playoffs this season but in the event we don’t I won’t be bent outta shape about it. Once we do crash that party that will be the first of many appearances.

  12. LargoSamIM Says:

    Joe says: “Joe will write about him in the same breath as Favre or Luck or Manning.” HA HA HA HA HA ! Joe ALREADY does this after one DECENT season !!!

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    You cannot make it to the playoffs with just offense alone. I don’t care if jameis can..walk on water. You gotta be able to stop somebody..sometimes.
    I’ve said this a zillions times..Jameis can throw for thousands of yards all over the field. It means absolutely nothing if the opposing offense scores 1 more point than you. In this NFL, You had better be able to get your Defense off the field.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Dan Marino agrees with you Mike Johnson.

    The only time in 40 years I can think of that the Buccaneers had any semblance of balance was in 2002 – and frankly, the offense didn’t show up for real until the end of that year and entering the playoffs (Jan 2003). Defense was #1 in all categories but the offense only ranked #18 for the year. Once the playoffs started – the offense was playing like a top 10 Offense for sure though.

    The result – SUPER BOWL WINNERS!

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Gotta agree with Joe here.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mike Johnson Says
    “You cannot make it to the playoffs with just offense alone.”

    History proves that claim wrong. Recent history.

    The Broncos went all the way to the superbowl with just offense a few years ago.

    Defense was needed to win the Superbowl, but the playoffs? A whole other story.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’ll add that I prefer a really good offense and a above average defense.

  18. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    In this day and age I’m in agreement with Bonzai on that last line.

  19. salish_seamonster Says:

    Re: receivers

    Joe keeps pounding this WR drum. While I agree that there’s a lot of questions behind VJax and Evans, I have the impression that Coach Koetter expects good things from Dye and Humphries as they develop. Dye has speed, and was an UDFA from a small school, so the learning curve was steep, but he still made it and showed promise. Humphries has shown already that he can be an effective possession receiver. Coach has also mentioned Evan Spencer as a developmental guy. Sure, they could use a guy who could grow into VJax’s shoes when he’s done, preferably a guy with speed, but the cupboard is not empty. Joe doesn’t take much interest in developmental players, as he yawns at the practice squad… This is why he had no clue about Cameron Brate until he was impossible to ignore.

    All that said, I would not be opposed to drafting a WR. They’ve even been linked to Treadwell now, which seems like a non-sensical pick. If we need speed, why draft a 4.65 guy?

  20. Couch Fan Says:

    Well if he cant win games might as well trade him so we dont get any meaningless wins, right Joe?

  21. Trubucfan22 Says:

    It is predicted we will not make the playoffs. I agree with couch fan. By Joe’s logic, just bench the good players and get the first overall pick in the next 2 drafts. in 3 years we will Super Bowl contenders with all of that 1st overall talent. Oh wait that doesn’t work?

    How is it possible that the packers get perennial pro bowlers with later draft picks, and the Bucs haven’t gotten spit and draft I’m top ten every year? Do we need to lose more games? Lose the meaningful ones too? Idk, the logic here is too far over my head. Joe is obviously an amazing GM and would know when to tank and when not to. It is a fine line.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    MARK MY WORDS..No good defense here in Tampa Bay? No championship..ever!

  23. SCBucsFan Says:

    I honestly expect a record similar to last year’s this year. Our schedule is much more difficult this year. We have to play both Super Bowl teams and several playoff caliber teams. Only three teams we played last year made the playoffs, and two of them were the champions of the worst divisions in the league.

  24. LovieBall Says:

    QB’s throw more in games they are losing. That stat is pointless.