July 10th, 2016
Can the Bucs surprise?

A surprise year?

Can this finally be the year?

With a decent offense, a forward-thinking head coach and a defensive coordinator that seems to be living in 2016, will this be enough for the Bucs to wash away an eight-year stain of no playoff appearances?

Every year there are surprises. And Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report, in a list of teams that may make noise this fall, includes the Bucs as a playoff dark horse that could surprise.

The key may well be a defense that had issues last year. The Buccaneers took a number of steps to bolster it in 2016, whether with veteran additions like defensive end Robert Ayers or youngsters like cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and edge rusher Noah Spence.

If the Buccaneers improve as much under new defensive coordinator Mike Smith as they’re expected to offensively, this is a team with the talent to make some noise in a top-heavy NFC South.

That may not be enough to unseat the Carolina Panthers, but it could easily have Tampa in the Wild Card hunt as folks start roasting turkeys.

In Joe’s eyes, Davenport nails the issue. Can the defense rise up? It seems the Bucs have the offense to put points on the board.

Lost in last year’s quagmire of an insulting pass defense is that the team never could get off the field on third down. Yes, the Bucs had a potent offense. Imagine how much better it could have been if the defense could have given the offense the ball more often?

No, Joe’s not talking about takeaways. Joe’s convinced the constant infantile bawling each week of Lovie Smith crying about a lack of takeaways was nothing more than a very public planned and perpetrated distraction from the very real fact his defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs and force punts.

As Joe has repeatedly typed over the past year, punts are takeaways, too.

Imagine the Bucs’ record last year with, say, three more possessions a game.

Then again, that may have resulted in Lovie still being here.

17 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. Buc1987 Says:

    8-8 with the look of a playoff contender.

    Next season…..2017.

    Save your money and your frequent flyer miles.

    Super Bowl bound!

  2. DB55 Says:

    Noah Spence will win DROY award. You can screenshot this. Peace

    Soon the NFL will be talking about Kahlil Mack, Vonn Miller and Spawn as the best def players in the game. #truth

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    Score 6 more a game—a real possibility—and prevent 6 points a game—another real possibility—and this team could go somewhere…

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    There is the key, get the defense off of the field in an effective and timely manner. Failing that will make for a long season of discontent. Accomplishing that will be crucial towards a competitive start and finish.

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    9-7 miss playoffs barely

    DB55 hope you are correct

  6. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    6 more points on O and 6 less points on D would absolutely put us in the playoffs.

    Last year’s horrible team would have won five more games and been 11-5.

    It’s the freaking NFL…again as Chris Thomas said..the No Freaking Logic league.
    Carolina is the defending champion and so they have earned their props. Scoreboard, I get and respect that. But they are not unbeatable!

    I called for ten wins last year and I see no reason why they can’t win ten this year. They SHOULD have won ten last year! Now we give #3…Kwon…and our OL another years of experience…Martin and Sims are healthy for the moment…we have a player who could be come the best kicker in the league…not insignificant.

    I get and accept that some here are only moved by results. You people probably need to avoid the blog then until mid October when we have enough results to review to start making some observations.

    Otherwise all we are doing here is talking about hope. How much do we have? Or are we in despair like Cleveland Brown fans?

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Buc1987 Says
    “8-8 with the look of a playoff contender.
    Next season…..2017. Save your money and your frequent flyer miles.
    Super Bowl bound!”

    Been a while since we’ve agreed on much, but I think you hit the nail on the head here. I made the exact same prediction this time LAST YEAR. One defensive draft and a year of development, and then one more draft.

    Superbowl Contenders from then on.

    Of course, no one agreed with me back then.

  8. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    exciting times in Tampa

  9. Drew Says:

    Joe… Great pic from Young Frankenstein.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    @BucBonzai is Bananas!!

    Buc1987 has been saying that even before JW3 was drafted!!!! So if you agree with him now that means you were agreeing with him back then!!!! Or is this from the same place that you found all that crazy stats about Coach Smitty’s defense?????

  11. Buccaneers Says:

    How about this for a goal………Beat the Panthers for the first time in 12 years(at least it feels like that long)….. I’m not very happy with our bi-annual smack down from a team we are very familiar with. I have more to say but please excuse me while I go hurl.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Correct Realist…said JW will lead his team to the SB within 3 years of entering the NFL no matter what team drafted him.

    It just happened to be our Bucs…

  13. Joe Says:

    Joe… Great pic from Young Frankenstein

    Glad someone caught that. 🙂

  14. Rrsrq Says:

    If the defense could’ve gotten off the field, the Dougernaut would’ve led the league in rushing, how many times did we abandon the run because we were down in the first quarter

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    31 other teams think this will be their..surprise year also. The only thing which will surprise many of us is..If our Bucs can come out of the halfway mark at 5-3 or 4-4. This would give us a chance. Anything less than this and our season is heading for the usual..Mayday call! IF..we can win the close ones..IF….then we have a chance. Can we become a good 4th qtr team. That’s the tale of the tape.

  16. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Still on the 6-10 train. Playoffs next season.

  17. Kevin Says:

    No more Lovie equals wins