Five Off-The-Radar Reasons The Bucs Might Beat The Cowboys

December 18th, 2016
Money talks while rust sheds

Money talks while rust sheds

Forget the A-list stars.

Joe’s going deeper.

1 – Gosder Cherilus: The grizzled veteran was dreadful in his first start of the season at right tackle last week against the Saints. Ugly stuff. But maybe Cherilus, 32, simply had to shake off rust, you know, get his starter legs back. He’s a free agent after this season. If Cherilus wants another NFL paycheck in 2017 – the Bucs are paying him $4.5 million this season — then he likely can lock one up with a big showing in prime time. Don’t underestimate that potential motivation.

2 – Adam Humphries: The Bucs’ top slot receiver looks like a 10-time All-Pro when compared to the rest of the Bucs receivers not named Mike Evans. Humphries’ return from a concussion suffered against the Chargers two weeks ago should not be overlooked, especially against a team like the Cowboys that allows a lot of underneath completions.

3 – Luke Stocker: The Bucs’ beastly blocking tight end/fullback (when healthy) has missed the last 115 minutes of action with an ankle injury. But Stocker is full-go again today after practicing all week. Maybe, just maybe, he can help propel Doug Martin out of his funk. And yes, averaging 2.9 yards a carry with no explosive runs is a funk.

4 – Vernon Hargreaves: Joe has a sneaky feeling that Hargreaves might continue to return punts, even with Humphries back on the field. It’s been a tiny sample size, but Hargreaves feels more dangerous out there. Also, Joe doesn’t discount the confidence boost Hargreaves got from his first career interception last week. Dirk Koetter has been crowing about how Hargreaves isn’t a rookie any longer because he’s played too many games and too many snaps and a lot of positions. Joe smells something special from Hargreaves tonight.

5 — Charles Sims: He may be worthless as a No. 1 running back or as a backup to a No. 1 running back, but Sims is a stud receiver with game-breaker juice. After an nine-week injury layoff, Sims looked sharp last week in his traditional, complementary role (3 catches for 33 yards; 4 carries for 17 yards). The Bucs will need some real YAC (yards after the catch) out of their slot guys and running backs tonight, and Sims should get more chances.

52 Responses to “Five Off-The-Radar Reasons The Bucs Might Beat The Cowboys”

  1. Fred E. Buc Says:

    I agree with all other than the punt return part. Humphries fields them well and has done fine. Let’s hope Stocker can stay healthy.

  2. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I’ve tried to explain to to Joe that according to the numbers Hump is the 9th best guy in the league returning punts. But he don’t be listening.

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    …………sorry joe

    ……..not buying any of this mumbo jumbo

  4. MadMax Says:

    Might not be off the radar, but they will likely also go easy with their injured starters who are playing. They’re already in the playoffs and need them to be healthy. Another reason why Im thinking we win by 14 or more.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    WG92 can’t make the top 5 off the radar reason???? Dallas is looking to protect the rookie QB, should see dallas try to run at all cost!!!! In steps the Bucs run stuffer!!!!

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Blake_bucsfan Says
    “I’ve tried to explain to to Joe that according to the numbers Hump is the 9th best guy in the league returning punts. But he don’t be listening.”

    You are discounting the injury. Punt returns is risky business, and Koetter might not want to risk Humphries getting another concussion from the extra duty.

    Personally, I feel both he and Hargrieves are too important to risk there. I say put Sims there. We have good depth as RB, and Adam is more important in the passing game.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I think it’s a little early for Dallas to be going easy on their starters, but you raise a valid point.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think Realist nailed it.

    Even a broken clock is right twice each day 😉

  9. 941BUC Says:

    Time for Siliga and GM93 to stuff the box on the run.and if Elliott tries to go around he still has to go through Won and Spence, not to forget Mr. Beasting will be breathing down his neck.Dallas isn’t dumb enough to run their RB full blast 3 qtrs just to result in him being tired out the 4th.hey Joe quick question about that 3rd down defense dominance…is that on the run or pass or both?

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

    Top of the morning jbf Go BuCCs

  11. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Buc Bonzai

    Now thats funny, You usually always agree with me, it just takes you a few months to catch up is all!!!

    Oh, BTW, it 10:32a.m. That means I just told you what time it is TWICE!!!!!!!

    GO America!!!!!!!

    AND GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. cmurda Says:

    I’ll buy into just about anything in hopes of a Bucs win… but the Cherilus contract thing. Nope. Not buying it. Either you have it or you don’t and I’ll just leave it as I’m concerned.

  13. feelthepewterpower Says:

    remember, Joe, Sims lead the league in yards per play average. As you said, guy has serious juice that the offense needs along with huff and even antoine smith……guys who can stretch the field vertically along to take pressure off Evans (who also can stretch the field vertically) and make defenses more honest……………….

  14. rayjay1122 Says:

    Just like little David defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone, the Bucs will defeat the mighty Cowboys. Mark it down!!! Go Bucs!!!

  15. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    One of the real wild cards is the health of the Cowboys. Some like Dez will probably be more smoke and mirrors…when they tee it up Dez will be ready as will any guys able to go.

    But Dallas has some lingering injuries. They might be tempted to rest some borderline cases for their divisional battles coming up. And they may be like Buc fans and not yet take the Bucs seriously!

  16. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Back to Sims….Buccs would be wise to split him out wide as a receiver in motion….ala a Lev Bell and what Seattle does with Prosise.

    Also Joe, Sealver Siliga could be a wild card as well….in helping clog up the lane vs. the Cowboys. Will be interesting to see how many plays he gets in this game….as well as how effective the Buccs are with him in there. He could be another unsung hero that comes out of know where and steps in and has a big game for this team.

    Go Buccs and FEELthePEWTERPOWER

  17. Patrickbucs Says:

    Mostly agree good points, however last year Sims had over 1,000 total yards running and receiving and 4.9 per carry. The o-line isn’t doing that well run blocking like last year without Mankins which is a fact. He’s definitely better receiving the ball out of the backfield or in the slot though. He needs a crease to get that gear going in the running game and we just have not seen those consistent wholes this year.

  18. R.O. Says:

    Stocker was a “Full Go Again Today”? They have a practice before the game tonight? (sarcasm). If you wait 2 days before posting at least edit for relevant content.

  19. JAB83 Says:

    let Josh Huff return punts… Oh and have him run a wheel rout or two off of Play Action…

    You heard it hear first… The X Factor TODAY AND THE REST OF THE SEASON is Huff. His game breaking ability is the reason ME ends up with 100 yard today and dominates through the Playoffs…

    Bucs win big 28-17. Dallas scores late to make it look respectfull

  20. Tampa Tony Says:

    I think this game comes down to the Bucs offensive play calling can’t be predictable and run on the majority of first downs. Mix things up to help the run game and Jameis needs to be very sharp and have a turnover free game. The defensive coaches adjusted their approach now its Dirks turn to adjust the offense to be successful

  21. rayjay1122 Says:

    My only concerns for tonight is the Dallas running game, our weak run defense, their run defense and our weak running game. That is a recipe for bad things to come. As far as Prescott, he really is overrated IMO. He has been hidden a lot by the talent around him. He did not light up the SEC in college nor did he put his team in Mississippi on his back and lead them to any championships because the talent around him was not championship material. We HAVE to limit Zeke and make Prescott do the impossible which is to beat our defense with his arm.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    This game outcome is simple: if the Bucs can slow down the run and not turn the ball over, they will win.

    I don’t expect anything fancy from the Dallas O, just a smash-mouth rushing attack.

    The Buc LB’s have to be solid at the LOS today.

    Biggest Buc game in over 10 years.

    Also: any news on David’s hammy? Is he good to go?

  23. Rrsrq Says:

    I think we will see that jet sweep from Huff to keep them honest, if Ali can get out in front of that and block Lee, I smell touchdown

  24. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    LVD not playing or not playing well will be huge in this game…….cause the bucs have to shut down the run game

    ……there is no other LB on this team that can fill LVD shoes

  25. Patrickbucs Says:


    Absolutely not true about Prescott: first he played at Missiopi State and he was a great player there. Obviously you didn’t follow him so google some of his stats and national awards such as 1st team all-SEC. Lol

    Is he great now? no he’s a rookie with a number of 4th quarter comeback wins though and can run.

    Hope our d can shut him down.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I wish I was as confident as the rest of you.

    The Seahawks were a great measuring stick, but the Cowboys are the hot team this year. This will be a real test.

    I can grasp losing IF we lose…but I want to make a good go of it at least.

  27. orlbucfan Says:

    There’s been a lot of complaining on here and other sites that LVD hasn’t played as well as last year. Well, mebbe playing on a sore hamstring would be a good reason why! LVD is very quiet, but he sure carries a big MoFo LBacking stick! No way he won’t be playing tonight. You kidding? He and GMC are very well aware of the playoff implications. Let the best team win. I don’t trust Jones, and Cowdungs with the zebs.

  28. Buccfan37 Says:

    Go Buccs! Beat the cowfarts, reduce globull warming.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Some great comments in here. Noticed that Joe’s list was 4 offensive players plus VHIII (mostly as a punt returner). Most commenters seem to think defense is the key to this game (me too). Bucs defense, particularly with Gholston & Ayers in there to contain the edges, matches up well against the Cowboys offense IF our LBs play stout against the run & control their gaps (hard to do against the Cowboys).

  30. BigHogHaynes Says:

    8 hours to game time! Will the tide begain to change, or will we have a set back, this is the motto of the day “As Jameis goes……so go the Bucs! A T@T Stadium here we come! FIRE THE CANNONS!!

  31. rayjay1122 Says:


    First, we are both Bucs fans and this is a big day, so I am not trying to start anything negative with you but in my comments about Prescott, I did say In my opinion. If my opinion is not fact based then that is fine. It is still my opinion that he is overrated. I also did not say he played for Mississippi, I said he played in Mississippi and last I checked, Mississippi State is in fact in Mississippi. My overrated opinion is based on the NFL more than college stats or awards.

    Stats and awards are not what wins championships. I think the talent around him in Dallas has hidden the fact that he is a rookie and playing above his head. Put him on the Brown and nobody would be mentioning him. In fact, he would just be another failed Browns QB. IMO

  32. ATrain Says:


    OK I give you this tough game BUT:

    He is why the Bucs will win.

    Rookie QB will have problems with Rush
    CB will intercept 3 times today.

    Jamies loves important games

  33. rayjay1122 Says:

    Also Patrick, Prescott played for Mississippi State which is in Mississippi not Missiopi State which is not a state that I have heard of in the U.S. LOL…Just busting your balls. Hope you have a good day and I hope we all have a very happy night! Go Bucs!!

  34. tmaxcon Says:

    Let’s hope for a romo appearance. A rusty romo is good for two picks easy

  35. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Let’s also keep an eye on the rest of the NFL games that have an impact on the Bucs and the playoff race. We want Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Arizona, San Francisco, and Carolina to win. Do I have that right? The Detroit-NYG game is a tough one.

  36. Patrickbucs Says:


    That’s funny.. go Bucs!

  37. Artemis Rand Says:

    Ok, fellow Bucco’s who should we cheer for today ?

    I am unsure whether I should want the Lions or Giants to win. I figured one might cancel out the other.

    The (2) big teams I think we need to see lose are Washington and Atlanta. I don’t see Minnesota having the horses to keep up these last three weeks.

  38. Artemis Rand Says:

    BTW, the Browns just need to forfeit these last (3) games. They SERIOUSLY do not want to play today…

  39. unbelievable Says:

    Very concerned about our RT. If he can’t play much better than last week then it’s going to be incredibly tough for our offense to sustain anything.

    Btw did anyone just see that tyreek hill touchdown? That was a masters clinic in misdirection by the o-line and offense as a whole.

  40. unbelievable Says:

    Yes, we want the Lions to win today.

  41. DB55 Says:

    1. I wish Caleb knew the playbook, I’d rather him than Cher.

    2. Glad to see you finally coming around to see VH3 is explosive with the ball in his hands. Been calling for him to return punts since week 1. But what do I know?

    3. Stocker – that’s a joke right? Maybe he can give up another safety while “beastly blocking” if that means getting run over. He can’t catch either, he ain’t making no plays or doing him job. Let the young’N play. #AlexCross
    Plus Stocker ain’t making outstanding ST plays either. I’ll give you a few more months to catch up on Stocker.

    4. VH3 and LVD will make another game changing play today, if not two.

    5. Again, been saying Sims is our best slot receiver for 2 years now, glad you’re catching up.

    6. Let’s just hope the game doesn’t come down to a 53y FG by Aguayo. Am I right? Ijs.

  42. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Falcons score the highest points in the league. They are on a roll.

  43. Artemis Rand Says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if the sixty whiners beat Atlanta today ?

  44. unbelievable Says:

    It would. Julio Jones and Clayborn both are not playing, so anything is possible but highly unlikely.

  45. Artemis Rand Says:

    More than the Falcons losing is the Skins losing too. I think that they are the one team that could take the last WC spot over us due to that “half-loss” they have (aka the tie).

    We need the Panthers to get their head out of their backside and wake up (at least for one game) from their cat nap and beat them for us…

  46. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Winston needs to complete 70% of his passes 3 TD’S no into! Plus 2 rushing TD’S by #22 that’s how we win!

  47. OneBuc55 Says:

    Look for Brent Grimes to make a few big plays tonight…he’s a crafty vet who may be able to bait Dak into a few ill-advised throws…

  48. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I have seen no love for Javien Elliot on this website. JE will be matched up on the Cowboys leading receiver, Cole Beasely. This is an important matchup as Beasely is Prescott’s security blanket. That match up will be huge for our pass defense. Take away dak’s main receiver, and it will make him uncomfortable. Big match up for our undrafted rookie.

  49. R.O. Says:

    Who says Caleb doesn’t know the playbook? SMH!!!

  50. DB55 Says:

    I can only assume it’s the only reason he’s not in there. It wasn’t a diss.

  51. richbucsfan Says:

    As I read posts from several different boards, I hear passionate fans who have hyped the Bucs beyond their ability to deliver. Let’s be realistic. The Bucs are up and comers. They do not have the depth to beat the Cowboys. There are glaring weaknesses that will cost tonight’s game. It’s part of the process. Perhaps in a year or two they will have the missing pieces to compete in the playoffs. We’re all surprised at their winning streak. Some believe that this is proof they will win tonight and win the playoffs all the way to the Super Bowl. That is ridiculous, foolish, and worthy of the term, “kool aid”. Go Bucs. Do your best. Compete well.

  52. clint Says:

    Reason they won’t:

    Gosder “The Turnstile” Cherilus