Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chargers

December 4th, 2016



Buc fans are living large after the most glorious fall Sunday since Jon Gruden stalked the sidelines, guiding the 2007 club to a division title.

A gutty win at San Diego, coupled with losses by the Falcons, Redskins, Giants and Eagles, leaves Tampa Bay in prime postseason position. And a special nod to America’s Team for knocking off the Vikings Thursday evening.

The Bucs now face New Orleans at home, seeking their first 5-game winning streak since a 2002 club that you might remember fondly. In this race to 10 that suddenly appears quite doable, here are 10 ornaments to hang:

* In a game crammed with big plays, let’s not forget an early sack by Gerald McCoy that switched momentum to Tampa Bay’s side. The Chargers were already ahead 7-0 when they intercepted Jameis Winston at midfield. With San Diego facing 3rd-and-5 at the Bucs 29, McCoy dropped Philip Rivers and a missed FG try gave the Bucs possession at their 44, setting up a touchdown drive.

* The Bucs had won only 11 games in the past decade once the calendar turned to December, a reflection of bad football and bad luck. Things seem to be turning on both counts. …Moments after Tampa Bay’s victory, former Buc safety D.J. Swearinger blitzed untouched off the right flank on two consecutive downs, forcing an incompletion and an interception by Kirk Cousins that sealed Washington’s setback in the Arizona desert.

* You can help a quarterback improve in many facets, but you can’t teach pocket presence — and Winston has it in abundance. Pass protection was spotty against the Chargers, but rookie Joey Bosa registered San Diego’s only sack. In the past three games, Winston has been dropped only twice in 75 pass attempts.

* The Bucs lost three offensive players to injury along the way, so somebody had to step up with the game on the line. Enter Cameron Brate, the badass of Cambridge who has emerged as one of the NFL’s most intriguing stories. While Chargers CB Casey Hayward did a good job shadowing Mike Evans, Brate grabbed six passes for 86 yards, including the game-winning TD catch.

* You didn’t really expect the Packers to lose at home to the Texans, did you? Don’t be greedy. The Bucs returned home tied for first place in the NFC South and ahead of the Redskins for the final NFC wild-card spot. All in all, a heck of a weekend.

* I’m not forgiving Roberto Aguayo for pushing a 31-yard FG attempt wide right, but it’s hard to quibble with Jason Licht’s 2016 draft resumé. Vernon Hargreaves played a key role in generating Lavonte David’s pick-6 and fellow rookie Noah Spence is becoming a major force off the edge.

* Don’t look now, but the Bucs have a chance to set a franchise record for most road wins in a season. Tampa Bay improved to 5-1 away from RayJay and the Bucs have never finished 7-1 on the road. With games at Dallas and New Orleans, it won’t be easy. Say it with me … difficult, but not impossible.

* Tampa Bay’s four-game winning streak is well deserved. The Bucs have taken 46 more snaps than their opponents in that span while boasting a plus-6 turnover margin. By the way, the Bucs are 10-1 under young Mr. Winston when winning the turnover battle.

* A young team is supposed to wilt in crunch time, not flourish. In the past four games, Tampa Bay owns a cumulative 25-7 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter. And by the way, until Sunday’s comeback, the Bucs had lost 40 of their previous 45 games when trailing after three quarters.

* In case you’re wondering, and you should be, the top tie-breakers between two teams battling for a division title are head-to-head, record within the division and common games. The Bucs split with Atlanta and the Falcons are 3-1 in the NFC South, compared to Tampa Bay’s 2-1 mark. Among common opponents, Atlanta is 6-4 while Tampa Bay is 6-5. And down the stretch they come.

10 Responses to “Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chargers”

  1. Brick Boss Says:

    JoeBucsFan is stepping up their game with Ira and the other podcasts, which also happens to get me through the week with Bucs information.

    Ira was a huge pick up fort hos site, thanks to the Multiple Joe guys.

    Kill Beers and Bodues, GO BUCS!

  2. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Haven’t been this stoked in awhile
    Cmon BUCS

  3. Warthog Says:

    Man. I am gonna get fired by Christmas cos I am USELESS at work on victory mondays! #sorryboss



  4. Dreambig Says:

    What the crap Ira! Do you live in Tampa and follow the Bucs? What a slap in the face to have one of our own local media calling the cowgirls “America’s Team”. What a load of crap. There are 31 other teams and fans all over this country who would beg to differ. -10 respect points for you!

  5. BucObrews Says:

    @dreambig….. The media uses that term just get over it. It won’t stop no matter where the person is from. Lets just focus on being Tampa’s team and……que the music…. Let it go.

    Go Bucs. Love both podcasts.

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    Nobody loves you when you’re down and out. Everybody loves a winner. Go Bucs!

  7. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Great it..thanks to Ira, Joe and Joe ( or the artist known as Steve?)..heck who knows..but thanks!!

  8. Buccnbeliever Says:

    I think Ira raised the bar for all the writers on this site. Or maybe Tampa winning a few made them try harder. Either way, nice work lately, Joes.

  9. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Bucs will punch “America’s Team” in front of all America on Sunday Night Football.

    I just have this feeling for the past few weeks. I was worried about the Chargers, I am worried about two games with the Saints, but I just feel like we will go out and play extremely physical smashmouth football in Dallas and will walk away the victor. 24-21. Go Bucs

  10. JDMiller Time Says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to beat Dallas? I can’t remember the last time. I really think we can do it. Defense wins Championships and the defense looked great down the stretch.