Chucky Chatter Won’t Die

November 13th, 2017

“Man, it is so cool to read so many people thinking I’m coming back next year to coach. Love this sh!t!”

It’s getting wilder and frankly, more uncomfortable.

Yes, Bucs fans, upset Tampa Bay hasn’t come close to living up to its preseason goals and expectations, are floating rumors that Chucky wants to come out of the broadcast booth, possessing little to no evidence that Chucky will outside of their own fascination, desire and hope.

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi has been oushing this Chucky-to-the-Bucs schtick for weeks. Initially, Joe thought what Lombardi was spouting was nothing more than a plant. However, the more Lombardi talks about Chucky returning to the Bucs, the more it feels like Lombardi is trafficking in wishful thinking because he’s looking for a job.

Lombardi worked with Chucky all four years Chucky was with the Raiders.

Now, heavy metal headbanging Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has picked up the baton from Lombardi, in a manner of speaking, and he has regurgitated what Lombardi was selling about Dirk Koetter, “sources said [he] is almost certain to be let go at season’s end with the team spiraling in terms of results and discipline.”

The issue with Chucky being a Bucs coach is a bit dicey. You see, Dirk Koetter is the head coach. And anyone see an out-of-control team yesterday? Shoot, even Charles Sims got with the program.

Was someone else calling the shots yesterday or were Joe’s eyes not that bad and it really was Koetter on the sidelines?

As Joe wrote Saturday, Joe is far from ready to start shoveling dirt in Koetter’s face. As most are wont to do, they see recent history of Team Glazer running coaches after two seasons (Raheem Morris got three) and try to make a direct connection to Koetter being on thin ice in his second season.

However, comparing Koetter to Morris and/or to Greg Schiano and/or to Lovie Smith is not comparing apples and oranges but comparing apples, oranges, peaches and cherries. All three of Koetter’s immediate predecessors were canned for a variety or reasons, none of which have a connection to Koetter.

Oh, and how many coaches would struggle to win games when their franchise quarterback was hurt and lost for the foreseeable future? Did Mike McCarthy all of a sudden become dumb now that Aaron Rodgers is hurt? Is Bill O’Brien now a fool because Deshaun Watson is hurt?

Joe does not believe Koetter is a dead-man walking. Thus, it will be hard for Chucky to become the Bucs next coach if Team Glazer decides to keep Koetter in place.

Granted, the next seven games will be important.

60 Responses to “Chucky Chatter Won’t Die”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Next year is year 4 for Jameis, we have to decide to pick up year 5. Give Dirk another year. Then decide if you want to blow the whole thing up and A) hire a new GM, Coach, and draft a QB. Or B) hire a new GM, Coach and resign Jameis and see how he preforms under new coaching. I prefer keeping Jameis, Dirk is the only play caller Jameis has ever had. maybe new coaching is what he needs.

  2. theodore Says:

    Dirk needs to get a quality win. Jets, Bears and Giants aren’t going to cut it.

  3. FR Says:

    Sorry Joe but that game was hard to watch for both teams as much as I love the Bucs if the Jets had a better QB we lose that game, even the commentators said it was a hard game to watch because it was so boring.

  4. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    Great win but you don’t want this team. I’m sorry. It’s the crappy girlfriend that borrows rent money from her ex and puts out when you try to break up with her. Really happy they go a win at home for the fans but overall, a team like this is a losing team forever.

  5. Bayers Says:

    YES YES indeed. However on a dream scenario note. Chucky can become head coach and koetter can be offensive coach.

  6. Not there yet Says:

    Dirk had a quality win last year against Kansas City and now the team is wetting the bed every week. Is that all fans around here want, a quality win here and there every year but no real expectations being that. I’m tired talking about whether a coach is worthy of keeping his job. I am ok with the talk because two coaches were the only ones to avoid this kind of chatter….. Chucky and Dungy

  7. Tom Edrington Says:

    And Chucky’s GM would be….???? Check the draft under Gruden-Allen and it ain’t so hot……

  8. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Yesterday was one of the worst/ most comical games I’ve ever seen.

    The back to back picks from the Clown and Fitz was one of the funniest moments I can remember from an NFL football game.

    Almost as funny as this Gem.

    I really don’t think that Koetters offensive play-calling, and over-all level of predictability/ non-production, did anything to save his job after 5 straight weeks of embarrassment.

  9. AlteredEgo Says:

    Tom…the GruAllen cupboard was bare of high round draft picks…

  10. Supersam Says:

    Joe is also the one that said there’s “no way they fire Lovie smith” well….

  11. Supersam Says:

    Let’s be real here we beat a pathetic jets team yesterday. Barely. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here people.

  12. DBS Says:

    If you think it will be Back to The Future then keep on dreaming. Not happening.

  13. Nick Says:

    what is with people saying we have to decide on wether to keep Jameis Winston or not. Are you kidding me? Just look at the SHEER FACTS:

    1st QB in NFL history to have back to back 4k seasons 1st 2 years.
    In doing so, Winston broke the NFL record for most yards in the NFL in his 2nd year, 8197 yards!
    Jameis Winston had the MOST PASSING YARDS of ANY NFL QUARTERBACK before his 23rd Birthday, and has the 2nd most passing yards before his 24th Birthday, 2nd only to Mathew Stafford.
    We know QBs improve over time, so Winson appears to be on the way to a record breaking NFL career. ….. and your not sure if you want to keep him or not? Im not sure you know anything about football if you feel that way.

  14. D-Rome Says:

    Dirk needs to get a quality win. Jets, Bears and Giants aren’t going to cut it.

    I agree. Bucs need a road win too.

    All that being said it would be a disaster if the Bucs hired Gruden. It would be the “Bucs thing to do” and you all know what that means. Besides, just about every head coach in the NFL gets fired. How bad would it look when (not if) the organization fires a coach they have in the Ring of Honor.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:

    Look what dallas’s offense looked like with no running game and a struggling left tackle!!!!! That is the same issues the Buc’s offense is having!!!!!!!

    Look, trying to bring back a coach that has been out of the league for about a decade is a bad plan!!!!!!!! And I was one of the few Gruden supports when the same fans were screaming about “we are about championships” and that making the playoffs every other year was not good enough!!!!!!!!!

    The Sheep are just mad that they over estimated the talent on the roster and now want changes for Names that have name recognition!!!!!

    For once, lets try to build this team into the winner we want it to be!!!!!!!! It is close, it just needs a couple of roster upgrades and this team will be in good shape!!!!!!!!!!

  16. denjoe Says:

    The Spin Doctors are out! I guess brent grimes not playing in a couple games should excuse Mike Smith,for the blow outs.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Agree completely with DRome and Realist!!!

    And BTW folks can’t have it both ways. The ONLY thing that might attract Gruden out of retirement would be the chance to work with a franchise QB and win championships.

    If some of our fans….those calling for Chucky…see such a horrible team and bad QB…who now officially has arm problems…what do they think Chucky sees? He’s not coming back to ANY team that’s not ready to win NOW. He’s not getting any younger and if he comes back it will be his last hurrah. A chance to add to his SB legend or finish destroying it.

    Seriously why would Chucky take a chance on THIS team? UNLESS…we’re not as far away as most believe. I’m one of the blog optimists and I do not believe we’re that far off however….#3’s arm has me very concerned…that’s the one injury that could set us back a few years.

  18. Joeypoppems Says:


    I kind of agree with you Realist. The only thing we slightly disagree on is the coaches. I think Koetter is not the right guy but, I also think Gruden is not the right guy. The only reason fans chant his name is because of the success he had over a decade ago.

    And yes, LT and RB are 2 of our 3 biggest problems right now. This 1st round pick, whether it is Top 5 or Top 15 has to be used in the trenches. OL or DL doesnt matter because we need both.

    Saquon Barkley is a luxury pick. As we learned from this years draft, we arent ready for luxury picks.

  19. doolnutts Says:

    Joeypoppems: I agree with you on our draft’s the last few years. All flash/luxury players and nothing with DL and OL… The OL are “fine” but why not make it a strength like the Cowboys etc. I still remember when the Cowboys DL last season took our OL to the woodshed last year when we needed a win most.

    As for Koetter, I still like the guy. Honestly we can’t keep switching coaches every two years. You really need to let him keep developing his squad. If you cut him now we’ll have to do a total reboot which would drive me crazy. I know everyone wants some kind of quick fix but it is more likely that if we cut Koetter the reboot wont be quick.

  20. Nick2 Says:

    Koetter was kept to keep offensive continuity which we have none of. This offense is well offensive. I am sure he is embarrased how bad the offense is regardless of who is running it at QB and all Buc fans are as well.. The telltale signs of a bad offseason was Jameis repeatedly overthrowing DJax on wide open deep routes. This occurred before his injury and why didnt Koetter get someone to check his mechanics or bring in someone to help him work on his deep throws. Its just been a train wreck and for me the Saints game was his undoing. To see your players going berzerk with no control and instead of chewing someone out he just looked on like he wasnt the guy in charge? I guarantee you Jon Gruden would have been livid.

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Bucs gave up 2002 1st rd and 2nd rd pick…2003 1st rd pick….2004 2nd rd pick.

    Gruden/Allen built the Raiders into the #1 offense in the league….Everyone that say that Gruden won with Dungys team always seems to forget that Gruden’s ex team was who we played….Bill Callahan didn’t build that. Gruden actually had two of “his” teams make it in one year to the Super Bowl.

    Baring injuries to his starting QBs….his teams compete for playoff spots. Those saying he couldn’t get find talent in the draft….go back and look at the drafts while McCay worked with Gruden vs when Allen did…..They are night and day. McCays picks were terrible….

  22. Nick2 Says:

    One thing I will say is Licht is looking pretty bad now. Calais Campbell is tearing it up for the Jags and was someone he had intimate knowledge of being part of the Cardinal organization. Instead he got swaggy Baker in here a complete waste. Then we can look at letting go of Clayborne who gets almost as many sacks as we have had all year yesterday. Is Licht asleep at the wheel when it comes to defensive talent?

  23. DB55 Says:

    theodore Says:
    November 13th, 2017 at 9:13 am
    Dirk needs to get a quality win. Jets, Bears and Giants aren’t going to cut it

  24. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Sorry, This was this link that I meant to post with that last comment.

  25. JonBuc Says:

    Gruden must be absolutely loving this…whether he takes the gig or not. At least it would be an interesting offseason and exciting to see if he can still get it done as a coach. Another year of Koetter & Licht’s Out would be about as compelling as a preseason game.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Granted, the next seven games will be important.” That really is the BOTTOM LINE Joe as to whether or not Dirk Koetter gets another year. Upcoming schedule’s a bear: Miami, Falcons (twice), Saints, Panthers, Lions & Packers … and 4 of those are AWAY (oh oh). And of the 3 we play here, 2 of them have winning records (and Miami’s 4-4 until tonight). Dirk has his work cut out for him, and if this offense doesn’t start producing, he won’t be here next year IMO. And if he’s gonna stay as HC, then Bucs need to turn the OC job over to someone else.

    But Gruden’s not the right one to replace him IF he goes. Chucky was never the offensive genius that the media especially have made him out to be. Quite the contrary. His offenses ranked from #18 to #31 (average ranking #21). Meanwhile, his defenses (ya right … Monte Kiffin’s defenses) … ranked #1 in our 2002 SuperBowl year … averaged a #8 ranking while Gruden was here. Gruden’s offenses averaged putting up 5,020 yds/season … Bucs put up 6,014 yds in 2015 and 5542 yds in 2016 under Koetter (quite a bit better). Chucky’s overall record with the Bucs: 57-55 but his teams only made the playoff twice after our SB year … both as Wildcards. And yes, we lost both games. So please, stop pining for mediocrity. Gruden wasn’t all THAT good 15 years ago. Imagine how he’d do now with a 10 year layoff & defenses infinitely more sophisticated.

  27. DBS Says:

    Slowborne was doing nothing here after his injury. Only his first year did he show anything. This has been a constant replace an injured DE and try to replace them with one that can get to the QB now. So far it has not worked. Just bad decision or bad guess work. Call it what you will. Hind sight is 20/20

  28. Steven007 Says:

    Bobby M, this is the same point I’ve been making to friends. That situation will likely never happen again, where one coach is largely responsible for both teams in the SuperBowl. I thought Dungy was a good, not great coach; he brought a level headed steadiness and professionalism to the team that was much needed at the team. But he was not a dynamic coach. I never bought the narrative of Gruden winning with “Dungy’s team” (which, by the way, half the stars were drafted and coached up initially by Sam Wyche – Lynch, Sapp, Brooks, etc). Gruden turned over most of the offensive roster and wasn’t stupid enough to mess with the defense. Obviously the draft picks given up for Gruden put a stranglehold on building through the draft for a few years. They still hit on a few decent players. Joseph was a good G and obviously Talib is still in the league playing well. The book is not written on this season yet. I think the final 7 games will decide whether or not Koetter (as well as others) stay. If not, given the current climate I think Gruden would be as good a choice as anyone as long as he was coupled with a strong GM (perhaps Licht who I’m not ready to bury yet) and some stewardship from above in the form of a VP of Football Operations/President type of role.

    @Defense – I hear you and agree with you for the most part. But I think Gruden would be a better coach now. Since he’s still so close to the game I think his time away has been a good, not bad thing. He obviously would need a strong defense coordinator. Are you on board with keeping Koetter if we win, say, a few more games and end up 7-9? 8-8? And if not, who? Obviously there will be the usual coaching carousel, but we both know that unless you’re hiring a huge name, say an Andy Reid, that it’s a complete crapshoot. For every Doug Pederson there are a dozen Mike Pettine’s…

  29. LongSeason Says:

    I don’t know. You say you can’t go home again. The reason is home is never the same. Things change. What worked then may not work now. I just know we can do better than Dirk the Jerk. My dead grandmother could coach better than Dirk. Jets suck worse than we do so we get a win. Dolphins are slightly better so if our team plays well we should win. Not holding my breath.

  30. martinii Says:

    Agree with everyone who agree’s that Koetter should get at least another year. Gruden is not the Same Coach as when he was here. The game has changed and even Gruden admits he’s glad he not coaching, every time he see’s a pass interference call or a QB roughing penalty. When he was with Buc’s he had a Defense that in todays game would be on perpetual suspension. I wish Dirk would not call plays, but other than that he is doing a good job. I will admit I was wrong about Doug Martin. We definitely need a running back. Also could use several upgrades on both sides of the line. IMO

  31. Tom Edrington Says:


    What about that second round wide receiver who HATED contact and was a total bust in the Aguayo mold?

  32. Buc'n Since I Was 10 Says:

    We should get Chucky in a position like Jags got Coughlin

  33. '79Defense Says:

    Interesting that a successful team like the Steelers is on their 3rd head coach since 1969, while the Bucs are on their 4th this decade. You just can’t keep throwing darts.

  34. Joe Says:

    Interesting that a successful team like the Steelers is on their 3rd head coach since 1969

    So you are suggesting the Bucs should have kept Lovie… or that the Rams should have kept Jeff Fisher?

    Maybe, just maybe, the Steelers front office is the reason why every coach is successful? Year after year that team is stocked with talent.

  35. Joe Says:

    We should get Chucky in a position like Jags got Coughlin

    Now THAT would be a disaster. If anything, if Chucky every coaches again, he needs a strong GM and a strong owner to stand up to him. Thing is, Chucky likely wouldn’t accept such a position.

  36. Hodad Says:

    So you say look how bad Dallas looked without a running game, and left tackle. We have the same problem, who’s fault would that be? Jason Licht still thinks D.Smith will become one of the best L.T.’s in the game, anyone else believe that? Might as well draft another Q.B. because Smith will get Jameis killed. With the aging D. Martin suspended for the first 3 games, and a draft class loaded with talented R.B.’s what does Licht do? Nothing! I think Kareem Hunt get’s more then 49 yards on 50 carries even behind our line. This whole circus from Licht to the coaches needs to hit the road.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Somebody here already said it..Dirk needs to keep winning. Moreover he needs some quality wins..A quality win..period. Winning solves everything. And its the only thing that matters. As for Gruden, time will tell. Koetter just needs to win to save his job. And I’m startin to really like FitZ. He is steady and does not get down. He realizes its a 4 qtr game. Smart guy.

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Joe- Agreed about the front office. The Steelers KNOW football.
    I think that I’d be more open to keeping Koetter if his offense was progressing. It’s not, it’s downright awful. There’s no flow to the play-calling and the plays are way too predictable. If I can predict the play, surely the opposition can.
    Our offensive line cannot block. Get a real-deal fullback in there to help open up the running game. How about some creativity?! Flea-flicker? Reverses? HB pass? WR pass off of his favorite bubble-screen? Geez!

  39. Phil Says:

    No playoffs = no Koetter.

  40. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I think the most intriguing hire the G’s could make at Head Coach would be backing up the money truck to Jim Harbough.

    Not only because he is on record saying he likes Jameis & has a good track record for getting the most out of QB’s. Heck he got to 3 NFC championships, 1 with Alex Smith, and 2 with Kaeperstink plus a Super Bowl appearance that he came close to winning. And Keaperstink never looked like a good QB after the guy left.

    But on top of all of that, the guy would also be a direct link to Nick Fangio, one of the better Defensive Coordinators in the league who is in a contract year and will be available to sign. And I am positive that he is more than capable of getting the most out of our young linebacker corps, and whatever Dline talent we bring in to replace the old Guard.

    Hire Dave Gettleman to replace Jason Licht, Harbough for Head Coach, and Nick Fangio to replace Smith. Bring in an entire staff of proven winners and change this culture for good. Before it’s too late.

  41. gambelero Says:

    Through week nine, our defense was 29th in yards per meaningful drive, 31st in points pmd, 27th in drive success rate, last in sacks by a huge margin. McCown and the jets made some of this less embarrassing, but if the Glazers keep Koetter, they have to think seriously about firing BOTH coordinators.

  42. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    D.R. as always makes some great points about how Chucky got us to the SB and it wasn’t offense…it was one of the greatest defenses of all time!!!

    And if I promise to never say Gruden got to the SB with Dungy’s players could we stop saying either Gruden or Dungy did anything spectacular defensively except they had Sam Wyche’s players!!!

    The core of the D was picked by Wyche not Dungy…the only reason we were able to get DB and Sapp was Sapp’s weed story before the combine. Anybody really believe choirboy Dungy takes a chance on Sapp in that draft…and John Lynch was actually Wyche pick as well…in fact Dungy benched Lynch in one of his first moves to replace him with a KC guy who luckily got hurt early and Lynch got back into the lineup and the rest is history.

    The top three players on that standout defense..two HOFers…one maybe…were Wyche players…not Gruden…not Dungy. Does anybody believe we would have won that SB without Sapp…Brooks and Lynch?

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Steven007, yes I am onboard with keeping Koetter IF he goes say 6-10 … anything less than that means to me that this team either quit on him or hasn’t been well-prepared. But one more caveat: He can’t be both HC & OC. That’s flat out not working. As OC under Lovie in 2015, Koetter’s offense put up OVER 6,000 yds. And that was with Jameis as a rookie QB, yet we still finished 6-10 (Lovie got fired for it as we know). So here we are in 2017 with Koetter as OC AND HC, and this team has regressed offensively. Yet Jameis has 2 more yrs of experience & a LOT more weapons. Same OC all 3 yrs. Something’s wrong in Bucsville, and I’m convinced it’s Dirk Koetter trying to simultaneously wear 2 hats. He needs to choose, or the Glazers will choose for him.

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, glad someone recognizes Sam Wyche’s contributions to Bucs history (Culverhouse screwed him by not supporting him like he should have). But we’ll still never know how well Lynch & Sapp & Brooks would’ve done if Sam Wyche had stayed on as HC. Tony Dungy & Monte Kiffin (and the incredible coaching staff that they built) brought a whole new defensive philosophy to the Bucs. Lynch & Sapp & Brooks perfected it no doubt, along with quite a few other outstanding players (Hardy Nickerson’s still one of my favorites). They had unquestioned talent across the board, but the key factor that made it work in those years was accountability … to each other and to the coaches. And oh ya, they had the leadership to make that work.

  45. DB55 Says:

    Why not offer chucky the OC job? Is he too good to be an OC? We need an OC desperately and some real nfl q.b, wr and oline coaches. For real!!!!!

  46. Smokey Says:

    One game doesn’t not make a season. They beat a sorry a$$ jet team yday. Got exposed and embarrassed the previous 5 weeks. So yeah I can clearly see a very out of control team.

  47. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- Now THAT is an idea! Clearly Koetter can’t call plays.

  48. ndog Says:

    AlteredEgo wrong again, passing the likes of Aaron Rodgers and AP was the downfall of Gruden and Allen. At first they lacked picks but from the middle on it was just horrible drafting sir.

  49. ndog Says:

    Does anyone realize that maybe we just are not that good. I mean we lost to NE (1st place), NO (1st place), Car (pretty decent and beat NE in NE), Minn, (1st place) Buffalo (before yesterday undefeated at home), Arz (before Palmer got hurt but still not a great team).

    We beat NYG (bad team), Chis (bad team), NYJ (bad team). So we beat bad teams and lose to good teams, seems like we were all (me included) just wrong about our talent level. Apparently we need a lot more talent especially along both lines cause not matter what Joe says this o-line is not very good at all.

  50. chargedcbh Says:

    THe Bucs fired Lovie and one of the reasons was b/c they didn’t want to lose Dirk. The same applies regarding Gruden, he is on everybody’s wish list. So the Glazers could fire Dirt a year early and hire Gruden, why? B/c they didn’t want to lose out on the Gruden sweepstakes.

  51. NFLNut Says:

    DB55 … short answer is YES, Gruden is “too good” to be a mere OC … he’s not leaving a 6.5mil per year analyst gig to come be a lower paid OC for the Bucs …

  52. Joeypoppems Says:

    I doubt Gruden would leave ESPN to be an OC lol. Plus there are rumors out there that 6 power 5 schools have reached out to him about head coaching as well. He has better options than being an OC

  53. D-Rome Says:

    So you are suggesting the Bucs should have kept Lovie…

    I think the Bucs should have kept Lovie. Sure, the Bucs lost their last 4 games that season but how did Dirk’s offense do during those four games?

    We all know it stalled and was terrible. Lovie Smith made mistakes in 2015 but Dirk has made more bad calls in 2016 and 2017. It’s nice to see the Bucs win yesterday but that doesn’t change the fact I have little confidence in a head coach that can’t maximize the talents on the offense or the GM that put the team together. Chicken or the egg situation at One Buc.

  54. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Hate to tell you all Winston sucked before he was hypothetically hurt

  55. Buc1987 Says:

    Sam Wyche for GM!

  56. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    In all honesty I haven’t been keeping track of NFL coaches on the hotseat…I guess the Cleveland job could come open again….but I simply do not know why Chucky would want to take on a bottom feeder. He’s made his bones…why make life difficult.

    Now somebody here last night said WBIR..a connected Knoxville station was reporting Gruden would take the Tennessee gig. Well they just fired Butch Jones!
    Gruden has Tennessee connections and it would be a lot easier to turn around the Vols than the Bucs or Browns. Plus Chucky would get to influence the talent bigtime. He’s the consummate sales person…can you imagine the talent he could talk into coming to Knoxville. Florida’s program is in disarray…I think Chucky could use UT’s massive facilities and rabid fan base! If Phil Fulmer could win a title there I believe Chucky could as well….and imagine if he won a National Championship to go with his Super Bowl.

  57. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Yeah Buccanneer Scotty that’s why he’s the ONLY NFL QB to have two four thousand seasons his first two years. It’s why so many NFL experts believe he’s the real deal. Yeah it’s all smoke and mirrors.

  58. mark2001 Says:

    DB55…yes…Gruden is too good to be an OC.

    And he would never go back to coach college football. Sorry for you college football lovers…my family bleeds Wisconsin Red…. but we don’t even have a real playoff system that gives every team a chance to win. And that would be maddening to Chucky. It is the best of four teams winning a beauty contest.

  59. kennys Says:

    gruden next bucs coach if dirk and the bucs don’t go 8-8 or better

  60. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I am pro-Koetter….my one large concern with Koetter is the play call tendencies. The Buccs led the league in 1st and 2nd down runs last year, and in the NFL you MUST stay ahead of the sticks by keeping your opponent off balance and attacking their weaknesses ala the Patriots. The year isn’t over by any means and crazier things have happened (IE the Dolphins starting 8-0 one year and NOT making the post season), Definitely tough, but not impossible for this team to make a run. They are just going to have to treat each game as a playoff game, stay healthy, stay disciplined, and just get nasty and fight and claw their way out. They can hang their heads high if they do so when all is said and done.