Marching To Minus-30

October 29th, 2018


What a waste. What a colossal waste.

What a damned shame.

This Buc offense, crafted by Dirk Koetter and Todd Monken, is the best in franchise history … by a wide margin. But that’s not all.

At the current pace, the Bucs would threaten the all-time NFL record for total yards in a season, set by the 2013 Broncos. That was the year Peyton Manning threw 55 TD passes for the AFC champions.

The Bucs don’t have Peyton Manning.

Monken and Koetter deserve credit for orchestrating an attack that ranks No. 1 in total offense, No. 1 in first downs, No. 1 in passing yards, fourth in third-down percentage and seventh in scoring.

Explosive plays in the passing game are way up, with Tampa Bay tied with Green Bay for the league lead with 10 completions of 40 yards or more. That’s already as many 40-plus yard completions as in the past two seasons combined. Yet here the Bucs sit at 3-4 heading into Carolina, where Tampa Bay is listed as a 7-point underdog.

What a travesty.

The top 10 scoring teams in this league are a combined 50-23-1. Only two of those clubs are saddled with a losing record — Tampa Bay and Indianapolis.

News flash: the Bucs have far more talent than the Colts.

Despite all that success through the air, the combined passer rating for the Bucs is 96.7. That sounds like a big number, but in these wide-open times, that rating ranks 15th, lower than the Dolphins or Bears.


These Bucs can’t get out of their own way. They keep giving opponents extra possessions, like they were handing out Halloween candy.

Every year, Dirk Koetter stands at a podium and reminds anyone who will listen that turnovers tell the tale. This week, he should wear tape across his mouth and just point to a chart that shows the NFL’s worst 10 teams in terms of turnover ratio are a combined 24-52. And among the Bucs, 49ers, Jaguars, Raiders, Cardinals, Eagles, Ravens, Bills, Lions and Giants, not one boasts a winning record.

Not a single one.

Unless things change markedly in the next two months, the story of the 2018 Bucs will be written in blood, a tale of self-inflicted wounds. Too many giveaways, not enough takeaways.

This dazzling offense earns everything it gets. Where are the short fields, courtesy of an interception?

You’re kidding, right?

The franchise record for fewest picks in a season is 9. This club is on pace for 2. The franchise record for worst turnover differential in a season is minus-20.

This club is on pace for minus-30.

Give it up for this butter-fingered bunch. The 2018 Bucs are exciting to watch and beyond frustrating to stomach. NFL records are within their grasp should they learn to hold onto the football.

Huddle up, guys. 1-2-3, ball security.

Now in his 40th year covering the NFL, Ira Kaufman is the most revered sports personality and writer in the Tampa Bay area. He scored a full-time seat at world headquarters in July of 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also hear Ira on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio Wednesdays at 5 p.m. Also a TV star, Ira is part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday NFL show at 10:30 a.m. He’s also on BayNews 9 Mondays & Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. “The Sage” enjoys beet salads, Riesling, tennis, Bette Midler, Chiefs victories and needling Joe. …WATCH IRA AND DERRICK BROOKS on the new TAMPA TWO show from The Identity Tampa Bay and JoeBucsFan.

64 Responses to “Marching To Minus-30”

  1. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs are amassing a lot of yards
    Because they are mostly coming from behind

    Pittsburgh 24-7
    Chicago 38-3
    Atlanta 21-6
    Cincinnati 21-0
    And they turn the ball over a lot
    19 turnovers in 6 games

    This offense is erratic, unreliable, inconsistent

  2. J Says:


  3. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kluless Koetter did Kobe dirty…

    When he started calling plays when JW came back from suspension

    We will all see Fitz QB under Koetters playcalling starting this week vs carolina

    * Fitz threw everything outside away from possibility of interceptions…we will see the Fitstragic when he has to throw downfield vertical in the middle like Klueless pass routes

    JW will be starting in 2 weeks”

    Kobe Faker

  4. James Walker Says:

    I remember when a 95+ QBR was MVP numbers.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Put this in your pipe.

    3 of Jameis’ picks were in Cinn territory (one in the red zone)…..the 4th was a pick 6…….now that was a possible 28 point turn around……perhaps only 17…..but that’s a lot of points to give up.

    We have stormed back from early deficits in 3 of our 4 losses.

    Our offense is outstanding….notwithstanding.

  6. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Maybe jason gump drafts a derwin james or even craxier builds a defense that stops someone, there are 3 ppl on the defense that are worth keeping & let the rest walk: JPP, carlton davis & J evans the rest trade em cut em get some football players & a new gm

  7. Geno711 Says:

    Koetter and Monken playing calling this year has been outstanding and utilizing their strengths like never before.

    We all agree that Barber is nothing special and Jones just does not get it yet or never will.

    Hit up Koetter for not firing his friend but not for his offensive play calling this year.

  8. Geno711 Says:

    James Walker Says:

    October 29th, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I remember when a 95+ QBR was MVP numbers.

    Passer rating and QBR are two different measurements. QBR just came out with ESPN a few years ago (I think). But to your point – a passer rating of 95+ I think used to be MVP type numbers for quarterbacks.

    However, the defensive guys could hold you or knock you down … almost anything allowed before the ball was in the air.

  9. Not there yet Says:

    The only stat that matter 3-4 and that’s not Winston’s fault, he played 2 games and won 1. Talk about turnovers and plus minus blah blah 3-4 is what matters, he’s had plenty of time to get a veteran team to stop self inflicted wounds but it will do down as a hallmark of dorks tenture here. Once again time for a new voice and time to dump all these high priced veterans, they did Derrick Brooks dirty and he was a sure fire hall of gamer, don’t know why they are hanging on to all these losers who can’t see to get this team to the playoffs. Reset button, Fitz changes nothing because dirk is still head coach

  10. Joe Blahak Says:

    The problem with this team is a crappy “franchise” QB and leaky defense. Can’t blame Koetter and Licht for that. Hard to have a top defense with a multitude of injuries and 3 rookies in the secondary. The defense is looking better despite being depleted. So, new QB and a new D coordinator gives this team a chance to get better in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can save this team from a complete overhaul. Go Fitz!

  11. TampaTown Says:

    The reason Koetter will be fired is Mike Smith not Jameis Winston.

  12. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Offense is gonna be wasted as Dirk kept Smith after last year

    4 years later and still the d run game and kicker sucks!!! What has Licht fixed?

  13. View from 132 Says:

    Turnovers come in bunches… it is entirely possible that the team gets a few picks and fumble recoveries in a stretch of games, and looks unbeatable as a result. Even a below average season for turnovers from a few odd bounces or overthrown balls, if only occurring in a few games, would look like the D improved dramatically.

    Bold prediction: 5 game winning streak led by FitzMagic and the “improved” D… followed by disappointing collapse to miss the playoffs… ready in 3, 2, 1…

    This team is destined for 8-8, but at times entertaining. More than I can say for Gruden’s Gradkowski experiment or Mike Shula’s offense.

  14. SB Says:

    Jameis has 15 Turnovers in 13 quarters of play.
    Nuff Said.

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    SOB’S Ira (same ole Bucs) and you know it. Couse, you can’t say it. So phantoms like me will! And If anybody here thinks Carolina is gonna even halfway lay down……They are lickin their chops gettin ready for us. Will Fitzmagic save us? This is probably more exciting than talking about a winning season.

  16. Bobby M. Says:

    You cant win when your QB turns the ball over consistently every game?….I’ve been saying that since we drafted Winston. He’s not good enough….PERIOD. You cant fix accuracy at this stage….You cant fix his throwing motion….You cant break his bad habits of staring down receivers and holding the ball too long. I used to think you could craft an offense around him in some capacity but he requires too much help and has too many flaws to mask. On top of it all, in his mind he’s a superstar which is not going to fly in locker rooms. Nobody is buying what Winston is selling.

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Meh Kobe I duno how you spin this to playcalling. Dude was throwing dumb4ss picks in the red zone that completely cost us the game. Sometimes it just is that simple.

    I don’t mean this in defense of Koetter. I’m just the lowest I’ve ever been or felt about Winston right now. In the past he would correct and avoid a turnover after a really bad game or 2 multi turnover games. He wouldn’t implode and throw 4 interceptions coming off 2 turnover performances in a row. That was not normal in prior seasons and it’s a terrible sign in year 4.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And to think there are those who think Bajackian is at fault……I guess he simply can’t coach Jameis well enough… him and all of the sudden the interceptions stop.
    I really think both Bajackian and Koetter have done their best…..

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We have a solution at hand and he already lives here.

    We should not put the cart ahead of the horse and start talking about our next coach or GM. We can’t order up new owners so we’re stuck with the Glazers. Any hope if they select the coach and GM? Nah.

    Sooo we get the Glazers to rehire Tony Dungy…not as coach or GM but as President in charge of the entire football operation.

    It was Tony who won far more game as Buc’s coach than least a far better winning %…not to demean Chucky’s SB at all…just pointing out a fact…Tony Dungy more than any other individual turned this LOSING franchise into a winner.

    I never enjoyed TD as a coach even though I respected him. I missed the passion and anger on the sideline. He was just tooo calm for a VERY excitable Irishman like me.

    Now I’ve grown to have such admiration and even envy. He’s calm cool and collected!!! Sometimes that is far more effective than screaming and jumping up and down…alas my go to card. lol

    The fact that he turned this LOSER into a winner…won a SB with Indy and yes the fact that he is a totally calm and not impulsive guy is just what is needed for this chaotic franchise.

    Do it Brian and Joel…hire Tony and then do what Jeff Vinik did for Stevie Y and the Lightning…just get out of the way and let him run the show. Let Tony find a GM…he and the GM will find a coach…and the Glazers should just STFU and stay in the background and let FOOTBALL people run the show…not super talented investors. I know it’s THEIR team…but they have NO team without fans…it’s time to give something back to the fans!

  20. DB55 Says:

    Hey don’t look now but the Green Bay packers have 3 wins also.

    Can’t wait for next Monday morning, that should be fun.

    If Fitz throws 5 ints I’m really curious of what the reaction will be.

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    What has Licht fixed?

    How about the #1 offense in the league with all players that he brought in?
    That counts for nothing?

    The NFL has concocted a product designed to have most games become shootouts.
    If the organization would have had the balls to get behind Fitz at the beginning of the year and not worry about the fragile psyche of our supposed mental midget franchise QB, this team would likely be 5-2 right now and riding high.

  22. GhostofSchiano Says:

    IF (Big IF) Fitzy can take 3 out of 4 in November, we may have a chance. Slim chance but better than nothing.

    The wild cards will come out of the NFC South from what I am seeing.

    Keep hope alive.

  23. Iron Wombat Says:

    Defense gives up on average 40 points a game? You’re going to amass yards throwing the ball you have no choice.

  24. pelbuc Says:

    Mike Smith…one ring circus, Catanzaro…two ring circus.. JW Three ring circus. Please fire the traveling gypsies JW, Koetter, GMC, and Licht since the ringmasters (Glazers) still own the tent!

  25. Kobe Faker Says:


    Dont know why but JW is mentally broken

    You see the dudes eyeballs? He is timid, rigid, non reactinary and thinking too much

    He is scared to throw interceptions…

    So he is throwing it right to their chest…lol

    JW is not developing with Koetter. He needs another coach and city

    Time for a change

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Kobe call me crazy but Winston looks untrained.

    I’ve always had a problem with the way Dirk prepares his team and I got a problem with the way he prepares his QBs.

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    This #1 ranking of offense stink to high heaven too.

    They enter games limp as procedure. They can even get shut down for games at a time like vs Chicago. All in all this offense is more underwhelming then you gives give credit for.

  28. Ed Says:

    So disappointed that neither Freeman or Winston could ever shake the interception bug. One of the stats I’d like someone to come up with regarding quarterbacks is how fast the ball comes out because I’m always yelling at Winston on the TV, “get rid of it, get rid of it”. Am I the only person aware that he takes longer to go through progressions than most good qbs?

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    You can’t say in any loss we had this year that our offense couldn’t have played better.

    That means they could have played better in at least four our our games this year. 4 out of 7?? Excuse me for not getting giddy about this #1 rating.

    Trust me, we are at or below average in enough offensive categories to render your #1 proclamations useless.

  30. Schlomiebarmitzvahcircumscissorstein Says:

    It’s Schiano’s fault. Btw, the brown, secretion colored uniforms are putrid.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    Your right Ed…..Winston doesn’t know what to do when his reads aren’t there. Maybe he does not have the instics to ever understand this but I believe he could be trained better.

  32. LakeLand Says:

    I don’t understand these people
    They say Jameis Winston is a “bust”

    Then they call the “Idiot” that drafted him 1st overall a “Genius”

    I am confused

  33. LakeLand Says:

    How can you fall behind 2-3 scores with a “potent” offense?


  34. LakeLand Says:

    This offense is built to amass yards….not wins

    They don’t know how to win

  35. JimmyJack Says:

    Lakeland. We were down 3 TDs 45 minutes into a three hour game yesterday.

    I guess I’d be a jackass if I said that Cincy had a better offense then us though. We are #1 after all.

  36. orlbucfan Says:

    The fact is the offensive (pu) gameplan in the first half killed our team. There was no imagination nor creativity with the talented offensive players we have now. That includes the QB. Winston threw 4 picks. It was very obvious on replay. I listen to the radio and only follow TV to see replays. I don’t know the college football scene so avoid the draft. Had really no opinion on Winston ‘cept I don’t like the off field. crap. DK isn’t cutting it as a HC. He is a brilliant OC, better than ahole CGruden, but the HC pressures are getting to him. It is a shame cos even with ME13 hurt and the QB bit, the offense needs to jell. Hoping it will happen this weekend in Carolina!! Give Ryan Griffin a look. Why not?

  37. orlbucfan Says:

    This very talented offense deserves that chance. Go Bucs!! Still 9 games left.

  38. LakeLand Says:


    I can see it happen once every now and then
    I can see it happen because of the QB

    But the Bucs has been behind 2-3 scores in 4 of their last 5 games
    And Cleveland outscored them 21-7 in the 2nd half of their only win in 5 games

    Fitz was the QB against Pittsburgh and Chicago
    Jameis the QB against Atlanta, Cleveland, Cincinnati


    All losses

    Even Cleveland outscored them 21-7 in the 2nd half

  39. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Mentally broken seems about right. He seemed mentally fine in preseason but f*ck man I duno. I’m just a sad Buc fan right now either way.

    First time I’ve legit just felt like his career might be completely f*cked. I’ve defended him and felt justified so – as a player – up till now – but I can’t defend the turnover machine he’s been so far – whoever’s fault that is.

  40. Bucsfan1988 Says:

    Lakeland, the Bucs DO have a potent offense AS LONG AS YOU DON’T TURN THE BALL OVER. That’s pretty simple.

    They move the ball at will. Weapons all over the field. Not a lot of teams are set with weapons like we are.

    But yeah, you’ll get blown out quickly with a barrage of turnovers and a defense that doesn’t stop anyone.

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Now you’re making me feel sorry for you.

    “Can’t wait for next Monday morning, that should be fun.

    If Fitz throws 5 ints I’m really curious of what the reaction will be.”

    You are a quintessential sore loser and cry baby. So your guy sucks and you want the other guy to suck because dudes here have pointed out the FACTS!!!!

    You can’t seem to accept reality. Fitz has completely outplayed JW this season…not saying Fitz is that great…Jameis has set the bar for QB play in Tampa really really low.

    I get that misery loves company but that’s just hating. I was all in with JW…until the brain dead Arizona adventure and the three day suspension. That made me ask questions for sure but I sucked it up and gave him ONE more chance.

    4…should have been SIX ints. It was the third game in his very shot career where he throws four ints!!!! He’s had three games with 3 ints and I’m not even gonna count his two int games.

    DB55 it’s not about Fitz anymore. This is JW’s mess…two ints per game this year unless he throws four…

    It doesn’t matter if Fitz sucks…except of course to you Jameis die hards who somehow mistakenly believe that if Fitz throws five int’s that will somehow vindicate your opinion or make four ints from Jameis less pathetic?

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    As much as I hate to say this, Fitz is going to save Koetter’s job. Jason Licht? I don’t think so. He’s gone.

  43. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Watch Belicheck snag Winston for a 2nd rd pick. We’ll find out tomorrow.

  44. Dom is gone.. Licht ? Dirk ? Says:

    Bad as I hate to say it I believe Licht is safe. That’s why no sense of urgency to upgrade DB and don’t tell me drafting a bunch of rookies was an upgrade. He had to know wins and losses were going to determine who got fired at the end of this season. He letter Dirk hang himself by allowing him to keep Smitty. Why else would he have not pulled the trigger himself. Also lack of movement at the trade deadline makes me feel he is safe or he would be doing Something to try and save his job.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    Koetter is stubborn and stupid. Doesn’t make a good NFL HC. Everyone except maybe Monk, Buck, and Duff will be gone after this year unless we at least win one playoff game.

    PLEEASE LEAVE THE BOOTH AND TURN US INTO A PLAYOFF TEAM IN 2019 COACH COWHER!!! We’ll get better jerseys for you and everything. What a win-win that would be.

  46. jjbucfan Says:

    Koetter isn’t taking us anywhere! So fire him tomorrow! Remember when we kept giving Smitty another week and another week. The cancer starts at the top- he has thrown multiple players under the bus in the last few years. HE is creating this toxic locker room. Trade DJax as well, he is poison. If he doesn’t get the ball. There was another bomb that he didn’t go after (he was clearly interfered with for like the fourth time this year) but he made no effort to sell it. Just no effort and for 11 mill, you should dive for ball once or twice. If we got rid of Keyshawn for the same selfish acts, be gone!! His people released that before the game because he knew it would mess with Jameis. Easy for everyone to say, oh he is a pro- he should be able to handle that which I heard from multiple radio guys today. Well not 2 hours before a game. That’s F’d up. BTW, I’m all for Fitz starting this game until we figure out WTF is going on in our locker room. How awesome would it be if we traded Fitz before Wednesday, you might as well fire Koetter. There was a report New England was very interested in Fitz apparently. Could be Fake News we will hear a lot of that this week.

  47. Dooshlarue Says:

    St. Pete

    I feel the same way as you do about Dungy when he was our coach, never thought about hiring him as the president of operations. That might actually be a great idea.
    Our team could definitely benefit from a steady and calm leader.
    I like Licht but I think he needs some help …. like a quality scouting department to help make better decisions on a consistent basis.

    You definitely have good insight for what this franchise needs.

  48. Season Is Over Says:

    Guess what, Sage. This website screamed each week for advancing Barber and to dump Martin. Well, you got it. Week 8 and this team is 29 out of 32 in rushing. At no point in the season have the Bucs establish any sort of running presence. You praised Licht and he chose the worst RB in the draft two years in a row. Are you going to call your own website out for this? Koetter and this running game failed Winston and this team. As much as we bash Winston he still had no defense and no running game. Why not bring this up?

  49. Dooshlarue Says:


    Congratulations on coming out of the closet.
    You must have finally needed food, water and sunlight…. possibly a hug?
    Your hero is done here.
    I know you’re waiting for Fitzmagic to eff up so you can start spewing your Winston love again, but he’s done here.
    You and others have been truly ridiculous in your support of the Soiled Messiah.
    He was given every opportunity to succeed and he didn’t.
    When Fitzmagic comes in yesterday and EVERYTHING is the same, he lights it up and almost wins.
    How can anyone still support Winston after that?

    It’s Jameis’s fault plain and simple.

    Face reality and admit you were wrong.

  50. HeavyE Says:

    Jameis,ask for a trade! You will be better off! Go to a real Team and Franchise !!!

  51. HeavyE Says:


  52. Jmarkbuc Says:


    If we get a 2 for JW, I’d call that a victory….

  53. LakeLand Says:

    Jason Licht is straight garbage

  54. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Jmark, even a 3rd. Jameis is a baseball pitcher that has no touch.

  55. FortMyersDave Says:

    Can we see stats of the Bucs offense by halves? In the 3 wins you will likely see darn good numbers from the offense BUT it also probably looked pretty pathetic in Chicago, in the ATl and Pittsburgh with Cincy being an outlier due to Winston and his d4ve killing first half picks…. So while the offense is good it also benefits from some padded stats gained vs defenses that went turtle/prevent.

  56. FortMyersDave Says:

    HeavyE 3-13 is impossible because that could bring a relevant draft pick in the top 5 next spring, with Licht and Koetter in must win mode that will not happen. The Bucs likely beat a few teams like the tanking Giants, tanking niners and finish vs an ATL team which will probably be in tank mode by then as well considering the ATL D is about as bad as Tampas. Koetter is trying to save his job so add up the games vs tankers and you get a 6-10 team probably picking right behind the Broncos and Colts again and likely getting boned again just like last year.

  57. Dom is gone.. Licht ? Dirk ? Says:

    3-13 only possible if the start Winston the rest of the year

  58. BigMacAttack Says:

    St. Pete BF, I love Coach Dungy but I don’t think you could pay him enough to take on this headache. He had a great career and I doubt he wants to work that hard. Doesn’t make sense but a better move than where we are now.

  59. cmurda Says:

    Yeah there’s not much uplifting stuff to write on the Bucs nowadays. I do take solace in not being a Bills fan though. That is easily the worst offense I have seen in 20 years. Derek Anderson is the QB. Need I say more? Affectionately known as Mr. Staredown because that’s what he does with his first read every time. As bad as our defense is, it could be worse. We could have Buffalo’s trainwreck of an offense.

  60. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Big Mac

    I agree with you and and other posters who might like the idea but believe we have no chance to lure Dungy back.

    I think there might be an outside chance. Tony is a class calm act and he and the Glazers seem to have buried the hatchet…if Tony ever had one…I don’t think his firing is the issue.

    But he does have a great gig right now…money…still in the game and no knot in the belly when his team plays poorly. That’s the challenge IMHO.



  61. jjbucfan Says:

    cmurda- we make Derek Anderson look like Montana- just saying’ LOL

  62. FortMyersDave Says:

    Dungy would demand total autonomy which could be a good thing as it gets the Glazers out of the equation but I can seemany poster here at JBF going ape if Dungy goes mega-Rooney rule on the front office and coaching hires or if he has his people pull draft prospects off the board due to character/off the field issues (eg Joe Mixon)….. But all things considered the Bucs are rock bottom, almost to the level of the Giants, Raiders, Browns, well what the heck, give TD or Cowher a blank check and start the rebuild……

  63. Owlykat Says:

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves talking about who should coach next year. Play Fix Majic and if he falters put in the third string QB and let Jameis rest and try to get is head straight and build up his confidence before he starts again. If we are offered a first round pick for Jameis, take it. We still have a shot at the playoffs. Fitz inspires both the Offense and Defense to play better. We could still get a run of wins.

  64. TOM Says:

    Please no Dungy. He is not the answer. No Cowher either. To old school. Follow Rams example & get a young stud of a head coach. This is the new NFL.