Can Koetter’s Prayer Be Answered?

November 16th, 2018

Must navigate minefield.

Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking, Ozark-watching coach Dirk Koetter has shoved all his chips into the middle of the table.

He has fired his defensive coordinator. Benched the franchise quarterback. Resumed (for now) play-calling duties. Cynics would say all-in an effort to save his job.

Koetter will tell you the Bucs are not out of the playoffs and everything he has done is an attempt to damn the future try and get them there.

Mathematically yes, the Bucs are alive. It seems to be far-fetched, at best. In fact, history is working against Koetter.

Per Jenna Laine of ESPN, only once this century and only five times in the Super Bowl era have teams started 3-6 and made the playoffs. The last team to do so was the 2012 Washington Redskins.

Additionally, it is not a stretch to believe for Koetter’s dream to come true that he and the Bucs must beat the Saints, who come to the Den of Depression on Dec. 9. Only twice since the Bucs joined the NFC South have the Bucs swept the Saints. The Bucs, of course, beat the Saints to open the season and to close last season.

Laine lists all the scenarios Koetter and the Bucs must dodge in order to become a Wild Card. And Laine points out the following obstacle as well.

And in the NFC South, the Bucs have the hardest remaining schedule according to FPI (eighth).

A loss to the Giants Sunday, and Joe really cannot see so any stars aligning properly to save both Koetter and the Bucs. They really would need a miracle worker by that time.

37 Responses to “Can Koetter’s Prayer Be Answered?”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Mathematically, we’re not out of the hunt, sure. Does anyone see this team rattling off 6 wins?
    Lets beat the Giants 1st and take it from there.

  2. Darin Says:

    No way. Lets lose them all. Fire Koetter after this weeks loss. All about next year. Draft picks baby.

  3. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:

    PLAYOFFS?!!! – Jim Mora voice

  4. FortMyersDave Says:

    Que Jim Mora: “Playoffs??????”

  5. Bobby M. Says:

    This issue with this team is the talent doesn’t match the expectations…..Even in our wins, our defense was terrible….our special teams has been terrible….These are themes that have existed the entire time Licht has guided this ship. Leslie Frasier couldn’t fix the defense…Lovie couldn’t fix the defense…Smith couldn’t fix the defense and now Duffner….Koetter has nothing to do with the defense. So maybe the defense is exactly what its been….terrible and overmatched. Special teams as well….Koetter keeps rolling out the kickers Licht brings in….and they keep missing. What exactly is Koetter supposed to do. He’s got talent on offense and they are ripping off yards but unfortunately both his QBs currently sit with a total of 21 turnovers between just them….through 9 games. Nobody can win with that formula….nobody. Licht put all his eggs in the Winston basket and has whiffed miserably. He should have been stacking the defense with layers and layers of talent while Winston went through his growing pains….I’d much rather have $18 million invested in Leveon Bell paired up with Winston then Cameron Brate and D-Jax. Koetter will get canned but he’ll find work. Licht is awful and will be in a booth similar to Dominick.

  6. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Why have we not signed CJ Anderson with our stable of horrible backs?

  7. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^^ Peyton Barber is most definitely not a “horrible back”. He runs with heart, passion & purpose (more than we could say for a lot of other Bucs right now, sadly), and he is getting better & better. He just needs some more OL help and a commitment from coaching to run the ball.

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Barber has never has a run of 25 yards or more. he is slow to get to second level speed. He looks good because the other RB’s are trash.

  9. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    This board keeps pumping Barber like a bad stock. He’s done nothing – nothing – to inspire confidence that he should be our starting back except look better than the other horrible backs we have.

  10. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Barber has had a run of 25 yards, Belay my last.

  11. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I am not saying he is a speed merchant by any means. (he did have a 44 yard run though, which is not bad). —

    I do truly believe though that he is good enough to be a 1100 to 1200 yard back, with 4.3 per carry, with just a little more help from his OL and commitment to the run.

  12. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    TBD, I hear your points, but look at it this way – an amazing group of receivers and a record setting offense surrounds him yet he can’t find holes against defenses guarding against the pass; 1000 yards is 63 yards a game and a back with this talent surrounding him could get that falling down 15 times a game. He might have heart and desire but he doesn’t have NFL #1 RB talent. We are trying to make him that because our other options are even worse.

  13. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Let’s win some games dirk, Fitz does give us best chance to win

  14. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Very fair points, SC Bucs Fan, and definitely hear ya on those.

  15. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    It’s job saving time boys! Let’s win one against the Giants and see if we can get a nice little roll going! This is the last chance before the Clorox comes out at One Buc, so let’s see if our Bucs have any fight in them.

  16. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    TBD a civilized response to a disagreement – how different for this board. I appreciate that – you are a scholar and a gentleman. Have a great weekend. I hope Barber runs for 150 this weekend and proves me wrong.

  17. Sydney Says:

    Jenna Laine needs to list all the scenarios under which the Bucs will win another game this season.

  18. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Haha, right back atcha SC! — I know we would both definitely be happy to see it! Have a great weekend!

  19. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    Koetter’s prayer to be mercifully fired and back home in Idaho for the holidays?
    If losing to the Giants won’t do it…nothing will. Don’t be a Grinch, Team Glazer…give rational fans an early present of hope and possibilities.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Remember the days when teams with losing records got the benefit of easier schedules the following year. Happened to other teams all the time.

    I’ve only seen it happen once to the Bucs.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dewey Selmon Says
    “Barber has never has a run of 25 yards or more. he is slow to get to second level speed.”

    Contrary to popular fan theories, reaching a second ‘speed’ means less than they believe. Mike Alstott did not have a second speed, and yet he set scoring records.

    Fans have wanted a speedy RB for years, including Joe I think, but we’ve seen them come and go and they never produce. There are rare exceptions, but they always end up on other teams.

    Give me a hard hitting, 6 yard run on most running plays and I’ll be happy. Get us in second and short, or get TDs and first downs.

    I could really care less about some RB occasionally breaking for a thirty yard gain if it doesn’t end in points. Who scored more points? Mike Alstott or Warrick Dunn? Mike Alstott or Michael Pitman? Mike Alstott or whoever else the Bucs had at RB?

    A year ago, I wanted Barber cut in TC. This year, he’s shown effort and dedication. Is he a superstar? No. But those are hard to acquire. Harder than the fans seem to understand.

    Just like an elite QB is hard to get.

    I can see it now…if the Bucs cut Winston, fans will start back with the ‘we don’t need an elite QB to win’ junk.

  22. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Barber has been playing on one ankle for weeks…that’s why he manages to make it through the first half but can’t go in the second…

    If you have an above average Oline, any back can be made to be serviceable…think Broncos, when they plugged anybody in and they got 1000yds.

    Let me know when we get an elite QB, so we can test that theory…

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Newsflash: Evan Smith has been sent to Injured Reserve. That means our backup centers are now Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    That’s a good point about the Broncos. I remember their RBs doing well, then going elsewhere and bombing for the most part.

    A good OL is paramount.

    In our case, Jason Licht has been trying to build a pass protection OL. They’ve had some good games and some bad games. But they are not build for running the ball.

    The big question is this: is it worth sacrificing a little pass protection to improve the run when the league is moving toward pure passing?

    I think it is, because once defenses start building to stop passing teams, they’ll be vulnerable to the run.

  25. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs plays the same teams as the Falcons,Panthers, Saints
    Except for two divisional games, which they will probably play the worst team from that division. If they are the worst team in the NFC South.

    The NFC South plays the NFC West and the AFC South in 2019
    And one team from the NFC East and NFC North in 2019

    The Bucs should be planning their GM/HC search
    And start preparing for the draft
    And focus on the 2019 schedule

    This season is done

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    we come out flat against the giants, dirk will be fired on monday… it!!!!!!


  27. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Running game will always be important in football…Mo matter what’s trendy.

    Running clock..
    Pounding Defenses
    Not being one dimensional..

    Defenses are being hamstrung by rules changes that favor fantasy football points. But Defenses always rebound and catch up…

    Passing game means less in Philly or NE in December….

  28. Destinjohnny Says:

    I have always said we have 6-10 talent
    Could I have been wrong?
    Is it 5 dash 11?
    One more time and I said it the day after the draft. This is the draft that gets Jason fired
    It was maybe the worst in buc history

  29. ChanEpic Says:

    @813bucboi – The team knows that too so it should be VERY telling to see their effort against the Giants.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    @DestinJohnny … “I have always said we have 6-10 talent.” Aah yes, ever the optimist Johnny. When we started the season I thought for a short stretch that we might actually make it to 10-6 or thereabouts. Fell back to 6-10 before too long, and now 4-12 with an outside chance of 5-11 seems more likely.

    EVERYTHING seems to work AGAINST the Bucs. Injuries … check. Mediocre talent … oh ya. Mediocre coaching … surely. Kickers who turn to Roberto Aquayo for advice … but of course. Tough division & a tough schedule … that’s a given. And those are just the obvious ones; the list goes on & on.

    I knew the Bucs had hit rock bottom 2 weeks ago when my 6-year-old grandson in Virginia … an avid Panthers fan … informed me on Facetime that MY Bucs were awful. I couldn’t even argue any different with a 6-year-old. The ultimate embarrassment.

  31. D1 Says:


    Tell your Grandson we have a Pirate ship!

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    Even if the Bucs went 10-6 they’d still probably end up in last place in the NFC South and miss the playoffs. Not that there is any chance, at all, the Bucs under Dirk and Fitz would will win 7 in a row. None.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    “Destinjohnny Says:
    November 16th, 2018 at 11:51 am
    I have always said we have 6-10 talent”

    The Bucs have a 12-4 offense and a 0-16 defense, which averages out to 6-10 when you do the math.

  34. denjoe Says:

    If the coach could get the offense and defense to show in the same game that could help, but i’m dirk would say if he knew how to that he would already be doing it! lol – So we see who the problem is.

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense you shouldn’t let kids talk to you like that, if you don’t make them respect their elders your kids will throw you into an old age home the first time you slip and fall once you start getting social security. So best advice is next time to see him, take him outside and punt him over an electric line – that’s what parents did in the 80s and we all turned out great. Gotta show those kids who’s the boss. I know if my nephew bad mouths the Bucs I put his head like 2 inches away from the ceiling fan and dare him to say it again… he’ll laugh and think it’s a game, but he won’t say it again. That’s power!

    Anywho glad I could help.

  36. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    TBD n SC that’s the first time I’ve seen a civil disagreement in a long time on any social media forum. U two have partially restored my faith in humanity lol

  37. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Thank you very much for the kind words, Rodney. — We are all Bucs fans and all in this together!