December 5th, 2018

Gauntlet ahead.

Yeah, the playoffs may be a pipe dream, but mathematically the Bucs are still in it.

A win over the Saints would be a huge boost if the Bucs can somehow stretch their current two-game winning streak against New Orleans to three games Sunday by winning at the Den of Depression.

(And hey, if the Bucs beat the Saints, Joe will retire the “Den of Depression” moniker. Why? That will — finally! — secure the first home winning record in a season since Chucky was coach.)

While former Saints beat guy and one of the hardest working scribes Joe knows, Herbie Teope of NFL.com, isn’t quite ready to crown the Bucs a playoff contender, he types the Bucs sure can be spoilers.

The mistakes that plagued quarterback Jameis Winston early in the season have been absent over the Buccaneers’ two-game winning streak. Winston has won with efficient football without an interception in that span, and he completed 20 of 30 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. While the Buccaneers are a longshot to make the postseason, the team can play a role as a spoiler if Winston continues his good play when considering the next three games are against the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys, three teams eyeing the playoffs.

The Bucs have to win out for a shot at the playoffs. That’s tough sledding to extend their current two-game winning streak to six. As you can see above, beating the Saints, Crows and Cowboys in successive weeks is one helluva tall order.

If Koetter and the Bucs win out, Joe is sure Koetter would return for the 2019 season.

39 Responses to “Spoilers”

  1. cmurda Says:

    If we can beat the Aints, then I will start believing. In fact, if we beat the Aints, that would mean that our defense showed up for the 3rd straight game and I start considering keeping Dirk. We would still need to finish the season strong but I believe we would. I seriously doubt the playoffs are in the future. The bigger question is does this team do enough to keep Dirk. It’s great seeing us beat the Panthers but it’s hard to forget about the Skins and G-Men games in which Dirk hilariously thought that Fitz gave us the best chance of winning. That’s a fire-able offense.

  2. vinny Says:

    “The Green Bay Packers parted ways with associate head coach Winston Moss on Tuesday.

    Moss tweeted about his dismissal Tuesday night, writing, “The Packers have informed me that there letting me go. #thankstwitter!”

    The firing came hours after Moss tweeted the following about finding a head coach who will hold quarterback Aaron Rodgers and others to a high standard”

    And people want McCarthy as the head could who “can’t hold players to a high standard and especially Aaron Rodgers, and people would die to have McCarthy here.


    Koetter did hold Jamies accountable by benching him FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER… NOT ONLY PROS BUT COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL.



  3. CharlieB Says:

    If the Bucs run that gauntlet, there is zero reason to believe that we couldn’t win a playoff game.

    Also, “Former Den of Depression” won’t count for retiring it.

  4. ndog Says:

    I hear ya cmurda but Koetter can always use the benching of Jamies, and thus his starting of Fitz, as a positive saying he fixed Jameis. But nothing, NOTHING will get him off the hook for not getting rid of Mike Smith when he should have.

  5. Rick Says:

    Pressure is mounting for Jameis. The turnovers, benching, all those things were national sports news. Everyone is now watching to see if he’s a different qb against a playoff team. Similar to the crowd that was waiting for fitz to screw up as usual. People are waiting to see Jameis revert back to old Jameis. A lot of national eyes will be watching and waiting.

  6. Bucsfan77 Says:

    If the bucs finish out 8-8 or by some miracle win out and go 9-7 I would still have a very short list of HC candidates I would approach, if they say no then I would keep Kotter. He(Kotter ) has show enough to still warrant a change, but on the same hand if you can’t land that one or three coaches I would risk a switch to then he also has shown enough to get one more year with a playoff WIN not just show requirement to continue on past next year.

  7. Kobe Faker Says:

    “At the end of the Panters game our great offensive gura Klueless couldnt ice the game

    3 damn series and Kluless had to punt the ball back to a QB with a bum shoulder who couldn’t hit anybody wideopen

    You cant win consistantly with turtle mentality. Klueless is Turtle 100%. Run, run, run. 3 years and his game management sucks and doesnt win in the mondern NFL

    Brees doesnt have a bad shoulder and completes 75%. Klueless and his losing turtle playcalling is of the ancient 90’s. ”

    Kobe Faker

  8. ChanEpic Says:

    Even if we beat the Aints and make the playoffs, I would still be very happy to see Dirk go back to Offensive coordinating and leave HC to people who are better suited for it. I’m sorry, I have seen too much(little) from this coach and his benching of a far superior QB (resulting in losses) is inexcusable and fire-able offense in my humble opinion. If I am the Glazers I am thinking: If Koetter can get them to play decently, a more experienced HC can get them playing VERY VERY Good football. Oh and Licht needs to go too.

  9. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Time for Licht and Koetter to go..

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    even if we do win out, i dont think its enough to retain dirk unless it ends in a playoff lost…..not with the poor coaching decisions, lack of development from players who arent pass catchers and the inability to get winston to the next level….

    we retain dirk he’ll enter the offseason already on the hot seat again…..he wont have any more time to figure it out…..he wont have any more excuses…..its playoffs or bust…..

    and folks have harped on licht all year….if dirk stays licht stays…..

    last year in December we won 1game with winston playing some of his best ball…..looks like we’re headed down that road again…..


  11. 813bucboi Says:

    jmark & chan

    i agree


  12. Eric Says:

    Cut Djax, get Kelvin Benjamin.

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    If they beat the Saints then we can pencil in a W for the Falcons game.

    That would leave us looking at 2 roads games standing between us and the playoffs………..The impossible will sound achievable. It would set up a huge game against the Ravens……That scenario would put us into a playoff atmosphere.

    Do you want a test for Dirk Koetter? That scenario would give you one.

  14. Sydney Says:

    “If they beat the Saints…”


  15. JimmyJack Says:

    No reason to talk about Dirk getting fired.

    Right now the focus needs to be on how Dirk is gameplanning for the Saints. Through all of the BS of this year Dirk has managed to back his way into a playoff chance.

    The team showed last week that they are capable of playing at a high level. 4-0 is actually obtainable.

    I am not a big Dirk fan. Never have been. But I do love watching players and coaches perform when their backs are against the wall. IMO greatness is defined by what you do under pressure!!! GO BUCS.

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    Sydney. Our players and coaches hate the Saints more then anybody.

    I expect to see us play our best football. You should expect a great game.

    I’ve learned to never bet on the Bucs & that’s why I won’t be looking at the line.

  17. 813bucboi Says:


    you cant pencil in a win as a bucs fan……we beat the saints but lost to the giants…..lol….if anything, we’ll lose to the saints since we already beat them and win vs the falcons…..

    but dirk is still the worst HC in the nfc south….i dont see him out coaching anyone…..


  18. Brandon Says:

    IF… and that is a huge IF… the Bucs were to win the final four games… they would be following the lead of the wild card Giants and Packers that fought their way into the playoffs and rode that hot streak to a Super Bowl win…. again, I don’t think we will be any better than 7-9… but IF they can win four in a row, there is no reason to doubt that they have the goods to go all the way.

  19. DB55 Says:

    Sorry to tell ya’ll and you know I’m a Winstonite but his game hasn’t changed except the running (what took so long) fact is he threw 3 ints on Sunday it’s just now the ball is bouncing his way and the def isn’t giving up 40 ppg.

    Even the week prior’s TD pass to hump across his body could have been picked in another demension.

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    813 you’re right. Can’t pencil in anything with this team. But that my goal. I want 3-0 and then to expect us to shred the Falcons to get into the Big Dance.

    Then I want a Wildcard win and if that happens I’ll join the stick carriers on the bustrip to New Orleans!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  21. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Some pros and cons in regards to Dirk and what has transpired this season. The defense has been god awful until lately, but coaching can only do so much. We have a defensive backfield of guys that should be driving a UPS truck, not playing in the NFL. Having said that, Duffner is doing much better than M Smith and Koetter is guilty of keeping Smitty around too long.

    Jameis deserved to be benched, but Dirk benched him one game too many. Fitz had reverted to the real Fitz and Dirk went with him one more game anyway and making the ridiculous statement that he gave the Bucs the best chance to win. That was just nonsense and it was proven out when he went out and essentially ensured he could NEVER be a starter in this league again. That move by Dirk is inexcusable. HOWEVER, Jameis has come back and been a much more careful QB since then. It may have finally taught him a lesson and sunk in.

    I highly doubt the Bucs will be able to eat a W against the Saints. Brees is the best QB in the game right now and our DBs are not very talented and wil almost certainly get exposed. Having said that, if they can pull off a minor miracle I think you have to reassess Dirk’s future. The offense has performed better, far better, than any Bucs offense ever has. The defense lacks playmakers and overall talent. You can’t simply blame the coach and make a regime change when there is a talent gap. The Glazers will need to look at it rationally and decide if a change would make the team better or would it just be more of the same on defense and maybe a drop off on offense.

  22. it's only just begun Says:

    what if we ran the table, and secure the 6th seed, as of right now, we would play the 3rd seeded team the bears in the wildcard game, wouldn’t it be great to curb stomp the bears in the playoffs? and what if we beat the bears our next opponent NFC divisional playoff as of now would be the # 2 seed new orleans saints who we would have beat the last 3 times, and then we would face the seahawks, cowboys, or rams in the NFC championship, if your going to dream, dream big, it did happen last season in philly right

  23. Mr Lucky Says:

    Boy you people are smoking some good medical grade stuff….

    “IF the Bucs beat the Saints (IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN)”

    “IF the Bucs finish 8-8 or 9-7” (LOLOLOLOL)

    There is a difference between being a fan and being delusional

  24. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Eric Says:
    “get Kelvin Benjamin.”


    Dear God, no. No effort, head case. He would never even get on the field for us.

  25. 1sparkybuc Says:

    The great franchises build a dynasty with stability in leadership. We’ve never had an offense like we have right now. Licht built it. Koetter runs it. Winston is the key. Solidify the OL. Draft a decent RB or sign Hunt, and we are downright dangerous. The D has talent that just needs to stay healthy. Build on that. Don’t blow up everything and start over from scratch. No team has better receivers than we do. Fill some holes and take it to the next level. We’re close.

  26. Not there yet Says:

    This coach doesn’t deserve the title. Every year we are playing the what if game. Instead of saying what if we can win out or if we lose we only lose to the saints we should be saying what if this coach was competent enough to fire Mike Smith this off-season, what if we had beat the giants, bengals and/ or redskins. Playing spoiler is no goal and it will not make me feel better about how bad this season turned out especially if we waste another season and bring dirk back

  27. aj Says:

    I don’t expect to win this week, unless the d line dominates and sacks Brees six or seven times.

    But I do expect to see them fight.

    I just think the talent gap between the New Orleans offense and the current Bucs defense is too large.

    I hope they win, but will be happy if they are able to make it a good game.

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    Mr Lucky. Point well taken. I’ll shut up when it doesn’t happen.

    Til that happens the anticaption will only rise!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  29. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Can’t wait to see Koetter and Payton exchange post game handshakes, errrrr chest slaps, at the fifty yard line! Looking like two middle weight WWE goons.

    Come to think of it… maybe that should be a part of the XFL overtime rules.

    Teams are tied after four quarters… boom coaches wrestling match.

  30. gambelero Says:

    As things stand now, we’re going to be substantial underdogs in every game. We’re 8.5 point underdogs at home to a team we beat soundly earlier in the years. Translating the current odds, Vegas has us at about 45 or 50 to 1 against us winning out. Of course, they’d only lay you about 15-1 if they had a proposition like that.

    Still, the events aren’t really independent. If we beat the Saints soundly and without any key injuries, Vegas might see us as a solid second tier (say 6-12) team, so next week that 50-1 becomes 10 or 12 to 1. Even less if Atlanta looks to pack it in and play for the draft in week 17.

  31. SOEbuc Says:

    I am going to have my closest eye on this very riled up defense. If we win out or 2-3 because our defense is playing spectacular but only win by seven points, I’m giving Koetter the BIG BOOT and the Glazers will hopefully get an offensive HC with playoff experience. Bring back Duff and let him all out run the defense. I think Jason has a better chance than Koetter. He’s a good scout. I think the Glazers like him and yes he has his hits and misses but who doesn’t. Usually his hits are everyone else’s misses (Marpet, Nassib, Hump, Brate, Kwon, Whitehead).

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    And the BIGGEST hit of everyone else’s miss in the first round taking OJ.

  33. SOEbuc Says:

    Fitz, Leidtke. Maybe Triple A won’t be a one trick pony. Sorry but the list keeps going. Cheap, good players. Don’t know why people hate Licht so much. I’m pretty sure it’s a bunch of Noles fans that wanted Cook and James the last two years.

  34. ChanEpic Says:

    SOEbuc Says:
    December 5th, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    Don’t know why people hate Licht so much. I’m pretty sure it’s a bunch of Noles fans that wanted Cook and James the last two years.

    This Licht person you speak of, drafted a kicker in the 2nd round. A kicker from NOLES land. That statement of fact, gives you an answer to your conundrum and also proves you wrong. All in one statement, I feel pretty good about that.

  35. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Licht’s misses have been pretty big, especially as far as 2nd rounders go:

    #1 Aguayo in the 2nd
    #2 Rojo in the 2nd
    #3 Spence in the 2nd
    #4 ASJ in the 2nd
    #5 VHIII with the 11th overall pick

    Want to know why this team is struggling to get out of the cellar of NFL franchises. Missing on nearly every second round pick in the GMs tenure is a big part of that reason. 1st and 2nd rounders should be difference makers. Hard to overcome those types of huge misses. He also was unable to pick any players taken in the 5th round or later that were able to play well, if they even made the team and most did not. He has had a couple nice hits like Marpet and a couple of free agent gems. However, those free agent hits only help mitigate some of the disasters he has had in the early and late rounds of the draft.

  36. Bob in Valrico Says:

    IMO ,this is still first and foremost an audition for Jameis. Sure if he plays well then Koetter chances to be retained increase. It will be interesting to see how
    he responds against some of the stout defenses that are coming up. Good luck to him , the Buc ‘s and Cowboys’s wins over Panthers and Saints respectively show, that
    in the days of high powered offenses defense still matters.

  37. jmarkbuc Says:


    “I highly doubt the Bucs will be able to eat a W against the Saints”


    For the obvious reasons, and that their Defense is playing pretty well. The only way we have a shot imo, is to have nice long drives with 7’s at the end.

    Of late, our Defense has done pretty well early, getting off the field. Offense has to have their back. NO’s defense will test us and JW. Dallas right behind that.

    (BTW, for the Kris Richard fan..doesn’t it seem like he’s being groomed to stay in Big D? Jerry’s got all the money in the world. Unless Marinelli is just helping Richard get another job…)

    I see this game as a huge referendum for the regime and of course, Winston. Kind of what many here, including myself, talked about in the off season..time to put up or shut up.

  38. westernbuc Says:


    Jameis over Mariota (Clearly the better player)
    Kwon in the 4th
    Brate UDFA
    Barber UDFA
    Hump UDFA
    JPP for a 3rd (everyone was sobbing over Michael Bennet and Robert Quinn)
    Extended Lavonte and GMC, if you hate that you don’t know jack
    Mike Evans and OJ Howard
    Alan Cross/Auclair are great depth and blockers

    The best offense in franchise history
    A well managed salary cap
    An appealing destination for free agents
    Maneuvers the draft board well
    Compensatory Picks (we went FOREVER without those)

    Yeah, Licht has his misses, but he has a a lot more hits. That’s a good GM. Toss him aside at your own risk

  39. teacherman777 Says:

    If we fire Koetter,

    The Packers will make him their next OC.

    Highest paid OC in the league for that matter.

    He created the best offense on the planet in 4 years.

    Quite a feat. Dungy built the best D on the planet in 3.

    Keep Koetter!