The 1st & The Biggest Insults Of 2020, And The Biggest Takeaway For Arians And His Staff

February 4th, 2020

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The NFL’s 100th season had barely concluded when the Buccaneers suffered their first insult of the new year.

The opening Las Vegas odds for the 2021 Super Bowl are out and Tampa Bay once again is an afterthought. A team that led the league in passing yards and rushing defense has been disrespected again, even before the Chiefs party down with a victory parade in Kansas City.

Buc fans are used to seeing their favorite club dissed. That’s what happens when you go 12 years with no playoff appearance and 17 years without a postseason victory.

Vegas oddsmakers, who certainly aren’t infallible, have posted the Bucs as 50-1 longshots to represent the NFC in the next Super Bowl, which just happens to be scheduled for Raymond James Stadium.

That’s the same odds facing the Broncos, who don’t have a proven quarterback or a wide receiver who should be mentioned in the same sentence as Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.

There are nine teams listed with longer odds than the Bucs, which proves only one thing: the NFL map is dotted with struggling franchises.

Let’s not read too much into the first insult of 2020. Surely, many more are to follow.

Cover Your Eyes

Heading into the 2019 season, the over-under win total forecast for the 49ers was 8. Thanks to a productive offseason by Executive of the Year John Lynch, San Francisco went 13-3, tied for the second-best record in the NFL behind the Ravens.

Tampa Bay barely exceeded its expected win total of 6.5, but the Bucs had an opportunity to close the year with a 6-game winning streak by beating Houston and Atlanta at home.

It didn’t happen, so here the Bucs stand, picking 14th in the opening round of the draft and facing the departure of several potential free agents.

Clear messages for Bruce Arians

The 49ers and Chiefs just proved there are different paths to the Super Bowl. Defense and a running game led the way for San Francisco while KC is powered by the most dynamic young quarterback to come around since Dan Marino, 37 years ago.

Despite all of Tampa Bay’s early woes, the Bucs registered 28 takeaways — five more than Kansas City and one more than San Francisco. Only the Steelers, Patriots, Seahawks and Vikings forced more turnovers than the Bucs.

That’s the good news.

The giveaway chart is so depressing, even Bruce Arians can’t look anymore. The Chiefs turned the ball over only 15 times in 16 games. The 49ers committed 23 turnovers. The Bucs led the NFL with 41.

They never gave themselves a chance.

That’s the biggest takeaway for Arians and his staff. They feel good about the marked improvement on defense in the final six weeks, but every time the Bucs lined up in 2019, they were on the eve of destruction.

Chasing Respect

The turnover chart for NFL teams tends to fluctuate from year to year, although the Patriots are almost always among the leaders in positive differential. That’s not a coincidence because Tom Brady protects the football and Bill Belichick’s defense excels at taking the ball away.

Still, it’s hard to fathom any offseason priority at One Buc Place ranking higher than reversing that minus-13 ratio. During the closing two-week stretch, Tampa Bay turned the ball over eight times. It’s a wonder the Bucs stayed close in both games.

Insulting Jameis

Eveywhere you look, people are looking down on this franchise.

John Lynch gets turned away at Canton’s doorstep seven years in a row. Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice can’t get in the meeting room as Hall of Fame finalists. NFL sack leader Shaq Barrett isn’t even considered for Defensive Player of the Year.

A banner with those 50-1 Super Bowl odds should be hung up behind Arians when he first addresses the 2020 Buccaneers, a stark reminder of this franchise’s craving for respect. But respect has to be earned. Just ask the 49ers, who kicked off their 2019 renaissance right here in Tampa.

The difference? A pair of pick-6s against Jameis Winston, who now faces an uncertain future.

The Bucs still aren’t sure if he’s the guy. And after five years, isn’t that the biggest insult of all?

Ira hanging out with his good friend Sean Sullivan, GM of Bill Currie Ford. Sean is giving all Bucs fans a special Ira/JoeBucsFan discount, and he personally will work with you to meet your vehicle needs (and talk Bucs).

34 Responses to “The 1st & The Biggest Insults Of 2020, And The Biggest Takeaway For Arians And His Staff”

  1. geno711 Says:

    Thanks Ira. I liked very much the following:

    “The 49ers and Chiefs just proved there are different paths to the Super Bowl.”

    I got tired of all the chatter early in the playoffs on this reason or that reason why a team won or got into the playoffs. The Super Bowl teams have looked a lot different year to year. New England is not the same as Atlanta, is not the same as Kansas City, is not the same as Pittsburgh, is not the same as San Fran, is not the same as the LA Rams, is not the same as Seattle, etc.

    Everyone of those teams had different strengths and weaknesses. There is no simple have the best pass defense, or past rushers, or quarterback, or running game, or most physical trench guys, or most team speed.

    There is no one thing we should do this offseason and it will be a perfect game plan for getting us to the promised land.

    There is no get rid of Winston and everything is fixed.
    There is no just keep Winston and get a better running game and every thing is fixed.
    There is no reason why a rookie can’t be good in his 1st year.
    There is no reason why an older guy can’t still play well.

    The 49ers and Chiefs had flaws but still got to the Super Bowl.

    Get good players in as many spots as possible and somehow cut down on the mistakes and force other teams into mistakes and we can be there.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Geno711 … Excellent take on Ira’s article. Your bottom line is spot on.

  3. JonJohn Says:

    Ugh it just makes me want to get rid of Winston.

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    great article here Ira. I just got this knawing feeling in my stomach. You know like that Why did we let Jameis get away thing. Kinda like us and Doug Williams only Doug was a better QB. Keep Jameis one more year. Lets see under Arians. If not, the boot after that. Frisco did it with Defense. We did too once upon a time. I don’t think we are that far away. Its like cam Newton said when asked about the Bucs..They are probably one mentality away. I believe this.

  5. SteveK Says:

    Bravo Ira!

    Love reading your work. You’re a genuine wordsmith!

    Thanks to Joe for seeing Ira and pouching his talent. Ira’s vernacular has that “sizzle” and “juice”. Even though the team sucks for the last decade plus, you guys continue to fire out high quality news.


    Steve K

    Ps. What do you think of “Kobe” Kaufman for the puppy’s name?

  6. SteveK Says:

    This is accurate and shines a truthful light on the ugliness of our turnover margin. This is why we need a new QB. Can’t pay “franchise” money for barely average play. It’s like paying for prime rib and getting a bologna sandwich.

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:

    The giveaway chart is so depressing, even Bruce Arians can’t look anymore. The Chiefs turned the ball over only 15 times in 16 games. The 49ers committed 23 turnovers. The Bucs led the NFL with 41.

    …….Damn wind.

  8. Pewter Power Says:

    Something wrong with those concerned about vegas odds a couple days after the superbowl and 2 months before free agency. Of course they are an afterthought especially not knowing what will happen at the most important position. People need to get a grip on this site all these last year stats brought up way to often the season is over and this team will be better even if Winston is the quarterback. Or please feel free to keep focusing on the last decade once again as if that tells you where the team is headed.

  9. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    So true. I wonder because Jameis is such an emotional guy if the emotional damage done by fans and team mates not coming out and saying he’s the man is too much for him here in Tampa. I think it may be becoming past the point of return for Jameis. Kind of like McCoy last summer.

  10. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    The Bucs led the NFL with 41.

    They never gave themselves a chance.
    Harsh truth.

  11. RagingBrisket Says:

    Turnovers are indefensible but the atrocious running game (read oline) is perhaps the bigger issue and had they run the ball better it would have resulted in throwing the ball much less and in turn cutting down on the interceptions.

  12. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I get the lack of a running game but with as many first drive interceptions as he threw I wonder are you not allowed to pass for the first two drives of the game. Kind of limits an offensive coordinator.

  13. Buc believer Says:

    To me one of the biggest insults to the Bucs is having a duel loyalty writer. You an only be loyal to one team impossible to be a fan of both. Respect is lost.

  14. GhettosOfSiberia Says:

    Good things are on the horizon .. Bowles has done solid work with the
    talent he is working with,bunch of real bangers playing smart & fast..
    Let #3 test the market & walk out of here,retire his #3 that should make
    the delusional happy..This team has a chance to be Very Good ….

  15. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Jameis doesn’t get booed at home or you just don’t hear it because there are more opposing fans than home fans. A lot of cities would of had him in tears if we have no worry about how he feels, and get rid of a back up QB so Jameis wouldn’t have to look over his shoulder.

  16. gotbbucs Says:


    Explain to me how interceptions on the first or second pass of the game, or interceptions on the two openning drives of games are the fault of a running game?
    I’ll wait patiently for this answer.

  17. Sport Says:

    The 2019 Defense was tied for 4th in takeaways this season.
    The 2019 Offense was ranked 32nd in Giveaways. The worst.
    The 2019 turnover differential ranking was 28th.

    You tell me what the problem was….

    In BA I Trust!

  18. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Congrats to long time Chiefs fan Ira Q. Kaufman…a reward for having to cover a team marred in a less than mediocre last 15 years or so. Hopefully the SB win took the sting off the near miss with Lynch and punishment of reporting on the Bucs for all these years.

  19. Buc believer Says:

    Wonder how many other goobers congratulate a local sports writer for “his” team winning the Super Bowl even though that team is not the team he writes about and is located over a thousand miles from home. Interesting place we live in.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Of course the odds are against us! We have uncertainty at QB, OL, DL, RB, and Kicker!

    Odds will improve once those issues are dealt with.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Of course the odds are against us! We have uncertainty at QB, OL, DL, RB, and Kicker!

    Odds will improve once those issues are dealt with.

  22. Greg Says:

    Forgive me if this has already been pointed out but a good number of JW’s pics are on scripted plays! Whether it is the beginning of the game or OT. It has been five years and he can’t help but giving a “tell” to to the defense what is coming. Whether it is body language or locking in on the receiver he just can’t stop doing it!!!

  23. IrishTony Says:

    Ok congrats it took KC 50 years to win another championship. The Bucs are due for another run after 16 years of futility. This team has always won with a solid to great defense; late 70’s/early 80’s, late 90’s/early 2000’s, solid running game and minimal passing attack. This team has never won with a prolific passing attack; i.e., see Vinny, Jameis. so why should it be different now. If you want to return to contention let the defense lead the way (the tide is turning), build in the trenches, improve the running game and bring in a qb who can manage the offense; vertical or otherwise.

  24. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    I’d also like to congratulate Buc Believer on being named best stewardess at Southwest Airlines recently. His/her sole loyalty to one company is commendable. Congratulations and go Bucs…and only The Bucs.

  25. Buc believer Says:

    The late great Steve Dumeg had a name for people that moved here that couldn’t give up their loyalty…. Goobers

  26. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Congrats Ira, guess I’m a goofy goober now and you’re being a schmuck Buc believer.

  27. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    JW3 can improve in YR2 under BA offense. Fewer INTS.

    Silence from BUCS HQ, BA, Jason L., – screams negotiation w JW team.

    JW3 will be QB in 2020. And Jameis will be much better,,,,12 INTS, 35 TDs Playoff team. My prediction.

  28. BrianBucs Says:

    35 of those turnovers belonged to Winston.
    After 5 years that is inexcusable.
    Winston has to go.

  29. NoPlayoffs Says:

    I bet Joe is weeping in a corner after reading this article. Jamoist alone led the NFL in turnovers. Let that sink in next time the nut huggers say that we have to bring back the turnover machine. #NoPlayoffs

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    Teams that win the turnover battle win ~70% of the time. That is a statistic born from 50 years, FIVE ZERO years of NFL data.
    For the math-challenged, 70% is winning football.

    But, but, but……

  31. Buczilla Says:

    If Jameis becomes competent or we find a quarterback that is and we get a running back that is an actual threat, we can do damage this year.

  32. Thomas51 Says:

    First time posting anywhere.
    I am a crazy Bucs fan. Great article Ira, but the reason I posted is what geno711 says. At last, a Buc fan with some common sense. Hooray!

  33. Joe Says:

    First time posting anywhere.


  34. SmittyToiletBowles Says:

    Go lay down some cash then Ira. See whos insulted at the end of next season.