The New Race To 10

March 23rd, 2020

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Even with Bradymania in full throttle across the Bay area, a little perspective please.

For those Buc fans thinking Super Bowl or bust, don’t you think you should slow your roll a bit?

Tom Brady won’t throw 30 interceptions and he’ll lift the play of everyone around him, but we shouldn’t judge this grand experiment a bust if Tampa Bay isn’t representing the NFC in the league’s showcase game — right here at Raymond James Stadium.

Bruce Arians says the Bucs will be a tough team to beat once they stop beating themselves. As evidence, he can point to 7 wins, despite an NFL-high 41 giveaways.

Fair enough.

But let’s remember the other NFC powers haven’t been sitting on their salary caps while the ticket office at One Buc Place went haywire. The Saints, who happened to win the division by a startling six games in 2019, have already made two key additions by signing safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Jenkins was a New Orleans rookie when the 2009 Saints won the Super Bowl and Sean Payton says he never should have let Jenkins hit the free agent market in 2014, to be scooped up by the Eagles. Now he’s back, adding savvy and leadership to a solid secondary.

Sanders isn’t the same deep threat who reeled off three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for Denver in the middle of the last decade, but he is a crafty route runner who will take some pressure off the league’s premier wide receiver, Michael Thomas.

Thomas has been an equal-opportunity tormentor for defensive backs, but the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year has been particularly hurtful to the Bucs. In seven career games against Tampa Bay, Thomas has 66 receptions for 831 yards. A young Bucs secondary saw Thomas catch 19 balls for 296 yards and three scores last year as the Saints swept Tampa Bay.

That’s unacceptable. That has to change in a hurry because New Orleans has won 13 of the past 17 meetings, averaging 29 points.

“The biggest message was I think the difference between us and the New Orleans Saints,” Bruce Arians told his players after last season. “In September, they knew they were going to win the division. We thought we might, but we weren’t sure and it was too late by October.”

If the Bucs win 10 games this fall, no one should complain about the pursuit of Tom Brady.

With an extra playoff slot for each conference, 10 wins will almost assuredly get you in the playoffs. Whether it’s as a wild card or an NFC South champion, all Brady wants is another chance to play January football.

Every team’s goal should be the hoisting of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. That’s a pose very familiar to Tom Brady. But to suggest Brady’s presence automatically lifts the Bucs ahead of the 49ers, Saints and Packers is a big ask.

The Bucs are not a finished product and there is more work to do.

Much more work to do, cautions Ira Kaufman.

A subpar ground game needs to be revitalized. The depth in the trenches is not good enough to sustain key injuries. There are potential issues at safety and at kicker. Who steps in under center if Brady misses a month?

We’ve had great expectations around here recently, only to be disappointed. Remember how that impressive 2016 finish was supposed to serve as a springboard for success under Dirk Koetter?

Things feel different this time around because the 2017 Bucs added troublemakers like Swaggy Baker and DeSean Jackson. The 2020 Bucs just added Tom Brady.

Arians needs to establish a winning identity at home and a winning mindset coming out of training camp.

“You lose playoffs in September sometimes,” he said. “A lot of people don’t like talking about that. When you start losing games in September they come back to bite you in December and some of those did for us. I think next year when we step on the field we should know we’re good enough.”

Good enough to end a demoralizing 12-year playoff drought?

That’s the Big Kahuna of hurdles, and if the 2020 Bucs can check off that box, Mr. Brady is worth every penny.

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31 Responses to “The New Race To 10”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Completely agreed, Ira. Ten game should be the minimum expectation. People expecting a Super Bowl this year are going about it all wrong. This team needs to pivot away from a #1 overall draft BUST that never changed the culture and ultimately was a small part of the problem.

  2. Buddhaboy19 Says:


    Kicker anyone? Reliable? I know, not what we are used to.

    Just do it.

  3. Kansas95Buc Says:

    Nice to see some people still thinking about Winston lol

  4. Barbosa Says:

    12 years Ira. The stench starts at the top and I hope Brady gives this Bucs can some respite for a year or two. Also, nice job Glazers jacking up your ticket prices. No matter what, you always manage to show where your priorities truly are.

  5. Mike Johnson Says:

    Luv that IF Ira. If.I had a million… IF Brady last a whole season…IF..Brady does not go down. Forgot those Ifs huh Ira. Seems like thats been our claim to fame over the last decade…IF.

  6. Ndog Says:

    Nope nothing in September matters accept the TOs not the horrid defense, not the non-existent running game not the kicker missing game winning kicks, NOTHING MATTERS BUT THE TOs by the QB so there are no excuses not to win THE SUPERBOWL nothing else will be acceptable. We have been told time and again this team was good in every way accept for the QB so game on.

  7. John Says:

    Well said

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Just get to the tournament and then it’s 1 game at a time…

  9. 813bucboi Says:

    we’ll make the playoffs….

    and once we get in, anything can happen….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  10. 813bucboi Says:


    when we needed a win that sunday night in dallas for our playoff hopes, what did JW do?….

    he threw 3 INTs, lost a fumble and head butted a defender….lol….

    that was his DEC performance while were fighting for the playoffs……

    we not even going to talk about this years DEC performance….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Mitch Says:

    Ndog Jamies was the biggest reason Tampa missed the playoffs. Tampa lost by less than single digits seven times and Jamies had 18 turnovers. Even the very first game of the season he threw three picks ( should have been four if you see the 4& goal incomplete pass to Godwin in the 3rd ) and fumbled twice. Those fumbles were not turnovers but supports the narrative that he just was not a consistent decision maker or careful with the ball. He was a gunslinger that made some amazing throws that no one would try, but in the same breath his strength was also his weakness and he turned the ball over too much. That is the end all be all here.

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    “The depth in the trenches is not good enough to sustain key injuries.”

    THAT! Still plenty of time left to address that.


    “Just get to the tournament and then it’s 1 game at a time…”

    Amen brother! And I’ve always believed this team was now good enough to CARRY “blameless” to the playoffs.

    But imagine…every game represents an exit for a choker…

    Seriously…no matter his age…if you asked anybody who they’d rather have under center with all the marbles on the line…JW’s name would NEVER come up…while TB12 would be at the top of that list.

  13. View from 132 Says:

    What is the point of this article? Don’t get excited? Why be a fan then? This is the first time in years the Bucs have a chance to be good. Of course injuries officiating etc etc. but so what? If the Saints have injuries, they are toast too.

    I just don’t think this post is very helpful at all. There are all kinds of negative things going on in the world right now. Brady and the Bucs is ONE good story.

    So sorry, but until shown otherwise, I think they win it all and Brady moons Belichick after an uncalled for fourth quarter TD to run up the score in the Super Bowl and Brady’s ass becomes a meme that breaks the Internet. It makes me laugh to think it could happen. Save your realism for another day and time.

  14. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Excellent points, Ira. The extra playoff spot is huge given the potential difficulty of unseating the Saints from the division crown. Only one team will receive a bye now as well. Just get into the tournament…how sweet that would be.

  15. sincethebeginning Says:

    Ira, I agree with every word!!

  16. bucnole Says:

    10 wins is nice – but its not good enough
    Every team should have the expectation of playing hard and winning their division FIRST then competing to get into the Super Bowl. That is why you play the game.
    To expect less should not be a goal at all.
    I don’t think that is too much of players and coaches that are be paid millions of dollars. BA once told his Arizona team – in the first team meeting – the goal is a super bowl RING. His expectations should be no less here. JMHO

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I notice that most everyone who expects negative things from the Brady acquisition aren’t worried about Brady’s performance at all….they are concerned he will get injured……(can happen to any player)

    So….if he stays healthy, he should do quite well.

  18. Coburn Says:

    Hey I’m not expecting superbowl but I do expect to actually make the playoffs if there is a season and I’ll take it. Would be nice to win a game or two once there. At least we will be relevant again if nothing else

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    10 wins would not be enough.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Stephen Gostkowski is 36. Too old.

  21. Dapostman Says:

    You have to be the 6th seed or better actually since being the 7th seed gets you an asterisk.

    NDog is right. All we’ve heard is turnovers turnovers turnovers are beating us. So now without the turnovers there are no excuses. This team has the greatest QB of all time. It’s Super Bowl Win or bust.

  22. Jeffbuc Says:

    I’m just looking forward to a season total of interceptions that are the same as our previous quarterback would have in his 2 worse games in a season. What he had 9 in two games. Brady has averaged about 7-8 a season. Defense may be a lot better due to the rest they will get. Unless we score quick then they come out with a little extra bounce in there step after an offensive touchdown versus a pick 6 or turnover.

  23. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Bucs vs. Patriots in SuperBowl in Tampa – can you imagine? Totally possible if the ball bounces our way. Seriously – who would have ever imagined Chucky vs. Oakland?

  24. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    And 10 wins? Fair enough point, but Brady has 6 rings, 9 total SB appearances, and 1 undefeated regular season under his belt. What do you think he’d say about trying to reach 10 wins?

    Maybe: “That’s Bu!!sh!t”

  25. Kansas95Buc Says:

    Again, I don’t understand the hate Ndog is getting all because he is pointing out TEAM flaws….

  26. J Says:

    I believe we should feel SB or bust every year. I understand being realistic but when does being realistic relate to fans unless you’re at the end of a losing season. Now that we have Brady we should be overly excited about the reality of a SB so I disagree 1000%.

  27. Ndog Says:

    Its winning the Superbowl or bust, nothing else is even remotely acceptable. Anything else will be a complete and utter failure and both Bruce Arians and Jason Licht should be held accountable, just like if they win the Superbowl they should be given all the credit. We have clearly solved our only issue since the rest of the team is perfect, again WINNING THE SUPERBOWL IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME THIS YEAR!!!!!!

  28. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Ndog, dude, you are so butt hurt that your boy Jay Miss is gone. Chill man! Like most of us on this site told you, nobody wants Jay Miss as a starter. He’s gonna be “bawlin” not “ballin'” when he holds the clipboard and is wearing a baseball cap.

  29. Lamarcus Says:

    Sb or bust. The move of Brady calls for SB and nothing more. Just a playoff berth is a failure

    But me personally its 9 wins is a success because I know this team is not that good

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I get why the Jamoists are pounding the table so hard about SB or bust.

    After all “blameless” tore it up in the playoffs and really set the bar high!

  31. Buczilla Says:

    Good article and I agree. Well mostly. That bit about Michael Thomas being the league’s premiere wide receiver must have been a typo. Surely you meant to say Mike Evans instead? If not, you will be at this time next year. 😜

    Geez Ira, first you put DeAndre Hopkins ahead of Mike (not one of your finer moments) for the all decade team and now a guy who clowns our defense on a regular basis is the premiere receiver? Your severe lack of homerism is troubling.