5 Midseason Awards

November 5th, 2020

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At the midpoint of the regular season, the Bucs have every reason to be proud of themselves.

They are 6-2 for the first time since the 2002 championship year, reversing last season’s 2-6 getaway that buried any legit playoff chances at the dawn of the Bruce Arians era.

The best news of all? Tom Brady is healthy and slinging footballs like e did in his prime in Foxborough. Brady has been the biggest factor in Tampa Bay’s dramatic turnaround, but he’s had more than a little help from his friends. And on Sunday evening, another friend is expected to lend additional support as Antonio Brown makes his Buc debut.

As the Saints come marching in, they look a little out of tune, even at 5-2. Drew Brees doesn’t have much downfield arm left and the New Orleans defense has underperformed.

The Bucs have established themselves as a force at home with a 3-0 record and they are excelling in critical areas. Tampa Bay has registered 28 sacks while Brady has been leveled only 10 times, a  remarkably low number considering only Joe Burrow and Matt Ryan have attempted more throws.

Another key indicator for success is Tampa Bay’s plus-6 turnover ratio. That’s a tribute to Brady’s trademark ball security and an aggressive defense designed to force mistakes.

Let’s hand out a few awards at the halfway mark:

OFFENSIVE MVP: Who are we kidding — it’s got to be the man under center. Brady has elevated the performance of everyone around him, including an offensive line that has exceeded expectations. And for those who foolishly label Brady as a dink-and-dunker, consider that his 29 completions of at least 20 yards rank second to Ryan among NFC quarterbacks. And best of all, he’s healthy.

DEFENSIVE MVP: Several worthy candidates, but Devin White gets the nod. He leads the Bucs in tackles and ranks second to Jason Pierre-Paul with five sacks. All of those takedowns have come in the past three weeks, since he told Bowles to unleash him on the blitz. “He’s the catalyst,” Arians says of his second-year linebacker. “He’s running the show.”

UNSUNG ON OFFENSE: Ali Marpet is having the best season of his 6-year career, carving out holes for an improved run attack and offering solid pass protection. Through eight games, this potential Pro Bowl guard has yet to generate a single penalty flag.

UNSUNG ON DEFENSE: Surrounded by JPP, Shaq Barrett and Ndamukong Sug, it’s easy to overlook Will Gholston. That would be a mistake because the 8-year veteran has been quite disruptive with two sacks, 11 QB hits and four tackles for loss. His versatility to move from end to the interior gives Bowles flexibility up front.

Ryan Succop

STEADY AS HE GOES AWARD: Tampa Bay’s eternal search for a reliable kicker is history. Ryan Succop, just named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, has provided consistency when Brady’s offense stalls. He has converted 15-of-17 FG tries and 26-of-27 extra point attempts. The man’s money from 40 yards in.

The Bucs have had the Saints in the back of their minds since that Week 1 loss in the Superdome. Now it’s payback time and Tampa Bay is a 5 1-2 point favorite to a season 4-0 at home for the first time since 2008.

Two years older than Brees, Brady appears to have the more lively arm and he’s surrounded by more weapons. Bowles will be seeing Alvin Kamara in his sleep this week, for good reason.

Without Michael Thomas virtually all season, Kamara is carrying the Saints offense across his shoulder pads. He scored twice against the Bucs in the season opener, but was limited to only 67 total yards from scrimmage.

If the Bucs want to plant the Saints face down in their gumbo, White and Lavonte David need to keep Kamara in check on those screens and flare passes so prevalent in Sean Payton’s offense.

The third quarter of the Buc season is about to begin. The best way to kick off the second half is to remind the Saints that their 3-year run atop the NFC South is about to end.

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25 Responses to “5 Midseason Awards”

  1. 43IsOnlyOldInHumanYears Says:

    Why build and offense when you can buy one. The MVP is the accounting department who writes the checks for all the hired guns we brought in.

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Would you rather have an inadequate Bucs roster, like they’ve had for so many years? SMDH

  3. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    43 is Npuppy! lol

    I’ll keep saying this until the end of the season:


    AMLG BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Great one Ira!!!!

  5. Buczilla Says:

    Good stuff Ira. If We come out flat for the Saints, I’m going to be pi$$ed. Gosh, I despise that team and they are far and away my least favorite in the league for a myriad of reasons. Payton seems like a real douchebag but the man can coach and under different circumstances (no Arians), I’d take em as our coach any day of the week.

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Good call NRINB, I think you’re right about Ndogturd’s new alias.

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Did anyone smell the Dog that just walked in the room, lol This year has been the most fun since they won the SB. Time to let the Saints know that their run is OVER BABY. GO BUCS!!! KEEP TOM ALIVE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE!!!!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Steal of the Century award goes to Jason Licht (with help from Brady)

    Acquiring AB…….Best value (talent-for-the-money) in the history of the NFL.

  9. Half-Caucked Jeudy Says:

    screens and short slants are killing us and will this weekend if they don’t figure out how to stop it

  10. Bird Says:

    Some other awards:

    Most scared: ndog – who has gone i to hiding and comes out with new poster names occasionally

    Biggest baby : ndog. No brainer there

    Most sad : yup. The tri-fector goes to ndog. He has been crying for weeks. The bucs finally winning with the wrong qb in his mind. 😂

  11. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:


  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Saints and Payton cheat and play dirty. Hope our team is ready especially with Marpet and Gholston questionable.

  13. Iamabuc Says:

    Our guys need to be cautious. They seem desperate and they’ll play dirty, like they always do. I keep saying this team never got away from BountyGate.

  14. Ftmyersbuc Says:

    Iamabuc, not only that, the saints are experts at the almost a pick route. Im convinced they spend a lot of time practicing screening defenders out of position and making it look not like a penalty. When you play man coverage like we do a lot and you get bumped off your guy and are trailing him by 2 or 3 yards it’s an automatic 1st down plus. I wanna see more disaplined zone to start.

    The raiders and packers defenders contained the saints for the most part. They played mostly zone. We’re more talented than those 2 teams on defense. If wr cam hold them to 24 or less i think we get a W

  15. LJsDaddy Says:


  16. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Another great article Ira. But it made me think of those you left out. So…

    Offensive MVP – Oline
    Defensive MVP – Lavonte David (I picked him over White)
    Unsung on Offense – Scottie Miller, saved us so many times…
    Unsung on Defense – N. Suh, this was a hard one, but Suh is playing harder than he ever did for the Rams.
    Best Value Pickup of the Year: AB, sight unseen (agree with TBBF)

    Whiner of the Year: TIE! NDog and Paul
    Sheep Molester HOF: Real@ss

  17. Bird Says:


    Just changes poster name too


    Just fyi that is ndog running scared and jameis is 26 years old so that makes sense

  18. Jmarkbuc Says:

    What color are we wearing this week?

  19. 813bucboi Says:


    i hope red jerseys pewter pants…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  20. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    The Bucs should definitely win the GM of the year for 2020. I would like to be the first person to congratulate Tom Brady the on his well deserved honor.

  21. DoooshLaRue Says:

    White and pewter please

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Way to fire us up Ira.

  23. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Ira – only plus 6 turnover ratio? Is that correct/

  24. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Red jersey, white trousers.

  25. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:

    Needs to be tagged Ira Kaufman & Everything eye-RAH! please