Five Things

November 3rd, 2020

(Photo courtesy of

It’s Victory Tuesday! We don’t get too many of these around these parts. So before you’ve had your third cup of java this morning, let’s quickly dive in.

Mr. Red Zone

Joe is getting a lot of questions on Twitter as to why park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting Bucs quarterback Tom Brady struggles to find star receiver Mike Evans so much.

YouKnowWho never did.

But damn if Evans and Brady are not wired in on the same frequency when the Bucs get inside the opponents’ 10 yard line. Not only are the Bucs money in goal-to-go situations (22 for 22) but Evans has become a magnet for Brady.

Per NFL Research, each of Evans’ six targets when the Bucs have the ball in a goal-to-go situation, have resulted in touchdowns. That may be a league record. Since targets were tracked in 2009, those six touchdowns tie former Colts receiver Donte Moncrief (2016) for the most consecutive such targets to result in a TD to begin a season.

So yeah, Brady may have a blind spot in his vision for finding Evans open but when it comes to money passes, Brady sees Evans clearly.

Trap or flat?

In college, last night’s game against the Giants would be considered a classic trap game, where a team was facing a cupcake but the very next game may be its biggest of the regular season.

Or was this just a flat game for the Bucs? Two starters admitted the Bucs came out last night to start the game against the Giants flat as a pancake.

“We did not have intensity,” said Sean Murphy-Bunting who had a pick. “We weren’t playing as intense as we normally are. Not really sure why that happened or why that was.”

Even Brady noticed the flat beginning.

“We weren’t playing the way we were capable of playing,” Brady said of the first half. “We didn’t play anywhere near the way we are capable of playing. We need to execute a lot better – I had guys open I missed. I have to hit those guys that are open.”

Bucco Bruce Arians thought the lack of fans and an empty stadium contributed to playing without juice.

“We did not find energy fast enough but we made enough plays to win,” Arians said.

There was no dispute from Mike Evans; a lack of fans saps NFL stadiums of buzz.

“That’s what we need, we need fans in these stadiums,” Evans said.

Well, on Sunday night, the Bucs (6-2) will be playing with fans. And there is a lot on the line against the Saints (5-2). Joe hopes the Bucs find a way to bring energy to the Den of Depression.

Props to Ryan Succop and whoever wanted him.

Joe remembers the first of two scrimmages the Bucs had at the Den of Depression this summer. AAF star kicker Elliott Fry was trying to win a roster spot from Matt Gay and badly botched a kick into the north end zone (not the end zone that is supposedly the most deadly in the NFL).

The kick was so bad that when the Brady-led offense scored a touchdown in the south end zone, Arians already had seen enough of his kickers and — in a scrimmage with the kicker job wide open — decided to go for two. In a scrimmage!

Joe laughed out loud watching this unfold on a scorching hot Friday morning. Perhaps the Bucs already knew that neither Gay nor Fry were returning.

Ryan Succop has made Bucs kicking boring. Even when the Bucs were horrid at kicking (way too common during the Lost Decade), at least kicks were never boring. If the Bucs don’t have Succop last night and instead had Gay or Fry, do the Bucs kick four field goals? And would the Bucs even have won?

Of all the strong additions to the Bucs roster this summer, Succop is flying under the radar converting 15 of 17 field goals. That’s because he’s made kicking an excuse to hit the fridge for another beer.


NFL record-holder (for now).

Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees are in a race. No, not to see which one outlasts the other or who will win the NFC South crown. But for an NFL record. The two are neck-and-neck for the all-time passing touchdowns record.

With his second touchdown pass last night, Brady regained the lead with 561 touchdown passes thrown. Brees has 560.

Of course, both square off Sunday night at the Den of Depression. Get your popcorn ready.

Mute button handy last night

Joe was absolutely outraged watching the Bucs-Giants game in the first half. And it wasn’t because the Bucs were flatter than Claire Danes.

Now Joe knows producers on game broadcasts are like editors for a newspaper. Producers decide what should air and what to focus on. Still, Joe hit the ceiling.

With the Giants in the early stages of what looked like maybe one of the biggest upsets of the season leading 7-3 over the first-place Bucs, play-by-play man Steve Levy said, “The biggest story here is Antonio Brown… ” And Joe freaked out at home.

NO, ANTONIO BROWN IS NOT THE BIGGEST STORY, THE FRIGGIN’ LIVE GAME YOU ARE AT IS THE BIGGEST STORY! It is why everyone tuned in. It’s what Disney has paid to broadcast.

Antonio Brown wasn’t even in the friggin’ building! He wasn’t even active and may not be for all we know next week. Antonio Brown didn’t have a damn thing to do with this live game, Levy, and if he did, you and Son of Bob and Louis Riddick wouldn’t be in the broadcast booth at MetLife Stadium.

Then for the next untold minutes, all three announcers and sideline reporter (?) Lisa Salters chimed in about Brown. Meanwhile, the GD game was going on but it was secondary if not ignored in favor of the “First Take”-like babbling about him.

What the hell?

It got so bad Joe had to hit the mute button for the remainder of the half. Joe thought about turning the radio on to listen to Gene Deckerhoff and Dave Moore but knew the radio audio wouldn’t be synched with the video.

Dear God, how stupid are the BSPN producers? It was like in a production meeting they expected the Bucs to be blowing out the Giants and a decision was hatched that the crew would talk Antonio Brown around the start of the second quarter.

Problem was, the game was close and someone didn’t have enough common sense to call an audible, so they put their heads down and plowed right through with their plans. We were force-fed a bad version of “Around the Horn.” Joe damn near launched his remote control through the drywall.

Quick, raise your hand if you watched last night’s game to hear Antonio Brown chatter with a live football game being played in the background as a mere distraction? A nuisance?

Yeah, that’s what Joe thought.

As we are in the first year of the third decade of the 21st century, to properly watch sports on TV you need a mute button or risk your mental health.

57 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Lous Riddick lost me when he called our secondary “one of the very best in the league” meanwhile, Danny Dimes was hitting every slant known to man. If his receivers hadn’t dropped so many the Giants would have won going away.

  2. St. Pete Bucs fan Says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to feel that way, being force fed the Antonio Brown drivel!

  3. Pete Says:

    If only i could sync local radio with network tv!

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Quite the rant Joe – feel better?

  5. Mad Mark Says:

    You got that right Joe, I muted after the Antonio talk as well. Worst game coverage I ever witnessed. And who is Devin Smith? I saw a few very questionable off sides calls by the zebras and no mention by the BSPN crew.

  6. Colonel_mp Says:

    How about when there was a timeout before the Bucs final FG attempt and nobody said anything for a minimum 15 seconds. Talking heads are a waste!

  7. buc fan for life Says:

    I made the same comment to my wife. Why all the damn talk about Brown with a close game live?

  8. Kalind Says:

    Ha! Makes me glad I had it muted from the beginning. #wifesleeping

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    All week, my NY friends were worried about a blowout, and I’ve told them for the past week to not worry, that is a trap game situation, and the Bucs historically play down to their opponents. I expected a close game, unfortunately. That is exactly what happened. Add to that the Bucs are historically terrible in night, nationally televised games. Even Brady cannot overcome that stigma apparently (they stunk last night, and lost on a TNF to CHI). Whew! Glad this one is over.

    On some brighter notes:

    1. They won! This was the CHI game all over again, but they managed to pull this one out. Yes, it was Brady who was the difference. No question Winston would have had his own INTs and it would have looked a lot like the Bucs-Giants game last year. A head scratching loss with two QBs turning the ball over.

    2. They have improved over the year. They lost this type of game to the Bears, and almost lost to the Chargers before waking up. So I think they are improving.

    3. This is the best scenario going into Sunday’s game with the Saints. That is, they won a potential trap game, but played badly in many areas, so this is a wakeup call to fix things before Sunday against a division foe…the biggest game so far this year. They will be ready!

    4. I’m not aware of any major injuries last night. Sucks to have a short week, so they came out okay, all things considered.

    5. They missed Godwin, but he should be ready Sunday.

    6. They will spend half a day going back and looking at this game, and also review the last NO game. Both should inspire positive change for Sunday.

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    GO BUCS!!! It has been a fun season, but as we all saw there is much room for improvement. Here is something awesome, there is no mention of the draft, which by now in this point of the season has been way to normal during the lost decade. Everything is within thier grasp. Go and beat the Aints and you have a 2 game lead and control. We will see. GO BUCS!!!!

  11. Rayjay1122 Says:

    That and the MOR 32 pregame was sad. How does a local sports guy think that #31 is Antonio Winfield. SMH

  12. Mad Mark Says:

    I kept wondering what was up with the camera crew, lots of blurry views that looked kinda like watching through Buco Bruce’s face shield or an aquarium.

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Yup, the talk on Brown was as annoying as the repeated, over and over, week after week, embarassing stories about all the bad habits and records Winston was breaking, They also tended last night to overfocus on what Jones was or wasn’t doing, and it sure seemed like they were pulling for the Giants.

    All that said, it was SO NICE not to have to listen to arrogance and often incorrect analysis of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman…two overrated, overpaid clowns

  14. J-Bone Says:

    I think BSPN needs to really look for better announcers. They have swung and missed terribly the last couple of years with their announcers. Personally, I’d go for a personality like Pat McAfee. Mute is definitely the worn out button on Monday Nights. Hell, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but….Dick Stockton may even be better than what they have now.

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    To some degree…forcing the ball to Evans was great for stats but terrible for managing the game to a victory. That’s just one of the major differences between Brady and Winston. Brady is excellent at finding the mismatch or weakness in the defense and exploiting it with whomever is there. Winston was going to throw the ball exactly where the play was intended regardless of coverages or match ups. I promise you, watch any game around the league, if the QB has 2+ turnovers, those teams consistently lose. We saw it last night with Daniel Jones… classic Winston form. Almost came back….but ultimately done in by costly turnovers. I think Evans will get his but ultimately i watch to see victories not stats.

  16. Conte Piscateli Says:

    It’s funny that the only player whose name the crew got right last night was a guy who hasn’t played all year.

  17. View from 132 Says:

    These are the games Brady was brought here to win. If he throws one pick or has one fumble on those sacks/pressures, Bucs lose. You get to the flashy performances by winning the grinds.

    Secondly, how cool is it to see our new Rond me in Winfield Jr.? Great draft pick.

  18. Asdf Says:

    AB Has been the biggest source of drama in the NFL for a few years. MNF is a national audience and besides Brady and Gronk, AB is the biggest name on the Bucs.

    Not surprising in the least that it came up – annoying but not surprising

  19. Boston Boy Says:

    We did not have intensity,” said Sean Murphy-Bunting who had a pick. “We weren’t playing as intense as we normally are. Not really sure why that happened or why that was”

    Cuz you were playing the 1-5 Giants. No good team can get excited about BS. These can be the hardest games to win.

  20. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Unrelated, and maybe fellow Bucs fans can help me out here – “all due respect” to Jaydon Mickens, but why was he such a big part of the game plan? He’s a nice player and all but that boggles the mind. If I didn’t know any better it appeared that he, and not Tyler Johnson was the 3rd receiver and took more snaps. Also, is there an outside chance that the Bucs went super conservative as to not “show” too much for next week? They did that in New England I believe. I do believe they think they could’ve done jussst enough to beat the giants and kinda had an eye on the saints game.

  21. Cannon Says:

    The Bucs managed to win a game against an inferior opponent while not bringing their A-game. That’s a sign of a good team.

  22. Boston Boy Says:

    “All that said, it was SO NICE not to have to listen to arrogance and often incorrect analysis of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman…two overrated overpaid clowns”


  23. Dreambig Says:

    I agree Joe 100%. I was screaming at the TV. Antonio Brown had absolutely nothing to do with that game and for those idiots to do a whole segment on him in the middle of the game was ridiculous. I’ll even go a step further and ask what in the world has happened to MNF? I guess we are way past having quality announcers like Frank Gifford, Howard Cosel, Don Meredith, John Madden, Pat Sumerall, John Gruden, Al Michaels, the list goes on. Those announcers last night were beyond horrible.

  24. Bird Says:

    And That is the difference between brady and jameis
    Jameis would force throws to mike
    Brady dont play that game

    Brady wants to get the ball out quick. If check down there , he will take 4-5 yards. So many times last night brady looked evans way first and he had 2 guys on him in general area. So brady moves to next option Quickly. He hits the open guy quickly. He knows he cant take the hits anymore. If you notice most receptions from receivers in most games this year , its mano y mano

    Plus mike is off right now. The close third down reception , he should have known to get down. The two point conversion , you have to catch
    Mike is my favorite player along side lavonte and new favorite is winfield
    But something is wrong with mike.

    When AB gets here. Hopefully evans gets more 1 v 1 and good night on that

  25. Bradinator Says:

    @Gofortheface30 Noticed that too about using Mickens so much. The guy had as many catches in this game than his entire career! None of which were great, and he definitely got lazy on the long ball Brady threw to him. BTW what did Jamel Dean ever do to Griese?! He was on that guy all night long.

  26. Bird Says:

    And you cant double receiver on goal line when he is split wide

  27. Boston Boy Says:

    “Problem was, the game was close and someone didn’t have enough common sense to call an audible, so they put their heads down and plowed right through with their plans. We were force-fed a bad version of “Around the Horn.” Joe damn near launched his remote control through the drywall.”

    BSPN. the Bull Sh*t Propaganda Network
    All THE BS, All the TIME. They use sports as a vehicle to try to convert the masses into neutered sheep. Yep, to them weasily anarchist/communist/socialist, nothing is sacred. Anything ESPN is for. I am against. Anything they are against, i am for. As of today my new BFF is Antonio Brown. Please AB, get through this with flying colors so they all kiss your *ss

  28. #1bucfan Says:

    Yea joe totally agree. Don’t forget about Devin smith. Hahaha they called him Devin smith 3 times and never corrected themselves they watched the replay on the TD pass that Devin white was covering the RB and still called him devin smith

  29. Boston Boy Says:

    BTW… today was 100% great analysis, contemplation and satire. But you still need to put some respect next to Brady’s name.

  30. NashvilleBuc Says:

    You’re right Joe. I went into a full blown rage last night while they were rambling about Brown.

  31. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Bradinator he was on Dean because the Giants were on him too and his coverage sucked the wind out of the defense. He was constantly getting burned and Griese was pointing it out. If Jones had been a little more accurate Dean woulda been burned for a few long tds

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    didnt bother me…i love everything BUCS……

    it did tick me off when they called us new england a couple times….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  33. D-Rome Says:

    Joe is getting a lot of questions on Twitter as to why Tom Brady struggles to find star receiver Mike Evans so much.

    YouKnowWho never did.

    Jay-Miss also never struggled finding the opposing team’s defensive backs.

    I never watch Monday Night Football anymore unless my team is on. I’ll follow the game if I have money on it but I never watch it. Same goes for Thursdays. Needless to say it’s been a while since I’ve watched MNF. That broadcast team was very bad. I didn’t think ESPN, the alleged leader in that business, can put together such a bad crew.

  34. Fred Says:

    I will agree ESPN announcers were obnoxious tools, but your comment about Claire Danes was a little harsh don’t you think?

  35. pewter941 Says:

    They said Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at one point. smh

  36. Lord Corn Says:

    Joe my wife got p1ssed over the same thing – I think we even got a first down / made some ignored plays during the exchange

  37. pewter941 Says:

    And Brays face when Arians went for the field goal instead of going for it on 4th down, priceless.

  38. Fred Says:

    Perhaps the reason for the unimaginative play calling is because Coach Arians didn’t want to reveal too much going into a short week and facing the Saints.

  39. 813bucboi Says:



    GO BUCS!!!!

  40. Sauron's Eye Says:

    ESPN is horrible, I try to never watch them. Murphy Bunting let his man run right by him for a TD like he had weights in his shoes, He was flat. The entire secondary were Just giving the Giants first down after first down all night, they were flat. Brady was off on many throws last night he was flat for most of the first half. The Giants played very tough, and their offensive line did an outstanding job. We were fortunate to leave town with a win.

  41. orlbucfan Says:

    Watched 99% of the game with the volume OFF. Couldn’t get Bucs Radio so had it on Glad I did.

  42. m0j0 Says:

    I can’t believe Lavonte dropped that pass right to him in the 4th quarter. The game should have been over right there. The Giants definitely had a solid gameplan and really beat the Bucs defense in terms of X’s and O’s. However, they couldn’t connect on the deep shots and didn’t find the open man a few times, so that was the difference in the game. Their plan to run right up the gut against the Bucs was very effective as well, which is concerning. In a game like that, you miss a mountain in the middle like Vea.

  43. m0j0 Says:

    Actually Pewter941, they called the Bucs the Patriots on several occasions, 2 for sure and maybe even 3… They were botching Bucs names left and right. too. Just ridiculous!

  44. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    BA went for the FG instead of the firs8t down for two simple reasons….

    He had a very high confidence that our running game sucked last night
    He had a very high confidence that Succop would make it.

    An 8 point game forces the opponent to do 3 things to win……score, convert the 2pointer……win in OT

    A 5 point game only forces one thing…

    I can just about guarantee that if we went for it and failed, we would have lost

  45. Jeffbuc Says:

    100% I text my buddies and say how long are they going to harp on brown during a live game. And they kept calling Devin white Devin Smith. And called us the patriots atleast 20 times.

  46. rriddler Says:

    Not only that, but the one moron kept calling the Bucs New England!!!

  47. Cannon Says:


    I agree. Kicking the field goal was the right call. Seems wimpy, but it ensured that the Giants would need 8 points to tie the game.

  48. firethecannons Says:

    Yeah now the kick is excuse for the bathroom, beer or nachos–damn–hope it lasts!

  49. firethecannons Says:

    Props to Antoine Winfield jr damn! kid’s last play saved our ass!

  50. Soggy Says:

    Hope AB uses that to help stay on track, Show them AB what a turn around looks like and we will see when they mention that and for how much air time.. Go bucs

  51. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    If you had it on mute you missed Steve Levy call us New England at least two times.

  52. TampaTown Says:

    I never watch ESPN and now I know why. That crew was terrible! Even the pregame stuff was boring. I kept turning over to NFL Network instead and also immediately following the game.

  53. TOM Says:

    Lets face it ESPN sucks with all there political agenda.

  54. grammarian Says:

    geeze, get a hobby steve!

  55. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Can’t agree more about about Succop! Every year teams have at least 2 games that come down to the kicker. So good to have someone that is consistent! He deserves the game ball. The contrast to last years Giant game is ironic… I want to sign him for an extension so we can finally put this nightmare to bed!

  56. Craig Says:

    The game proved that the Bucs still can’t play well under 40 degrees. They didn’t turn into the Keystone Kops, like they used to, but they have a ways to go.

    The winds were tricky and too many balls got dropped. The defense forgot their thinsulate shoes and could start fats. Worse was they couldn’t stop when they did get going. The turnovers were the key though.

  57. unbelievable Says:

    MNF announcers have just gotten worse and worse for the last 4-5 years now.

    Awful in every way.