Five Things

November 9th, 2020

“Hey Drew, I could have thrown three picks for the Bucs. And I wouldn’t have to put up with Antonio raiding my fridge every night, either.”

Welcome to nuts-kick Monday.

A loss for the ages.

Man, oh man, oh man. Joe knew Sunday’s game would be tough. But geez, to get curb-stomped like the Bucs did is just downright inexcusable. And to have the quarterback you didn’t want do an “Eat a W” on your arse on national television, and to watch God’s greatest quarterback throw a Jameis-like three-pick game… Well, that’s just about rock bottom, isn’t it?

“You have to give New Orleans credit,” Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said. “They kicked our ass in every phase.”

At halftime, Saints coach Sean Payton told NBC he was surprised the Bucs were playing so much zone on Drew Brees, who looked like a guy throwing target practice. Arians after the game confessed that was the gameplan.

Welp, that should be tossed in the trash.

It was without question one of the worst games Joe has ever seen the Bucs play. When you factor in all that this game meant with playoff implications, it was worse than the Tennessee Ready game. Worse than the Capitol Collapse. Just horrid.

“I was shocked,” Arians said after the game.

Join the club, Bruce.

NFL record.

Damn if the Bucs almost did the opposite of Paul Brown and the Browns. Way back in 1950, when Cleveland was merged into the league from the old All American Football Conference, the Browns waxed the defending NFL champion Eagles in their first NFL game.

NFL media mocked the Browns for beating the Eagles on gimmick plays and passes. They couldn’t play real football, so the story went. So later that season when the Browns and Eagles played again, Paul Brown vowed not to throw one pass.

The Browns won again and Brown kept his word. He didn’t throw one pass. And it was the last time a team won an NFL game without throwing a pass.

The Bucs ran the ball five times last night. The fewest amount of rushes in a game in NFL history. Dang.

Arians damn near flipped the script.

So the Bucs ran but five times and one was a kneeldown.

Arians scoffed at this after the game saying the Bucs had no choice but to throw since they were down 28-0. Arians added with so few possessions left and only a limited amount of time on the clock, the Bucs couldn’t run and therefore chew up clock if they hoped to have a comeback.

This reminds Joe of a quote from essayist Chuck Klosterman.

In the excellent NFL Films documentary “The Forward Pass,” Klosterman said, “I am certain in my lifetime we are going to see an NFL game that doesn’t run the ball. Ever. That doesn’t use a running play. And the guy who does this, he’s going to get hammered in the media.”

Oh, Arians is getting hammered in the media all right. And it has nothing to do with running the ball four five times. But it has everything to do with this team being so sound asleep at the wheel with so, so much on the line,

No chemistry between Brady and Evans.

Joe has stayed quiet on this subject, except for a peep or two. Now it is a focus.

Why can’t park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting Bucs quarterback Tom Brady find star receiver Mike Evans consistently?

It seems unless the Bucs have the ball within the five-yard line, Brady either cannot or doesn’t want to find Evans. For the first few weeks, Joe let this slide because the Bucs kept saying Evans was playing injured (he was) and Brady and Evans needed time to learn each other (fair).

Now the Bucs are saying Evans is healthy. The Bucs have played nine games. Evans was targeted six times Sunday night, his 2020 average per game but about 50 percent less than his career average. That’s a little over once a quarter for a team that threw the ball 38 times.

For one of the better receivers in the game?

Predictably, when Joe asked previously why Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, never had trouble getting the ball to Evans but God’s gift to quarterbacks can’t, the Jameis haters howled.


Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians was asked about this last night and he didn’t deny there is something going on.

“Part of it is scheme,” Arians said. “Part of it is reading [defenses].”

Arians added that Brady has “to find him.”

Now how it is furniture-tossing Antonio Brown comes in and has barely practiced and he’s targeted five times but Evans, who has been working with Brady since the spring at Berkeley Prep, had just one more target?

There’s something up here.

About the best explanation Joe has heard is that Jameis trusted Evans on fighting and winning for the football if he was covered but Brady won’t throw to Evans because he doesn’t separate from defenders like Scotty Miller or Chris Godwin can.

Of course, this doesn’t explain why Brady will then throw to foot-rubbing, car-littering Rob Gronkowski when Gronk is sometimes covered.

Playoffs in jeopardy.

The Bucs had a chance to take over the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff race. Instead, the Bucs are playing now for their wild card lives.

With a lost tiebreaker to the Saints, the Bucs are two games behind for the division title. They would need to finish at least one game ahead of the Saints to win the division. There are but seven games left. If the Bucs run the table (dubious after last night) they would need the Saints to finish the season no better than 6-2 in the final eight games.

The Bucs have a half-game lead on the Cardinals and Rams (both 5-3) in the wild card chase and are game up on the Bears (5-4). The Bears own a tiebreaker on the Bucs.

This is why the game Sunday was so revolting to Joe. With the Bucs playing for so much, with so much on the line, to completely shat their pants the way they did means either Bucs coaches totally were out to lunch this week or the players are gutless — or a combination of both.

To pull a total no-show is beyond shameful. Arians likes to talk about “character.” He got that from Bear Bryant.

Arians like to say after a tough loss or a bad game, “We’ll see about our character [in the next game].” Well, for Joe, the Bucs showed what kind of character they have by puking all over themselves on national television with a chance to take control of the NFC playoff hunt.

A loss is one thing. But to get blown out and not competing, as if they were Wake Forest playing the Saints, that is unacceptable for professionals.

The way the Bucs played the past two games, do you have any confidence they can rally past the Saints or finish the season better than the Cardinals or Rams?

Bonus: Bloated egos.

Sometimes, Joe wonders why folks who work in the fourth estate have bloated egos. Look, Joe has a journalism degree but Joe never, ever places himself on a higher pedestal than anyone.

(Trust Joe, in college Joe was/is in the vast minority with that self-perception.)

But some media, woof, it’s a wonder they can walk in a door their heads are so swelled.

Joe guesses one can get a big head by the following, and it really blows Joe away.

So last night Joe was watching the NBC intro to Sunday Night Football because, well, Carrie Underwood. Who wouldn’t want to watch America’s Sweetheart?

So in the intro with Underwood yelping about something, there is a clip of Al Michaels. OK, Al’s a legend. His mere presence yells “big game.” He’s very close to retirement so we better enjoy him while we can. Joe was actually a bit surprised Michaels traveled from Los Angeles to the game. He’s no longer working a full schedule of Sunday Night Football games.

Then there is a shot of Cris Collinsworth. OK, Joe guesses he’s worthy. But if he was replaced, would you really notice?

Then there is a shot of Michele Tafoya.

Michele Tafoya.

Michele Tafoya?

Raise your hand if you know of anyone who flops on their couch or stretches out in their recliner to watch football on a quiet Sunday night because of Michele Tafoya and her banal questions? Seriously?

Michele Tafoya?

How much air time does she get total, four minutes, max? But she’s featured on the intro because she draws viewers and eyeballs? I mean, really?

Look, it’s not like she’s Mike Wallace or Diane Sawyer or Norah O’Donnell or Tim Russert.

Michele Tafoya?

We’re not even talking about Erin Andrews or Maria Taylor here.

Michele Tafoya?

When she did some standup, likely reading a teleprompter about furniture-tossing Bucs receiver Antonio Brown right before kickoff, was it anything different than what you can or have read from his Wikipedia page? Did you learn anything new or insightful? No? Oh.

Hell, the broadcast might be better without her (or any sideline reporter). Yet she’s featured in the intro like she’s something special that folks have to tune in or they will twist and turn in bed all night thinking they missed something?

Michele Tafoya?

You can see how someone can easily get an overblown opinion of one’s self in the TV medium now, can’t you?

Lastly: Arians is 1-6 as a head coach against Sean Payton and the Saints.

48 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Oh, Arians is getting hammered in the media all right. And it has nothing to do with running the ball four five times. But it has everything to do with this team being so sound asleep at the wheel with so, so much on the line

    Can someone tell me what Coach Arians is good at when it comes to coaching? Is it getting his team prepared? No. Clock management? He’s made several bad decisions. Team discipline? Nope. How about play calling? Nope, that is on Byron Leftwich. Someone help me out.

    So what does Bruce Arians do well on game day?

  2. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Great caption Joe !!!! LOL

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs can still finish 12-4 or 11-5. They got beat in the trenches last night, soundly. Play action on 1st play?
    Brady had no time, Brees had all day.
    Short week didn’t help either.
    Saints were sharp and Bucs were incompetent.
    It’s one bad game.
    Bucs have been winning 3 out of 4- let’s see if that continues.
    But they need Marpet and they miss Vea.

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    I have an idea, draft a bunch of cover corners and then play them in zone against a guy that routinely picks zone coverage apart.

    If the NFL is proving anything right now and in the last couple years, it’s that big lumbering WR’s are a thing of the past. The game now is about who has the fastest guys and who can scheme them into space. We’re playing a cro-magnon style of offense right now, with nothing but old offensive coaches that know nothing else and an offensive coordinator that is being raised by these cave men.

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Coach Butthole lips Payton knows how to make us look like idiots.
    Brady sucked out loud last night too.
    He looked sad and lost.

  6. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Seems to me that Arians listen to the dumb sports media about how weak Brees’ arm is getting in his old age, so “zone defense it is”…….oops.

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    The sad part of the season the second half is the toughest part of the schedule when the bucs are playing the worse. One gimme the lions.

  8. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Morgus that has to have spmething to do with that lame pathetic exibition of defence. Crumpets and were being enjoyed by Brees all night, plenty of time to throw the ball. Clean jersey all night. Thx Todd, for giving a hall of fame QB time to pick apart the Defense. Please return to press coverage and blitzing Todd. Last night is not how the Bucs are 2nd in sacks. GO BUCS!!!!!

  9. #1bucfan Says:

    Yup that was a beat down. Man hope we can get this right. There’s seriously way to much firepower on this offense for us not to put up 40 plus points a game. They better get it together and quick. Let’s go Bucs

  10. Elite Vita Says:

    There’s Jameis, eating Ws sticking it to Bucs fans. Always the vision of class and maturity!

  11. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Great caption, great article, great assessment of our team – one of your best Joe(s).

    The only explanation I can come up with for that dreadful performance last night was EGO. With so much on the line, it should have been about confidence, not ego. But did the Bucs think all they had to do was show up and they would win?!

    And ego played into the Saints play as well, in the form of PRIDE. Everyone taking the Bucs; everyone talking about the Bucs D and the all star talent on the Bucs. How can anyone cover all of these WRs?! Apparently, the Saints can!

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    Dang Joe. Understand your disappointment with last night’s game. Who isn’t? It was a pathetic display of football by the Bucs. But to go after the broadcasting crew is kind of projecting your disgust. I doubt Michelle Tafoya scripted the opening. She just did what the producers developed.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d think Brady is deliberately not targeting Evans because he wants him to be traded & replaced by a cheaper Antonio Brown…..

    Well, at least we would get a #1 pick for Evans……and that may get us a future QB.

  14. QUE589 Says:

    Joe, ask Bruce if he thinks Jameis familiarity w/ the Bucs offense and defensive schemes are helping the Saints prepare and play against the Bucs. It looks as if they know exactly how to attack Bucs on offense and defense.

  15. First Down Tampa Bay Says:


    Tom is only here for one more season max. Wouldn’t fit his timeline to trade one of the game’s best receivers for a 1st round pick, he needs all the help he can get the next two years.

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    we have players and coaches that are scared of the saints….the entire oline never shows up vs the saints….mike disappears vs the saints….DW is horrible vs the saints….the secondary cant stop anyone vs the saints….

    why the hell did brady continue to throw deep on 3rd&short?….did he forget what down it was?…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  17. ATLBucsFan Says:

    How many times do you have to play Brees to know he picks apart zone defenses? Couldn’t believe I was seeing that. An accurate passer can beat zone every time. Dumb game plan. Destined to fail.

  18. Dapostman Says:

    Didn’t these coaching geniuses sit Dean last year at home against the Saints because they were going to play zone against Brees and Dean was a man 2 man corner? Yet last night Dean was in playing zone.


    This coaching staff seems to overthink everything. They need to take a page from the old Bull Durham movie. It’s a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you run the ball, you block and tackle.


  19. Ed Says:

    Very good article Joe about the game itself. Detouring to the broadcast stuff isn’t as important as the game being lost before halftime. The comments about Evans not being on the same page as Brady is true. The days of the big receivers dominating the game is over. Corners are bigger and more physical than in the past. The ability for a receiver to get to a spot faster than the CB is more important than winning jump balls. If Evans no longer has the speed to stretch the field, his comeback and jump ball skills are negated when a QB like Brady is seeing someone open. The only guy I saw beating coverage last night was Antonio Brown. His quickness had him open more than Evans. Mike has 7 games left to prove if the best is behind him. Watching other good teams yesterday like KC, Seattle and the Bills, the receivers catching the ball are not long striding tall guys like Mike, speedsters are taking over the position.

  20. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    November 9th, 2020 at 8:15 am
    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d think Brady is deliberately not targeting Evans because he wants him to be traded & replaced by a cheaper Antonio Brown…..

    Well, at least we would get a #1 pick for Evans……and that may get us a future QB.

    No conspiracy but a distinct possibility.

  21. LJsDaddy Says:

    This team is a fraud. No wonder i have PTSD. They kick me in the n@ts over and over. The Saints are the one division rival that I truly hate. Football sucks. So tired of this.

  22. Oneilbuc Says:

    Brady lost this game and I’ve been saying this the hold year . Brady haven’t played played good against a average or above average defense . He will play good next week and all yall will be saying how great he is . He has to play better against good defenses .

  23. Joe Says:

    But to go after the broadcasting crew is kind of projecting your disgust.

    Didn’t go after the “crew.”

  24. Joe Says:


    Joe, ask Bruce if he thinks Jameis familiarity w/ the Bucs offense and defensive schemes are helping the Saints prepare and play against the Bucs. It looks as if they know exactly how to attack Bucs on offense and defense.

    It was as simple as the Bucs played zone and the Bucs kept giving Brees the ball

    Jameis was on the Saints roster when they opened the season.

  25. adam from ny Says:

    been saying it for a while now…

    there is definitely a quiet power rift going on between evans and brady…

    it’s like:

    “no this is my offense”…”no dude this is my fuggin offense”

    i’m pretty sure both guys think it’s “their offense”…

    mike is paying the price because brady can throw him open on any given play…all day…facts…

    notice how he started throwing to evans in garbage time…

    once the game was totally over i said to myself:

    “ok now he will pad mike’s stats a bit”

    and he did

  26. adam from ny Says:

    jameis is like a child and hurt himself with the “eat a W” move on national tv…

    it still shows a petty dumb young man who continues to simply not grow into the qb that any team will want to lead their offense…

    and more so, pay a big contract to…

    dude is still a bonified bonehead…

    it doesn’t seem that he gets it or ever will…

    but he sure did let the bucs have it with that move

  27. Oneilbuc Says:

    Adam no one cares how you feel about Jamies . I’m sure a lot of yall hated the guy . I don’t care if he talks trash we shouldn’t have given him a reason to do that . I told yall Brady doesn’t play well against good defenses . Jamies would have put up more points in this game . So when are yall going to blame Brady for his bad play 🤔🤔🤔

  28. Oneilbuc Says:

    Youngbucs a running game matters now do it ??? It’s not a excuse for the quarterback now is it ???? Brady will play good against the Panthers defense but haven’t showed me nothing against a good defense .

  29. shorttrooper Says:

    Imagine being so out of touch that someone would brag about having a journalism degree. As someone who got a degree in the Mass Comm realm, I can assure you they are all easy, borderline joke degrees that anyone who took a real major like engineering or biology rightly looks down on.

    Journalism is a trade. It shouldn’t even need a degree.

  30. Bucs Says:

    Good assesment. Last point, however, totally weird and unnecessary.

  31. Wackomaroon Says:

    That bonus was an absolute pathetic read and waste of reader’s time, Joe. Nobody cares about your feeling towards Michele Tafoya. You got a degree in journalism, but lack an imagination for quality content. “DId you ‘we’ learn anything new and insightful?” Hell no.

  32. Joe Says:

    I can assure you they are all easy, borderline joke degrees that anyone who took a real major like engineering or biology rightly looks down on.

    Well, at least Joe had to pass a law class as a prerequisite to get his degree. Trust Joe, that was no joke.

    The true joke degree(s) is majoring in philosophy. Good luck using that degree in the real world. Quoting René Descartes in a job interview will only go so far.

    Once upon a time a journalism degree was noble. Can’t say that any longer. At least Joe is doing something with his degree. Most, if they aren’t out of the profession entirely, wake up each day scared to check their e-mails or texts.

    You act like Joe should be jailed for getting a college degree. Why the anger?

    Yes, Joe is proud he went to college, worked his way through paying his own bills. And graduating. If that doesn’t meet someone’s self-inflated standards, they can go eff themselves.

  33. Ep Says:

    Joe can be so hateful sometimes.

  34. This Guy Says:

    I find it pretty pathetic that 5 guys sitting on a couch drinking beers can figure out the Saints O, but this coaching staff cannot.

    You have to play man press to beat the Saints, how is it shocking that they run a bunch of quick hit routes? Just HOW?

    It is inexcusable.

  35. D-Rome Says:

    Joe can be so hateful sometimes.

    Joe is not hateful. The truth is hateful. There isn’t anything that happened last night that you can put a positive spin on. This game was WORSE than any other Bucs blowout loss over the past ten years. Too much was on the line and the true character of this team was revealed last night.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    Leftwich and Bowles should both be forced to run laps as punishment.

    Absolutely pathetic and embarrassing for both of them.

  37. Rodney Smith Says:

    I’m not buying the excuse for not running the ball. They didn’t start off down by 28. They dug themselves in the hole by not running the ball.

  38. adam from ny Says:

    @ oneilbuc:

    i have zero feels for jameis…lol

    #HeSimplyHasAyeLowIQ #3rdStringIsTurdString

  39. Posey99 Says:

    you wont win many games playing defense like that. Zone on wet grass smells like over confidence.

  40. Oneilbuc Says:

    Adam we lost and Brady haven’t played well at all against good defenses . Last night Brady didn’t have no fight in him at all . That’s what I miss about Jamies . But we let him go and everyone was happy and cracking jokes about Jamies . But Jamies was a fighter and Brady is not at least with the Bucs . We have to win this year because we going to have cap problems . Evans has been a 1,000 yard receiver until Brady came that’s a problem because most of yall said that Brady will make Evans even better .

  41. Oneilbuc Says:

    🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 I haven’t heard anyone blamed Brady for nothing he had 3 interceptions and no one has blame him for the lost 🤔.. If this was Jamies this lost would only be his fault . And all yall will be killing him right now . But for Brady it’s ok now it’s everyone else fault . It’s just proof that the hate for Jamies blind yall from the truth with this team . Brady will bounce back next week and yall will make him the only reason why we won .

  42. adam from ny Says:

    okay there is wild dance party with club lighting in the saint’s locker room at ray jay on the internet…

    of jameis and payton dancing hardbody and partying it up about beating the bucs and eating W’s…

    BA needs to play this for all the buccaneers today…

    so they can see for themselves…

    it’s going viral bro

  43. Doctor Stroud Says:

    It’s a great question to ask about whether or not Mike Evans is healthy. Another “mysterious” injury. Other teams get healthy when they play the Bucs in big games. Our team gets injured in “mysterious” ways. Just ask Easy Money Sweezy!

  44. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Just another example
    Of coaches trying to outsmart themselves. No need to get cute. Just line up
    And play your style of football. It’s not that hard to figure out. Why do we keep getting these guys?

  45. The Ghost of Leeman Bennett Says:

    It is easy to be mouthy when you ride the bench. Shut up Winston, you would have thrown 7 INTs last night. The ass hat that wrote this article forget to add “six time Super Bowl champion” to his adjectives that describe Brady, probably the GOAT.

  46. Clean House Says:

    For the kneel down

    Check you sheets!
    Eatin W’s in Prime time
    Homecoming Dance Party!!!!

    5109 yds and Mike Evans as a top receiver not good enough…
    Boo Hoo coach BS
    Didn’t do much coaching this week?

  47. Big Marlon B Says:

    Good to see that despite the new surroundings, Jameis is still a cringeworthy douchebag.

  48. Kenneth Mcallister Says:

    What position jamies play oh he I think 3rd are 4th string and he has the nerve look like Drew done broke him in.