Five Things

December 14th, 2020

Chris Godwin celebrates with Scotty Miller after Miller’s 48-yard touchdown catch. (Photo courtesy of

Victory Monday is here. Let’s get rolling before the coffee turns cold.

Changing Bruce Arians?

Joe heard some interesting comments coming from Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians and Scotty Miller yesterday.

The Bucs got off to their typical slow start on offense. They’ve scored a grand total of one touchdown in the first quarter in the past six games. That’s embarrassing for a team so loaded with talent.

Now Arians is known as a no-risk-it; no-biscuit guy. He instructs his quarterbacks to first look downfield and if nothing is there, then look to shorter passes.

The majority of coaches instruct their quarterbacks to do the opposite. Look short then look long.

Now when park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady connected with Miller on a second quarter 48-yard bomb for a touchdown, it kick-started the offense.

How the play broke down was very interesting. Arians and Miller both said that Miller was the third option. That Brady was looking to throw short first and then he saw Miller break and outrace his defender.

That seems to be a departure in how Arians works. Could this be the new Arians? Adjusting to his talent? Or did Brady talk him into this mindset?

This was very enlightening for Joe to hear.

Wanting pass-catchers in backfield.

For the sake of sanity and harmony, Joe is going to take Arians at his word. His decision to healthy scratch running back Leonard Fournette was a dice roll that the Vikings were a better matchup for Shady McCoy, not that there are problems or issues with Fournette.

Joe, however, does think there is a bit more to that and it is all innocent.

Fournette hasn’t established himself as a reliable pass-catching running back with the Bucs. So Joe is suspecting Arians wanted to get passing production, or at least more production, from his backs than what Fournette was offering.

This is likely also why Ke’Shawn Vaughn, a pass-catching rookie running back, was activated.

Arians’ gamble paid off with Shady. He had 32 yards on four carries, including two very key runs in the opening drive of the third quarter.

So it seems Arians came out of the bye wanting to accomplish three things: run more and not panic and give up on the run, and to use Shady. It worked (though Shady had but one catch for three yards, so that’s pretty much a wash).

Shaq is back.

Last week BSPN published a fantastic feature story on NFL sack king Shaq Barrett. He spoke of how he remade himself as a pass rusher by going to a pass rushing camp in the summer of 2018, where Bucs icon Warren Sapp was an instructor.

Shaq mentioned how this year opposing offenses are ready for him and even though he had many moves that allowed him to get 19.5 sacks in 2019 to lead the NFL, teams clearly studied film all offseason to figure out a way to slow him down.

As a result, Shaq said he was getting better and had learned even more moves.

Well, of late, Shaq has been on a roll. Since the Bucs played at the Giants, Shaq has had 10 quarterback hits in six games. He’s also had five sacks. He’s also had two forced fumbles and a pass defended.

Shaq now has eight sacks with three games left. The way he is playing, and who he will be playing against (Matt Ryan twice and Matthew Stafford), two players not exactly known for mobility, Joe thinks it’s likely Shaq finishes the season with double-digit sacks again.

And the soon-to-be free agent will be dropping a boatload of 2021 cash in his bank accounts — from somebody.

Playoffs within reach.

Trying to go over what could happen next weekend or what needs to happen for the Bucs to maybe clinch a playoff berth made Joe’s head hurt yesterday.

It seems if the Vikings and Bears lose next week and the Bucs beat the Dixie Chicks in Atlanta, the Bucs may clinch a playoff spot.

After the yesterday’s beating of the Vikings, you could tell Arians didn’t want to get too involved into playoff talk. Too much football still to be played.

“We got the tiebreaker on these guys,” Arians said of the Vikings. “This is a good football team – they’re going to win some games down the stretch. We’re [taking it] one day at a time – that’s what I just told the guys. It was a great win because it started on Tuesday. We had great practices this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday [and] Saturday. …

“Just make sure that we take care of tomorrow’s business tomorrow.”

Stats can lie.

Just looking at the box score, if you didn’t watch the game or know the final score, one would think the Bucs may have lost.

Minnesota had 27 first downs to the Bucs’ 17. Minnesota had 335 total yards to the Bucs’ 303. The Vikings had nearly double the time of possession the Bucs had (39:03 to 20:57).

Yet it was the Bucs who won.

That’s what happens when you take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes and make the right plays at the right times.

20 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. SteveK Says:

    Glad we overcame another slow start. Big win, keep it up fellas!

  2. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Bucs win! All is right in the world…until the Bucs lose. Atlanta will look to play the role of ‘spoiler’, especially against a team with Tom Brady on it, so watch out!

  3. DaBucsFan Says:

    Absolutely agree with the Doctor. Go Bucs !!!!!!

  4. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I have been dying for Shady to get involved. It’s time. His legs are fresh. He’s got some practice time with Brady. He is the third down/change of pace back this offense has desperately needed. I think he’s still got enough juice to make a big impact in the final stretch of this season.

  5. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Ehhh, 30 more total yards isn’t a big deal. Just as many total yards with half the possession time. Only having the ball for a total of 20 minutes however for only 45 or so total offensive plays is going to give me a brain aneurysm. The bend but don’t break stuff, with the Vikings bleeding the clock with endless, eye roll inducing 6 yard gains generally worked because they’re the Vikings. But you HAVE to get off the field. That’s my one nit pick. More chances for offense the better. If we play the packers a second time in Lambeau- those long awful drives will be made worse by them actually converting those to touchdowns.

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    “Just make sure that we take care of tomorrow’s business tomorrow.”

    — Bruce Arians

    “Stats can lie.”

    — Joe

    “Stats are for losers.”

    — ModHairKen

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The slow starts are 100% on Brady.

    There is no way Miller was the first option… was 3rd down.

    Our DBs did a good job not allowing deep passes…..and the pass rush was awesome….expecting that to continue the next 3 games.

  8. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    I’ll put my trust in Brady over BA… you know the guy that has actually watched from the field over and guy that falls asleep designing theoretical plays in his mind… geesh BA don’t try and reprogram the GOAT

  9. NashvilleBuc Says:

    @TBBF that play made me want to burn the house down.

  10. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Yesterday was a vintage Tom Brady win. Not very impressive on the stat sheet, but he took what they gave him and took advantage of Minnesota’s mistakes. This win and performance yesterday was exactly why we signed Brady.

    Good stuff.

  11. Scotty In Fat Antonio Says:

    It sure didn’t look like they had good practices last week to me from the game I was watching.

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    The lopsided victory was totally due to Baily leaving 10 points on the field. Succup missed one extra point. If both kickers had made all of their kicks, the score would be tied. However, missed kicks change the whole dynamics/momentum of the game. Who knows what might have happened had their kicker not lost his mojo. Glad we didn’t have to find out.

  13. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    The more Bruce and Lefty STFU, kiss the rings, and receive the game plan from the GOAT the better. Children should be seen and not heard.

  14. orlbucfan Says:

    CG14 hits Miller for catching that long TD bomb. Classy. Another reason why I call CG14 “Ungodly.”

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Stats are always open to interpretation.

    If I told you a running back had 100 yards on ten carries you may go wow!
    Ten yards per carry….AVERAGE.

    What if the guy had a 90 yard run on one attempt leaving ten yards gained on the other nine. Would it be a great day?

    That’s an extreme example of what I think is happening to ROJO. How many times did we run on first down for two yards and a cloud of dust? How many times then do we get behind down and distance at the very start?

    Is it not possible to play action pass on that expected running down and pick up 7-8 yards leaving us 2nd and short. Then run ROJO…if he breaks it great if not we’d still have third and very short.

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Do we think Tom Brady has made a deal with the devil?

    Dude does NOT look 43…33 maybe.

  17. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “The lopsided victory was totally due to Baily leaving 10 points on the field.”

    Totally? Is that how they score in the NFL…our kicker’s points against your kicker’s points.

    You leave out Suh who played perhaps his best and WORST game of the year.]
    His defensive offsides in the first half negated a 4th and long and a probably punt or a Hail Mary FG attempt…instead keeping the Vikes alive to score six points!

    Their kicker missed the extra point but Suh (again the defensive MVP) gave up six points and whatever wear and tear was added to our defense and whatever confidence and momentum was added to the Vikes.


  18. miken Says:

    Shady looked pretty good

  19. SlyPirate Says:

    Raheem and Dirk will be looking for revenge. They’ll have Atlanta “Youngry” to play the Bucs. This will be a tough game.

  20. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Joe says, “It seems if the Vikings and Bears lose next week and the Bucs beat the Dixie Chicks in Atlanta, the Bucs may clinch a playoff spot.”

    Jaymiss says, “Not likely the Vikings and Bears both loose next week since they play each other.”