Five Things

January 4th, 2021

When is the last time you were this happy for Victory Monday? Let’s get rolling before the caffeine wears off.

It’s all about No. 12.

Usually with old quarterbacks, they taper off late in the season. You know, the hits add up and the stamina and the arm strength just isn’t there.

With park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, the opposite seems true. The guy gets better as a season transpires.

No one would suggest Brady isn’t playing his best ball of the year the past three weeks. Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians sure wouldn’t.

Brady threw for 399 yards and four touchdown. In Week 17. At 43 years old. Not only is Brady a physical freak, but he is defying physics.

Also, on his touchdown bomb to Antonio Brown in the right corner of the end zone (on which Brown made a sick catch)? Brady was flushed out of the pocket and rolled right as smooth as his boyhood hero Joe Montana.

Yes folks, that was a 43-year old man.

Brady and the Bucs offense are peaking at the perfect time.

There really is no debate, not even for the Jameis supporters. The difference between last year and this year and the Bucs winning instead of losing? No. 12. That’s all there is to it.

Fortunate matchup.

So the Bucs travel to FedEx Field to play Washington on Saturday night. Initially Joe was hoping for a showdown with the Cowboys inside their dome.

However, Washington may be a better matchup.

While Chase Young scares the hell out of Joe, let’s think about this: If the Bucs can put together a blocking scheme to shut out Aaron Donald, then the Bucs should be able to devise a scheme to slow Young.

Joe knows the Donovan Smith haters will have their antennae up looking for any mistake he may have, as it could quickly turn into chaos for the Bucs offense and Brady. But who says the Bucs cannot line up Gronk on the left side, or use Joe Haeg as a tackle eligible, and have those guys chip and double Young?

Joe suspects Shady McCoy will be active Saturday as he’s a better blocker than Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, though Fournette had some great blocks yesterday.

The Redskins offense is pitiful. So even if the Redskins hold Tampa Bay under 30 points, the Bucs should win this game or at least it will be close enough for Brady to put it away late.

Early weather forecasts for Saturday night’s game say the gametime temperature will be in the mid- to low-30s.

Quit blaming the Outback Bowl!

The longer the day got yesterday the more absurd this was.

After Bucs star wide receiver Mike Evans slipped on the wet turf in the end zone and Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians “totally” blamed the injury on the grass, Bucs fans went bananas on social media and on this here website blaming the Outback Bowl.

Joe can only assume folks had adult beverages flowing freely.

The Outback Bowl, as football fans know, is played often on Jan. 1 (this year on Jan. 2) and is one of the sporting highlights of the year in Tampa Bay. It pits an SEC team against a Big Ten team.

Since there is only one football stadium in the area, the Outback Bowl is played in the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway. And fans believed the field Sunday was full of divots and wet from being played on less than a day earlier.

First, Arians specifically pointed out the end zones were wet. Clearly the field was in good shape and Arians didn’t mention it being an issue. And c’mon folks, it’s an outdoor stadium. Not sure how an outdoor field can be pristine.

Joe reached out to meteorologist Paul Dellegatto of FOX 13, WTVT-TV. He said a slight rain Saturday night into Sunday morning hit the stadium. And a reason the end zones likely never fully dried was that it was overcast on Sunday.

Joe isn’t sure how the Outback Bowl was to play God and prevent rain from falling in west Tampa.

Look, the Bucs play in an outdoor stadium. It can’t be in perfect condition for eight games a season short of doing what Arizona and Las Vegas do; they have the field outside on a railcar-like system and the day before a game they roll it into their domes.

Go back and look at old NFL playoff games in New York or Baltimore, and look at the field conditions and compare that to a wet end zone at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.

Night and day, folks.

Saturday Night Live.

The Bucs will hit the road to face the NFC East champion Saturday night on NBC.

Bad news for Evans, who is day-to-day and linebacker Devin White, who is on the Reserve/COVID list. It was nip-and-tuck if White was able to play in the first playoff game on Sunday. Saturday was a rough luck for both those guys.

While it is way cool the Bucs will be on primetime, given the Bucs’ recent history of playing under the lights and how it jams two of its stars from possibly playing, Joe sees little benefit for the playing Saturday night over, say, Sunday afternoon.

The cool thing is there is nocturnal postseason history between the two franchises.

In 1999, the Bucs hosted the Redskins in the divisional round of the playoffs and came from behind on the shoulders of John Lynch and Mike Alstott.

A-Train was peak Alstott on one of the coolest two-yard touchdown runs you will ever see. The Redskins missed a game-winning field goal as time expired and the Bucs escaped to the 1999 NFC title game.

Six years later, the Bucs hosted the Redskins again in a divisional game. This time the Bucs lost. A controversial Edell Shepherd drop of a Chris Simms touchdown pass prevented the Bucs from tying the game.

And now, 15 years later, the franchises meet up in the playoffs again. Also under the lights in primetime.


While the timing of the Saturday night game is not good for the Bucs, it is a major sign of respect.

Primetime games, regular or postseason, are an honor for players and teams. So when Joe noticed NBC got the Bucs-Redskins, Joe also saw the 4 p.m. game Saturday game is Los Angeles at Seattle.

Wow! The team with the Hollywood-style offense and a pretty boy coach with his hot Ukrainian fiancée facing Russell Wilson and the perpetual Super Bowl contender Seahawks was deemed a lesser choice to get eyeballs. The network went with the Bucs playing at an NFC East opponent with a losing record.

That’s serious respect for the Bucs and Brady.

33 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. mg Says:

    Brady has proven to be the best bad weather, bad turf quarterback. Foxborough had one of the worst fields for years. Never bothered TB-12. Go Bucs.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Joe, the WFT is also pretty damn popular, no matter their record. Also, East coast teams are a better rating get on night games. So yeah, we’re getting some respect, but that’s a small part putting this game on at night.

  3. Jim Says:

    Add a small mention: kudos to our kicker…

  4. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Saturday night is going to be a different showing for the bucs in prime time than Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. I just wish ME13 was able to play at 100% to show off to the entire football fans what a great ELITE plyer he is on the national stage

  5. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Fans who are content with a one and done playoff game as “good enough” are setting their sites too low, and are probably the same ones worried most about the prime time schedule. Bring on the prime time! Bring on the cold! He11, as overcome in the past, bring on the west coast! Fans should not have that Bucs PK mentality like Pete Rajecki had decadesa ago (he said “I just can’t kick well when the coach is watching,” where coach John McKay said to “tell Rajecki I plan to attend every game”). You gotta win in primetime to go deep in the playoffs, so this is great time to start.

    If fans, or more importantly, the players themselves, lament a primetime game instead of embracng the OPPORTUNITY it brings, then they shouldn’t be in the playoffs. They’ve shaken the slow starts, the kicking woes, the poor run game, and they even did VERY well with depth players yesterday absent two top players.

    The worrisome talk about primetime is for a team who is not yet playoff team. Not only are the Bucs one, their record is good enough to have legtimately won a lot of divisions out there–unlike WAS. This is no longer a good team on paper–they are a good team for real. A team that has a BETTER road record than their winning home record.

    All bets are off. Bring on Round 1!

  6. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Brady threw behind Mike Evans in the end zone. Had he hit Mike in stride, it’s a TD, a new personal record, and a game out of reach much earlier for the fowlgoons. Other than that, nice game for the park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs QB Tom Brady.

  7. Bird Says:

    And the one joe just got on the brady bandwagon literally yesterday
    How is that possible? Our defense sucks bad. Run game hit or miss but i will admit better then last year.
    Brady is putting the team on his back
    He seems to almost average 350-400 and 4 tds a game. And rarely turns it over.
    And he came here being the winnest qb of all time. Yet it took the one joe an entire season to give props to brady instead of comparing him to gardner minshew and claiming his deep ball was garbage. “Oh if the qb just played a better game we win”. Meanwhile the former qb who was just average was treated like a superhero and nothing was his fault. “He was must see tv”

    Can anyone report on the joes. The one that hated brady for so long ? Did he eat paint chips as a kid or something. I mean it just boggles my mind. Brady has set almost every record for a qb in just one season. We are 11-5 because of him. In his 21 year career he has 16 years of 11 wins i think i saw. Yet he still gets the longwinded lame monikers

  8. Bucnut2 Says:

    Agree with most of this post except the part on Washington. Rivera is a GREAT coach. We are likely to be outcoached, Washington is better in the trenches on both sides of the ball and Smith will be playing QB. Looks like White and Evans will be out. I think this is a terrible match up for us. Look for a close lose for our Bucs.

  9. rrsrq Says:

    Two points; 1. dress Mike but only play if needed. 2. I was at that Bucs v. Skins game with Chris Simms, there were more Redskins fans there than Bucs fan, had a ball talking trash to skins fans who travel well (and it was freezing). So the last team to put us out of the playoffs will be the first team to go down as we start a new playoff run.

  10. Razor Ramone Says:

    I’m gonna look for a close win! Go Bucs.

  11. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I don’t think Brady is coming out for Nate Sudfeld in this game- Bucs offense is on a roll right now, especially the OLine and ROJO looked great.

  12. ClodHopper Says:

    I will not stop blaming the Outback bowl.

    A meteorologist is not the right person to ask about soil and drainage. A non compacted soil can handle a “slight rain” with or without the sun.
    Compacted soil that has a lot of halftime traffic on it can not.

    Say what you will but compacted soil plus rain is the perfect recipe for slimy slippery topsoil.

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Bucnut…how is WAS better in the trenches, on both sides no less? Don’t just look at stats (which aren’t great), but who they played, and beat (or not). They beat the Steelers is a WTF game for PIT, but all others teams were terrible, mostly in their own division.
    On trenches, the Bucs run game is better. I’d put Bucs pass rush and run D up against WAS. Yup, their front 4 on D is very good. But so is the Bucs. Rivera IS a great coach, agreed, and he’s got a lot of momentum given his situation, but there are WAY too many more weapons on the Bucs side. Smith against Brady? Smith has a great story to tell, and will get much media and fan support, but to me, he looked pretty fragile last night. The WAS fanchise in general is a train wreck. Yes, I know the Bucs have to show up to play, and can’t play down to their opponent, and I doubt they will. I can’t see a better matchup for the playoffs Round 1 for the Bucs.

  14. JustBucNwin Says:

    That 99 game was my 1st game I ever attended! 5 rows from the top, but it didn’t matter, I was there!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So….I find it interesting that Joe has no problem referring to Fed Ex field but can’t bring himself to print Raymond James Stadium…

    So….you prefer to advertise an opponent’s sponsor instead of our team’s.

    Truly inexcusable.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Sorry Joe, but I don’t see playing Washington as a ‘fortunate matchup’. They’ve got a Top-5 defense, and we haven’t fared all that well against stout defenses all season. And if our defense ends up being without White AND Davis, that’ll put us at a significant disadvantage IMO. This is gonna be a dogfight, and I’m just hoping we bring a dog to the fight. Smashmouth football at its finest.

  17. 0-26 survivor Says:

    Watched giants and WFTeam games and think giants and Jones are more of a threat than WFTeam , giants almost beat bucs earlier this year also. That game last nite was a truly horrible and unwatchable game, fumbles, int’s
    Penalties yuk, wash may have a good dline but overall team is garbage and bucs should start fast and score often as wash does not exactly look like a comeback team. will be no fans and their turf looks more forgiving than giants harder looking field. Bspn boys blasting Philly couch this am for removing hurts and putting in 3rd stringer at qb. I Like game on Sat. Nite except for listening to collinsworth who is awful, but can sleep in on Sunday am.

  18. rrsrq Says:

    Potentially none of Jason Licht’s first round picks with the exception of Wirfs may not play in the first round of the playoffs for the Bucs: Evans, Winston, Hargreaves, O. J., Vita Vea and Devin White.

  19. Bird Says:

    Six things

    Dont forget the catch
    Game was close – 3 and 12. Falcons keep their dbs on first down line in long 3rd down situations and brady completes for 47 yard pass to godwin. Play of the game.

    Just saw bucs finish with 30.8 average pts/ per gaem average. First time in their history. So another record for this offense.

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Rivera has very little experience coaching against Brady. I believe the only time he beat Brady was the year Carolina lost to Denver in SB. Brady has more playoff experience than any player and coach Bucs will face except possibly Reid & Carol. Keep him upright and he will take the Bucs to the promised land. Bad fields excellent for non mobile QB’s.

  21. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Kudos to Rivera for getting the WFT into the playoffs, and this after going thru 3 QBs. Rivera is a very good coach, and not a butt head like Payton, and not a dumb arse like Mr. Kotter (I do like Rah, and one day he will get his second shot).

  22. BucRob Says:

    The thing that concerns me about a 8:20 game is it goes past Tom Brady’s bedtime which is 9pm and he doesn’t like to play at night.

  23. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    The Greatest Show On Grass baby as long as Arians doesn’t get all conservative again and start deferring. If anything I think teams will elect to keep the 1st ball against us in order to cool our jets .

  24. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    By the way Joe if you can give a failed qb the props for a alternate Pro Bowl appearance, can you add Playoff earning, TD record holding and Greatest Of All Time Bucs Qb to Mr Tom Brady???? He’s earned them just like your names

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    I’d like to point out something I read this morning, Tom Brady is the 16th highest paid QB in the NFL this year. This is why over all these years his teams have been able to stay on top with a top tier QB at the helm.

    You don’t get to have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski all on one team without this kind of QB.

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    i disagree joe….

    WASH was the worst match-up of the nfc east teams….young and sweat are a force….not to mention their inside push with payne and reed…riverboat is a great coach…

    BA better have these boys ready to go….bowles needs to have the defense start fast….BL has been working MAGIC!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

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

    Remember Jameis

  28. Infomeplease Says:


    ” NO ONE AND DONE IN 2021″

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    Will yahoo owner Dan Snyder ever let the DC fans rename the WFT? Not the first time Bucs have played against Ron Rivera. ME13, LVD and WGholston remember those games. This will be fun to listen to as it’s the best offense in Bucs history. I am very thankful for Bucs Radio cos I can not stand Cris Collingsworth.

  30. Youngbucs Says:

    Thx joes for finally saying it there is no debate.

  31. 813bucboi Says:

    *allen not reed

    GO BUCS!!!

  32. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Washington is a fortuitous match up…their offense is anemic/impotent and only won because Pederson went full give up slide when the game was still very winnable.

  33. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Love that move by Peterson, puts a * on the win. Eagles should of beat them, what a waste of a primetime game that was neck & neck until Peterson pulled the reigns.