Harbinger Or Fluke?

January 12th, 2021

Not freaking over close win.

Look, Joe was as geeked as the next fan that the Bucs won their first playoff game in 18 years. And no, it was not an overly pretty win.

The gang at “Good Morning Football” at NFL Network discussed the Bucs facing the Saints in the division round of the playoffs, and had varied opinion.

Kyle Brandt said the close win over Washington shouldn’t be too concerning. And he made a great point: two of the biggest weapons of park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady either were invisible or just had a bad game.

Foot-rubbing, car-littering tight end Rob Gronkowski was largely used as a blocker. He had one target. Chris Godwin had four drops, which is inexcusable for a receiver in a playoff game. Godwin may have had four drops in his career prior to last week.

So if Godwin and Gronk have normal games, how much better and explosive is the Bucs offense?

“I just think this is a different Buccaneers team than either time they faced the Saints [this season],” Brandt said.

Co-host and closet Bucs fan Peter Schrager is disturbed by what he saw. He’s not looking forward to the matchup with the Saints given the result last week.

Schrager said he actually feels worse about the Bucs than before since the defense was so awful facing an XFL backup.

“They should have blown out [Taylor] Heinicke,” Schrager said. “I felt like it should have been 40-0, ‘Let’s take care of business. Let’s show everyone in the NFC.’

“As a Bucs fan, you can’t feel great about an eight-point win over Heinicke.”

Well, Joe was much more concerned about the terrible defense than the not-quite-as-explosive offense. The defensive effort was shameful.

Look, Joe loves Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett. But someone on the Bucs’ staff needs to wake up these guys and tell them the playoffs have started and they need to make plays and get sacks.

The last time either JPP or Shaq Barrett had a sack was back on Dec. 13 against Vikings.

Enjoy today’s Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

23 Responses to “Harbinger Or Fluke?”

  1. Mitch Says:

    Yeah I think the secondary has been pretty concerning all season long except for when the press and for some reason we haven’t played a lot of that because Bowles doesn’t want to give up the home run.

  2. Frankinthe813 Says:

    When’s the Gronk movie with Mel Gibson coming out?

  3. Leighroy Says:

    The one thing Heinicke had going for him was he was an escape artist who could outrun Kevin Minter. Drew Brees cant do either (but he is quick to release the ball) and our 9-sack, 2nd team all-pro A-gap rusher is back after not playing against said escape artist. I am cautiously optimistic this is a fluke but the concerns are not unfounded.

  4. Mitch Says:

    Leighroy – I agree there were at least three times Heinecke escaped Minter when I am sure Devin would have caught him.

  5. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Heineke doesn’t make it through that game if White is playing. He got hurt as it was. One white full speed tackle and that guys done

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    I doubt the Bucs scouting revealed Heinicke was so effective on his feet. I don’t think anybody did.

    I suspect his second NFL start could be a different story.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    I mean it wasn’t exactly a secret that Heinicke was mobile, nor that he was taking 1st team reps all week, so I’m not buying these excuses.

    The fact is, our pass rush has been invisible for the majority of the 2nd half of the season. And without a pass rush, our secondary and LBs will get eaten alive in the passing game.

    We should have a better game plan and be able to give the Saints a fight, but if we can’t pressure Brees, we are screwed.

    Offense needs to put up at least 35 just to be safe, and that’s no easy task against NO. That said, I do expect our offense to produce much more than the last time around.

  8. Darin Says:

    Doubt anyone cares how many sacks anyone gets if they win. Doesnt matter how just do it. Brees loves January choke jobs. Here we go again

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Imagine the great Parcells NYG defense. Think they would be different if LT sat out a game?

    This is NOT to compare White to LT…that’s sacrilegious. It’s simply to point out that White’s game wrecking ability when he’s hot is similar to LT’s…and especially similar in terms of their importance to their respective defenses.

  10. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree with Cobraboy!
    Heinecke played lights out all game, but Devin White would have caught him.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    I really don’t understand what the Washington game has to do with our upcoming game against the Saints. Two totally different teams, so Brandt & Schrager need to find something else to get paranoid about.

    When I look at the 2 games we’ve played against the Saints this year, the 1st game is probably much closer to what we’ll see this weekend … Yes the Saints won 34-23, but it really wasn’t quite that close since the Saints were comfortably ahead 24-7 just a tad after the start of the 2nd half. Bucs scored first, but we fell behind by that much because of 2 INTs & a blocked punt that resulted in 2 TDs & 1 FG by the Saints. Other than that, we had played them even & if not for the 3 giveaways we very well might have beaten them.

    In other words, we handed them the game. Bucs played them relatively even in the other stats, BUT … turnovers kill ya. We made 3; they made 0. Hard to win when your Turnover Differential is MINUS 3.

    I don’t see us doing that again Sunday. Bucs offense has matured a bunch since those 2 losses (we turned it over 3 times in the 2nd loss also BTW and it cost us dearly). I personally think the Saints will score in the 30-35 point range because they’re an excellent balanced offense. Also believe however that this Bucs team is capable of putting up more points than that against this Saints’ defense, and if we expect to win the game (which I do), we’ll have to put up a ton of points. And part of that means not falling behind early; get the Saints out of their game-plan early in the game & our defense might have a fighting chance.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    Its not Shaq. When Shaq plays his natural position on the right side he gets a great jump on the snap and gets pressure. The decision to move hom to left DE was extremely foolish.
    I don’t know how many times I watched JPP come off the ball and stand straight up and get stonewalled. On running plays JPP got walled down and usually ended up on the ground. He’s either injured or the motor just suddenly fell out.

  13. Mitch Says:

    If I had to throw a dart as to why they switched Shaq and JPP I think they switched them because of JPP’s knee.

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I’d like to see us stuff whatever cutesy crap Payton will try… and he always does. Have a feeling JW gonna be a part of that. I hope we make them both pay.

  15. dmatt Says:

    On one particular play the Bucs had 7 defenders drop into coverage including JPP n Washington had 8 blockers with only two receivers down field and Henicke still completed a 15-20 yard pass with one of the receivers surrounded by three defenders. On the same play, JPP dropped into coverage on the opposite side of the field all alone by himself with no one on that side to cover. Why didn’t he rush the passer? What purpose did he serve into coverage all alone? smh
    I couldn’t understand that formation/call. JPP’s age has either caught up with him or he’s playing injured. Anthony Nelson need to step up n make use of his 6’7 height n long arms. I’m tired of watching deer in the headlight high school tackling JDean. I think he’s a bust. We’ve gotta get an alert aggressive cb with good reaction time.

  16. Beeej Says:

    Heinicke hit EVERY receiver who was remotely open… He didn’t throw into double/triple coverage…. Guy is an nfl quarterback (at least as good as Trubisky or Minshew)

  17. firethecannons Says:

    Honestly the pass rushers were getting after the guy but damn he was very elusive He was like playing the ultimate game of his life. The zone coverage is not working–am I wrong? I am an nfl newbie (6 years watching) what am I missing? Every game our secondary gets destroyed. They get diced to death wtf?

  18. firethecannons Says:

    Jmarkbuc Says:
    January 12th, 2021 at 7:14 pm
    I’d like to see us stuff whatever cutesy crap Payton will try… and he always does. Have a feeling JW gonna be a part of that. I hope we make them both pay.

    Yeah I hate when Taysom Hill comes in and throws or runs or divebombs the end zone, love to see him get sacked for big losses

  19. DaBux Says:

    They were looking ahead to the Aints.

    No? Too early?

  20. m0j0 Says:

    Spy Kamala with David, rush White on 50% of the snaps, double Thomas and play man coverage as much as possible. No zone stuff. Cover two if need be.

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I thought Todd Bowels whole thing was that he’s an agressive DC but now he suddenly wants to play conservative defense with an occasional blitz? It’s a Mike Smith 2.0 scheme.

    I’m surprised Todd Bowels is getting all these interviews when he can’t figure out how to press corners. Playing 10 yards off never works and if you watch the Bucs pass defense, it’s not that they’re getting beat deep but they are getting carved up with the short pass.

    Press the corners and make Brees force it deep on Sunday.

  22. Jeff Says:

    JPP is hurt bad Shaq is worthless without Via pushing the QB back in the pocket.

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bowles, Bowles, & Bowlers, doesn’t know what he is doing!!!!