Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Buccaneers-Washington

January 10th, 2021

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Onward ho.

The main takeaway from Saturday night’s win in the nation’s capital is that the Bucs are still alive. They will be one of only four teams still competing to represent the NFC Feb. 7 in Tampa, so there is much to be thankful for.

Save the style point for gymnastics and figure skating — survival is the name of the NFL game in January and Tampa Bay just made it past a stubborn opponent on the road.

That bittersweet look on the mug of Bruce Arians after the game was an acknowledgement that the Bucs let an inferior opponent hang around. That’s a dangerous scenario in a one-and-done matchup, but the Bucs are moving on.

Playing at home, Seattle couldn’t overcome its foibles against the Rams. And while the Bucs were far from their best, let’s not look down on the franchise’s first postseason victory since dismantling the Raiders on that glorious day in San Diego.

Here’s how the Bucs advanced into the divisional round, two wins away from a home game against the AFC champions:

* My first two game balls would have gone to Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs. They neutralized Washington’s edge rushers and gave Tom Brady time to exploit gaps downfield. The only significant pressure came from Daron Payne inside, once injured RG Alex Cappa was replaced by Ted Larsen.

* Once again, Mike Evans displayed the toughness and competitive drive that has spurred his Hall of Fame trajectory. Try telling Washington’s defensive backs that Evans wasn’t 100 percent after he took the game over in the second half. Guess what? He’s a 100 percent stud.

* From his first carry to his last, Leonard Fournette looked different. He ran for 93 yards, caught four passes for another 39 yards and provided physicality all night long, in addition to effective spin moves. Any GM watching that tape has to be impressed with a potential free agent who is still only 25.

* Ryan Succop lived up to his reputation as a reliable kicker, absolute money from inside the 40. And give it up for Bradley Pinion, who pinned Washington inside its 20 on two of his three punts and boomed his kickoffs halfway to the Capitol building.

* On paper, Chris Godwin enjoyed a productive night with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. But anyone who watched the game knows Godwin went AWOL in the second half. His usually dependable hands let him down in shocking fashion as he was targeted 12 times overall. Tom Brady and Buc Nation couldn’t believe some of those drops, but odds are that Godwin will rebound next weekend.

* Brady utilized his tight end efficiently, but it wasn’t Rob Gronkowski on the receiving end. Cameron Brate made some key grabs among his four receptions and he almost added a dazzling TD catch that would have made the highlight tape.

* You can blame it all on a pedestrian effort by Tampa Bay’s defense, but you’ve got to admit Taylor Heinicke had a heck of a night under center for Washington. He squeezed passes into tight windows and showed surprising mobility when chased out of the pocket. Most of all, he showed rare poise for a quarterback making his second pro start.

* All that said, Washington receivers were wide-ass open to an unacceptable degree.  The Bucs made Cam Sims look like DeAndre Hopkins. With the exception of Antoine Winfield, Tampa Bay’s secondary looked soft.

* During this 5-game winning streak, the Bucs have been victimized by only two giveaways while averaging 36 points. That, my friends, is high-end efficiency, a tribute to Tom Brady’s devotion to ball security.

* On a night when Washington rolled up 23 first downs and converted 7-of-14 on the money down, Brady wouldn’t be denied. With the help of a smart game plan, Brady directed an attack that gained 507 yards against one of the league’s better defenses. The Bucs would have hung at least 40 if they were a little better in the red zone. Brady looks young and Chase Young looks foolish.

It’s Ira! Stop in and ask for Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, for a JoeBucsFan discount. He will help you personally in person or by phone and email

45 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Buccaneers-Washington”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Um forgive me Sage, but How do you say Heineken was pinpoint and receivers were wide ass open in consecutive bullet points?

    I could have completed those passes … from my couch.

    This “No look, don’t touch” defense will end our season, with Dean and Burnting leading the way.

  2. Oxycondoms Says:

    Imagine brees with time. Actually we saw that last time bucs played saints

  3. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Let’s be honest. The front 7 would have done a better job containing and harassing Heinicke with Devon White and his speed. Minter has filled in as a good backup, but his lack of speed let Heinicke get out of difficult situations.

    Where were the DBs except Winfield? If the Bucs’ receivers had gotten as open as Washington’s Brady would have laid 5 TDS and 50 on them.

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    All that said, Washington receivers were wide-ass open to an unacceptable degree. – Ira
    Bucs don’t have any All Pros in the secondary – they scheme to limit the big play and depend on QB pressure to get off the field.
    When a QB performs like Heinicke did and extends plays with his mobility, the secondary will give up plays.
    Bucs have to score 30+ per game to win in playoffs and they are certainly capable.

  5. geno711 Says:

    Taylor Heinicke threw to the right guy all night. Not all of those throws were to wide open windows. Some of those were dimes too.

    The guy is too small to be a long term solution but wouldn’t it be funny if Heinicke got a bigger contract than JMiss next season!

    Defense has to tighten up is fair. Our biggest need right now.

  6. Frankinthe813 Says:

    Ira you need a better photo on that Bill Currie Ad

  7. The Red Mirage Says:

    Did Chase Young even play yesterday?

  8. Darin Says:

    Anyone looking down on that game Ira had the Bucs -8.5. Shoulda got in early at 7.5. Defense played way too soft and their qb was accurate. Ask the other favorites yesterday how many points they had to win by. Just win. Lose and then roast bowlsie

  9. Iron wombat Says:

    Our secondary still sucks.

  10. adam from ny Says:

    well said ira – your summation basically nailed it in every aspect…

    now bowles needs to get this defense to hit another level this week, because johnny heineken is no longer on tap…

    interviewing for jobs should not be in the menu this week at all

  11. SlyPirate Says:

    Hanging 31 on the #2 defense was impressive. Even more impressive when you consider the team didn’t play great. The Bucs have a lot of upside …

    The biggest … White returning. He will be destructive in run and pass and free up Shaq to make plays.

  12. Bucsfan951 Says:

    At this point, how far the Bucs go in the playoffs all depends on the defense. I’m not confident in the secondary and the pass rush had been spotty.

    Winfield is a stud!!! I welcome back white. I miss vea. Bucs need a stud cb!

  13. WiscoJoe Says:

    They were banking on Alex Smith playing. It’s hard to defend a QB who can run when you weren’t game planning for him.

  14. Nate Dawg Says:

    One thing people forget about this game when bashing the secondary is that a) Washington has the best rated offensive line in the league, and as you can see we gave him loads of time to throw and struggled getting in his face; and b) without getting good pressure on the qb it exposes our secondary greatly. If you go back to the games we got decent pressure against the qb with the front four or by blitzing, it allows the rest of the Defense to perform much better. We’ve been talking about this for years, about how our secondary gets beat because we get no pressure.
    JOE write an article about this to give our secondary a semi break about their performance!

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    I’ve said on here several times……Bowles struggles with replacement QBs that he doesn’t have much film on. Herbert had a field day against us…..Foles with the Bears looked competent….now this 3rd stringer looked like a legit starter. I almost feel better about a 3rd shot at NO vs the unknown QB situation with the Rams.

    That being said…..our secondary blows. Dean and Bunting are both liabilities. You could possibly mask the problem if only one of them were out there but that’s not our reality. We got what we got and they wont be making any huge strides in week 19. Our hope is Brady and the offense carry us again.

  16. Godlovesbucs Says:

    White would have made life for heineckie much more uncomfortable. His speed in the middle was missed. And some of those thows were good coverage with a perfect ball. Some were wide open too.

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    Ted Larsen from….Palm Harbor University High School.

  18. adam from ny Says:

    i was a little upset the whole game the way “washington hung around”…

    i kept thinking we’re gonna pull away…then it was 18-16…wtf

    and also what i interpreted as “a slight lack of intensity” at some points…

    during a playoff game…

    no one seemed bothered by the cold really, and no one seemed to have visible playoff jitters…

    except godwin – sorta…

    godwin has been the most sure handed receiver i think i have ever seen in tampa…it was sort of baffling to see balls keep bouncing off his hands…can’t really get on him about it either…he’s just that reliable…it was more weird to see than something to be upset about…and i’m sure he’s not happy about it – and will correct it…he’s a pro’s pro

    just gotta hope it was some jitters or something and was a one shot deal…

    dude has hands like crazy glue…………..usually

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Yeah Godwin going all #KYHands in 2nd half was really surprising and frustrating. I expect him to bounce back. Evans, AB, and Brate were all money though! Gronk was doing the dirty work with the o-line.

    Overall the offense played pretty darn well, with a few obvious things to clean up.

    The defense on the other hand… just embarrassing. I know White coming back will help but 1 player does not fix both the pass rush and the coverage, does he? I guess we are hoping so. They better tighten the F up before next weekend or we will get laughed out of the stadium as pretenders.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I could be in small company but I’m glad we were challenged last night……it should have been a wake-up call….especially to our defense… was soft…

    I will say that we would have absolutely destroyed Alex Smith……Call EMS….

    The mark of a good team is winning when you play poorly…….we did that.

  21. adam from ny Says:


    we are one of the 8 best teams in the nfl…

    so we are where we should be…

    i’m surprised about seattle tho…

    i said before i want to see us win 2 playoff games…

    one more and i’m ok with it, because i’m really not that sure we are one of the 4 best teams in the nfl…

    next year is really our year…

    this year we are putting the nfl on alert…



  22. adam from ny Says:

    you know what…..

    knock off the saints next week…

    lose in lambeau…

    so be it – if that’s the case…

    i’m ok with that…

  23. the_end Says:


    One of your best yet sir. Epic closer.

    “Brady looks young and Chase Young looks foolish.”

  24. gotbbucs Says:

    Bring on the Saints. I have zero interest in watching Ted Larson go against Aaron Donald.

  25. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    By the way, SAGE.

    NOW YOU SEE WHY BROOKS DROPPED HIS SEEGAR WHEN YOU SUGGESTED BENCHING MIKE EVANS. He deserved the chance to play. He made a significant contribution to the win in spite of being at “85%”.

    You are only a few years older than me. I know you know much much more than I ever will about football. I will attribute your lapse of judgement as a “senior moment”. … 👴 👳‍♂️ 😏

  26. Brady is a cheater Says:

    Oh win the saints, come marching in, oh when the Saints beat the bucs again

  27. Brady is a cheater Says:

    The refs favored tom, too many in called holds against chase young….mybe cuz he’s a person of color…..

  28. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Also, SAGE.

    I don’t agree that you need a better photo for the ads. At our age the song lyrics “You are what you are … You is what you is” applies.

    We deserve to be ourselves purely and simply. We’ve earned our geezerhood status and we can wear our scars and badges proudly! Old age is not for sissies!

  29. firethecannons Says:

    our cornerbacks are a huge weakness and will lose the next game for us unless Bowles makes adjustments, zone defense is kiss of death for this team, count on other team scoring every time with them playing SMB and Dean

    corners are our number one priority in FA
    Get pass rusher in draft early

  30. mg Says:

    O-Line was great. They play like that without fumbling and dropping a couple balls the Bucs will be a tough out.

  31. Ugotrobbed Says:

    While watching these playoff games, I’ve noticed that the defenses of teams ALL get emotionally fired up, except the Bush! Why the heck is that!?

  32. Caleb Lee Says:

    Minter missed multiple opportunities for a big play. He missed a sack and a couple big tackles that extended WAs drives. I give him credit for stepping up but I’m happy to have white back.

  33. Kev@Inverness Says:

    Looks who’s back, it’s NDog under one of his favorite overused blabs: ‘Brady is a Cheater’.

  34. Bucamania Says:

    Hats off to the Oline and Gronk who blocked Chase Young 1-on-1 on that Godwin TD.

  35. Ateonetree Says:

    Gronk is not getting enough credit for last night helping out blocking on the line, he was able to block young by himself at times

  36. adam from ny Says:

    i still think we shoulda signed earl watford as a depth piece

  37. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    Chase Who? Candy Ass Rookie… Wash played tough & that unknown QB was extra sneaky & could throw a dime on the run… Gronk was a great blocker last night & D Smith kept Chase from chasing TB12…

  38. bigdaddio Says:

    Wouldn’t NDOG also hate the Saints for burying his lord and savior deep on the depth chart behind a TE who occasionally plays QB?

  39. Destinjohnny Says:

    Missing on dean and bunting and every safety but Winfield hurts
    If we would have nailed those picks….
    I think I’d guarantee a super bowl appearance

  40. Bucamania Says:

    Congrats to the Bucs for the first playoff win in forever. TB12 is the man and the OL stepped up big. Evans gutted it out and Brate was huge.

    I was definitely concerned that Shaq was invisible again. He needs to step it up along with the young secondary. If the D can find a way to get nasty again and get home on blitzes then this team will be a problem. If Todd tries off coverage again against the Saints then it’ll be over quick.

  41. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Bobby M

    We didn’t play well against Goff, Brees (twice), Mahomes and there is plenty of film on them…

    So we don’t play well against Back-ups, rookies, Elites or Nick Foles.

    Personally I think it’s Bowles scheme… and/or the talent. Either way it’s not near good enough and hasn’t been for a long time. A little tired of hearing the secondary is young and growing .. BS. Winfield isn’t having too many problems. What’s wrong with the rest of them? Burnting and Dean gotta go.

    It ain’t about film.

  42. Brady is a cheater Says:

    Y’all on crack if you think the bucs can beat myyy Saints

  43. Listnfrmafar Says:

    In Bowles defense (defense that’s funny) you prepare all week for Smith (and interviews) then you see something totally different. Not making adjustments on the other hand, no excuse. Brady wins shoot out with Brees, end of story.

  44. Buczilla Says:

    ROFL, “Washington receivers were wide-ass open”. I couldn’t agree more and Licht has his work cut out for him in the offseason.

  45. Dan Williamson Says:

    We got zero pressure and when we did we didnt contain. Thats why the receivers were open. Devin white coming back will make the difference.