Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons

January 4th, 2021

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Buc Nation has never seen an offense like this one. Few NFL fans have.

In the past 10 quarters, this attack has been unstoppable. Not just exceptional — unstoppable. Whatever was said in Atlanta at halftime two weeks ago ought to be bottled and sold at sporting events throughout the nation.

Tom Brady is playing off the charts, and he’s taking teammates along on his hit parade.

Here’s your proof:

In their past 150 minutes of action, the Bucs have generated 122 points, 80 first downs and 1,429 yards. On a per-game basis, that translates into an outrageous average of 49 points, 32 first downs and 572 yards since the Falcons took that 17-0 halftime advantage.

This offense has to scare the bejesus out of the Packers, Saints and Seahawks, not to mention Tampa  Bay’s upcoming opponent, punchless Washington. Every time you turned around Sunday, Bradley Pinion was putting the ball on a tee. At least all those kickoffs kept him busy because Pinion didn’t punt all afternoon long.

In their nine full possessions, the Bucs scored five touchdowns, added three field goals and turned the ball over once.

Scotty Miller’s gaffe represents their only giveaway during a 4-game winning streak, marred Sunday by the hyper-extended knee suffered by Mike Evans. Even if Evans is cleared to play at FedEx Field, here’s one vote for sitting him out. The Bucs should beat Washington without Evans, especially the way Antonio Brown has been coming on in recent weeks.

If two weeks off will help Evans achieve a full recovery, keep him on ice until the conference semifinals.

As usual, the Falcons played hard. As usual, they continued to prove they don’t know how to win, reminiscent of some of those 5-11 Buc teams Tampa Bay fans endured during the playoff drought.

Brady, the original drought-buster, is having the time of his life. He looks liberated, refreshed, driven. Most importantly, he looks healthy. He capitalized on superior field position to torment Atlanta’s defense yet again.

Now the Bucs hit the road, where they are 6-2. They may lose Evans in the opening round, but they could get an important player or two back from the sidelines, which should help.

This is a very dangerous football team at the moment, brimming with confidence and the knowledge that their quarterback is 30-11 in the postseason. Fire the cannons for a No. 5 seed poised to plunder.

Here’s how the 11-5 Bucs closed out the regular season in style:

* This offensive line has come a long way since some early-season doldrums. Donovan Smith has raised his game while rookie Tristan Wirfs has been a rock since Week 1. Protection for Brady will be the priority against Washington’s fierce pass rush, led by Chase Young. “We want Tom, we want Tom,” Young chanted as he walked off the field Sunday evening. Be careful what you wish for, rook.

* It was encouraging to see Ronald Jones run with power and decisiveness. Rojo came up a bit short in his quest for a 1,000-yard season, but he finished in a tie with Devin White for Most Improved Buccaneer.

* The Antonio Brown experiment has been an unequivocal success. No pouting early on as he was learning the offense. Steady growth to the point that containing Brown will be a critical aspect of Washington’s defensive game plan.

* Speaking of defense, Todd Bowles can’t be happy with his guys, not after Matt Ryan completed 29 passes and Brian Hill escaped for a 62-yard run down the sidelines. Without the threat of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage should not have latched onto 17 passes in their 23 targets.

* Buc fans are spoiled by having a terrific stadium with outstanding turf, but the footing on the field Sunday was treacherous. This is the NFL, not Tampa Jesuit against Chamberlain. Players were falling over untouched when making cuts. That’s a dangerous situation … just ask No. 13.

* Greg Jennings once caught 80 passes for the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, he served up roughly 80 platitudes as the color commentator for the Bucs broadcast. Shame on FOX executives for saying goodbye to Ronde Barber while bringing on Jennings, who told us 11 times that the Falcons are close to being an elite team. Has he looked at that roster?

* Ndamukong Suh, who turns 34 on Wednesday, continues to play at a high level. He registered Tampa Bay’s only sack and was credited with two of the team’s six hits against Ryan. Without the presence of Vita Vea, Suh has been the steady interior force the Bucs need.

* Nice to see Ryan Succop rebound from last week’s struggles. Facing tougher opponents, the Bucs can’t be expected to score touchdowns at a record rate. Succop’s steady right leg figures to be critical in the postseason, especially in lousy conditions.

* Any more questions about Brady’s ability to get the ball downfield? Didn’t think so. Seven of his 26 completions covered at least 20 yards, with Brown and Chris Godwin grabbing three apiece. Crisp weather is forecast for the nation’s capital Saturday night. Brady figures to supply the heat.

* An 11-5 record and the end of a forgettable era in Buc folklore. That’s called football nirvana for the die-hards now bracing for a little Saturday Night Fever. Cue the Bee Gees soundtrack because it’s all about Stayin’ Alive, with Brady looming as the ultimate survivor.


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24 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons”

  1. Bird Says:


    Dont forget about the catch from godwin to clinch the game when it got close
    3rd and 12 cause of sack
    Falcons lined up on first down line as they always do
    Brady complete to godwin for 47 yards.

  2. Bird Says:


    How fun is it to watch this offense. Almost scoring on every possession. They will need too with this terrible pass defense in the playoffs
    Carlton davis should be well rested. Shaq needs to feast. Suh plays best in playoffs.

    And isnt it great that the trolls are not happy. They have disappeared. I mean people who claimed to be bucs fans but were really just fans of one player. You know ndog and el bucco sheepo and da postman and webster. They dont come on here anymore cause bucs are winners. And they werent under last 5 years.

  3. zzbuc Says:

    Very interesting and agree with everything Ira….. Some fans and anaylsts should apologize, to Brady, to Antonio Brown, to Arians to Scotty Miller, to Donovan Smith, to Leftwich, to Bowles, and to Jason Licht (in this one I am inlcuded)

    The Bucs played an excellent Season, with no otas,very unothodox trainning system, with a new 43 years old QB, wich did not knew the system, with a pandemic, and with our own Bucs history of fails year after year, and we finished 11/5…..
    Why can´t we celebrate and be happy for once!!!! Instead of complainngng because Rojo didn´t make 1000 yards, or Bowles this or leftwich that……

    Sometimes is boring hearing some Bucs fans and some analysts….way boring

  4. gbobucsfan Says:

    As always, good stuff Ira.

    That Dline in DC scares the crap out of me though. Not just Young, but J Allen, Sweat, Payne, and on occasion, Kerrigan.

  5. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Dont forget that play leftwich callled and Brady cussed him out

  6. Bojim Says:

    Secondary’s the only weakness.

  7. TampaTown Says:

    Great article Ira! Don’t forget about the resurgence of SMB who might finally be healthy. So exciting!

  8. m0j0 Says:

    Bucs need to have a better plan against Washington’s D than they did against Chicago. We must protect Brady!

  9. The Red Mirage Says:

    “At first, they struggled to get over the hump of putting one foot in front of the other.” Greg Jennings.

  10. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Very eloquent Mr. Kaufman. Well done.

  11. Cannon Says:

    Tampa Bay Bucanners, offensive juggernaut. What a crazy world we live in.

  12. Buxszntkt Says:

    Lol, nice finish to your post re: beegees, SH-t, well done Joe.

  13. USMC-BUC Says:

    NICE job Ira, well written.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    well said…

    the offense is clicking…and at times the defense does too….bowles needs to find a away for the defense to play smart, fast and physical from start to finish….

    as IRA said: Facing tougher opponents, the Bucs can’t be expected to score touchdowns at a record rate.

    defense(& wins championships….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  15. Coburn Says:

    I honestly think a big difference has been starting games with more quick throws and running the ball to establish some rhythm.. yeah once we settle in we start slinging it, but think the shorter throws allows Brady to settle in as well as getting the defense to back off a bit. Hopefully we see that against Washington who has a fierce pass rush. What’s crazy is we actually missed a couple shots where both brown and Miller were thrown out of bounds in the end zone.

  16. Weebs10 Says:


  17. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Great job, Ira! The Bucs could have scored even more had ME not dropped the ball on a sure TD and Brate not fallen down in the end zone. The field conditions most likely contributed to both, but it doesn’t matter. “Victory Monday” feels darn good! Go Bucs!

  18. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    “Facing tougher opponents, the Bucs can’t be expected to score touchdowns at a record rate”

    Says who? Im not sure there’s a defense out there right now that can stop us!

    Also, MVP goes to our OL this season hands down for keeping the GOAT upright and giving him time to work his magic!

  19. Davenport Says:

    Thank you Ira!
    Jennings was unwatchable … who at Fox thought he was a good hire?? Yesterday should be his last game in any booth anywhere

  20. Craig Says:

    I would have thought that the grounds crew would have re-sodded the field after the Outback Bowl. The field did look awful and was a disgrace.

    To stay hot the offense needs to have Gronk line up on Young’s side of the formation. Donovan is playing pretty well, but he gets too focused and sometimes misses a block from the outside.

  21. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Excellent stuff as usual, Ira…and outstanding research on the surging offense. Perhaps you want a mulligan on criticizing the AB acquisition? Even The Sage gets one wrong on rare occasion I suppose. And playing a pro football game the day after a bowl game on a delicate field is a disaster waiting to happen.

  22. Crack3rK Says:

    I had to turn the volume down.Jennings was terrible! I never reacted to a commentator like this before. Only wish I could listen to Gene Dekerhoff over here on the east coast.

  23. orlbucfan Says:

    Crack3rk, you can listen to Bucs Radio via Once you hit the home page, starting looking for broadcast info/streaming. Follow the prompts and instructions. I am a diehard football radio fan. Sounds nuts, I know. Listened to yesterday’s game with no problem.

  24. sincethebeginning Says:


    Love your work, Ira, as always!

    Hope our tackles are truly ready for this…. And if our secondary gets lit up by Alex Immobile Smith I will probably break my TV.