No Hangover, No Excuses

November 13th, 2021

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Right where they need to be.

That’s where the 2021 Bucs find themselves midway through a regular season brimming with NFC powers. While penalties and missed tackles remain priority items for Bruce Arians to address, the defending NFL champions are in prime position for another title run.

If the Bucs play smart, disciplined football, they might virtually lock up the NFC South crown within a month. The Saints are already a game behind and the upcoming New Orleans schedule looks daunting: at Tennessee, at Philadelphia, home to Buffalo and home vs. Dallas.

Jameis Winston is out for the season and Alvin Kamara didn’t make the trip to Nashville, so Sean Payton is facing a huge challenge.

The Cowboys, Packers, Cardinals and Rams are a combined 28-7, but Tom Brady plays for the Bucs and he looms as the difference maker in the postseason.

The Bucs’ elite talent is on Ron Rivera’s mind.

Just ask Ron Rivera.

Since the Washington Football Team dropped a 31-23 decision to Tampa Bay in the wild-card round, Rivera has lost his way. Washington is 2-6 and a prohibitive underdog as the Bucs head into the nation’s capital at 6-2.

“Tom Brady, that speaks for itself,” Rivera said when asked how the Bucs have managed to maintain their edge. “You look at what they did the year before they got Tom — they were close but they hadn’t gotten over the hump. They get Tom and then you see everything kind of come together.”

The 2021 Bucs are following a familiar script for defending Super Bowl champs. The previous 10 teams to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy combined for a 61-19 record at the midway point of the following season. That’s an average mark of 6-2, right where the Bucs currently sit.

2020 Chiefs: 7-1.
2019 Patriots: 8-0.
2018 Eagles: 4-4.
2017 Patriots: 6-2.
2016 Broncos: 6-2.
2015 Patriots: 8-0.
2014 Seahawks: 5-3.
2013 Ravens: 3-5.
2012 Giants: 6-2.
2011 Packers: 8-0.

Of the three clubs in the past decade that opened 8-0 after winning a Super Bowl, Brady was under center for two of them. including his final season in Foxborough. He’s also the last quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back NFL championships.

The only Super Bowl hangover No. 12 is familiar with came courtesy of a boat parade.

Brady’s healthy through eight games and that’s the No. 1 reason the Bucs are favored to represent the NFC once again in the league’s showcase game.

And while Brady is the unquestioned catalyst, this organization has done an impressive job of surrounding him with playmakers. Let’s not forget the 2019 Bucs ranked third in scoring with Winston at the helm. The Bucs were No. 3 again last year and currently boast the NFL’s top scoring attack.

“Their offense is full of really special talent,” says Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

Mere Preludes

While nothing is guaranteed in this league, the Bucs should be a formidable contender to repeat as long as Brady’s health holds up. He’s a generational player who lifts the game of everyone around him … players and coaches alike.

Still, he’s human.

When the Bucs went 1-3 in the third quarter of last season, Brady’s erratic play was a primary culprit. In those losses to the Saints, Rams and Chiefs, Brady threw 5 TD passes and 7 interceptions. He was just picked off twice and sacked three times at New Orleans in a 36-27 setback before the bye week, but his championship pedigree suggests he will play big when it counts the most.

The Bucs have Brady, along with the NFL’s best home record at 4-0.

Reinforcements are on the way at cornerback, perhaps freeing up Todd Bowles to use Devin White in a more aggressive manner.

The next nine games are mere preludes for what promises to be a thrilling postseason run. All NFL roads still lead to One Buc Place, where a forever young 44-year-old quarterback is just getting warmed up.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

10 Responses to “No Hangover, No Excuses”

  1. Bird Says:

    Time to make another run

    8-1 sounds great
    9-0 with our injuries sounds unlikely but we have that generational player at qb

    Not sure how much longer he has as a buc

    But we are in good hands with him at qb
    Plus he could easily ask for 40 mil a year like karen or mahhomee and others
    And hey i would too
    Not the goat. He has money like the rest but understands money needs to be put elsewhere. Done it his whole career. Cause it takes a team to win
    Even if one player has a entire team on his back right now

    So awesome to see the same not give him his due
    These are amazing times bros

  2. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Here in Landover binging waiting anxiously… a lot of Bucs fans running around hotel!! Awesome. Go Bucs!! let’s bring it.

  3. Bird Says:

    Dang upstate New York

    Gotta be a 5 hour drive
    Love it!

  4. ATLBuc Says:

    I’m in Fredricksberg. I will be there tailgating at 8:30 in the morning

  5. Bird Says:

    Godwin to play sounds good

  6. Buczilla Says:

    Good stuff Ira and I hope that you are right about White. It’s weird how he went from trashing game plans to being just an average dude in less than a year.

  7. Bird Says:

    Atl buc

    Right on. Right on.

  8. ATLBUC Says:

    Bird, I will be going to my sons place in upstate NY next week to see us play the giants

  9. Hodad Says:

    Ira, I hope you’re not using our banged up secondary as an excuse for Whites average play this year. If Bowles is using White differently as in pass coverage, he’s not making any plays in that department either. He has no sacks, or picks, not good either way you slice it. It ain’t the secondary’s fault white isn’t making any plays, it’s on White. He needs to step up his game, no excuses.

  10. kyle Says:

    awesome upstate^^^ way to show out!! Go bucs

    Bird^^^ funny as F$%^ everyone knows who karen is w the stupid packers!!! lol