Key Game Before Bucs-Panthers Kickoff

January 4th, 2022

Tanking back in style in Tampa?

Most Bucs fans don’t realize it, but the Giants-Washington game scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday likely will affect the Bucs-Panthers game at 4:25 p.m.

Joe shall explain.

The Panthers (5-11) can draft as high as No. 5 overall in April with a loss to Tampa Bay and a Giants (4-12) loss to Washington. The Giants have a better strength of schedule, so Carolina would win the draft tiebreaker and get an earlier pick if the teams tie.

If the Panthers beat the Bucs, they could fall to the No 9 overall pick, but No. 7 or No. 8 would be more likely in that scenario.

So, the bottom line is that if the Giants beat the Washington Heinickes on Sunday (the game is in Jersey), then Joe suspects the Panthers will completely tank against the Bucs so they can lock up the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

With the No. 5 overall pick, quarterback-needy Carolina potentially could pick the first QB off the board. The Lions, Jaguars, Texans and Jets may already have starting QBs they want to keep.

And before you say, “Joe, of course the Texans will draft a quarterback,” Joe will remind you that Houston chose Lovie Smith to run its defense.

58 Responses to “Key Game Before Bucs-Panthers Kickoff”

  1. BuxfaninTX Says:

    The only thing lovie ever did right was drafting Mike Evans

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Both teams trying to lose. OK. This season has really lit me up on NFL again after getting over the kneeling and politibabble of last year. Maybe the rest of the USA will follow on and stop with the political correctness and wokeness that has been a worse plague than the germ attack.

    Are you ready for some FOOTBALL…well I am.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This is really a stretch……many players are playing for their jobs & contracts……and teams can move up to positions 1-4……the draft is a crap shoot at #5……..

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    The snark is extra thick Joe.

    I like it.

  5. Tye Says:

    Looking like a Poor QB class this year!

  6. Swampbuc Says:

    Joe, LOL!

    I live in Houston and the Texans are managed terribly. Joe Culley has them playing hard, like Dan Campbell has the Lions playing hard. But the GM and owner are both complete mentally defective buffoons.

    So, yeah, the Texans probably think they’re good to go with Davis Mills.

  7. PassingThru Says:


  8. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Nothing like tanking to build comradery and a winning culture for a franchise.

    Is that snarky enough, Doosh?

  9. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    Must be a slow news day….

  10. Coburn Says:

    Yeah I’m a rank denier personally. I think teams in situations like the Panthers sometimes play backups and guys to see how they perform in live action, but I think the guys in the field are all still trying to win every game and I think the coordinators are still calling their best plays. If giving guys opportunities to pay that normally wouldn’t is tanking ok

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m quite sure the coach on the hot seat wants to lose…..
    The order will come from the top (above the coach) as it should.–Joe

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t think it matters one bit. The Buccaneers just removed a scab that was festering the last few weeks.
    They need to come together and show a solid consistent outing on offense with good tempo and rhythm.
    It doesn’t matter what the Panthers applying for, they should beat their assszsz

  13. Lesko_Brandon Says:

    Even if the PAnthers decides to tank their game, the way the Bucs played against the JETS last week, this sunday’s game will still be a nailbiter for the Bucs…. LOL!!! smh!!!

  14. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Only 2 games matter, Panthers Bucs and 49ers vs. Rams.

  15. SlyPirate Says:

    Mike Evans needs 54 yards to hit 1000

    TB12 needs 246 yards to record his best regular season of his career and only his 2nd 5K season.

  16. Pops Malone Says:

    Lovie Smith sucks!

  17. '74 Bucs fan Says:

    Quite sure Evans and Brady want those records SlyPirate stated – and the cohesiveness that Anonymous stated. Let’s get all that wrapped up by Q4 then rest all starters. I am all for the Panthers tanking.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    HAhaha Joe. Only you would come up with this angle.

    I dont think the Pathers will tell Rhule to lose on purpose but just in case I guess Im rooting for Washington. I will like to see a football game Sunday and not a glorified preseason tryout game.

  19. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I think this tanking thing, is nonsense.
    Every game is like an audition, for players and coaches.
    Or they won’t be employed very long in the future, for team.

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    The Titans just released Golden Tate from their practice squad. What’s up with him? Is he washed up? He used to be pretty good until Giants coaching staff changed. If Carolina drops their coach, it only makes sense to draft as high as possible with a new coach coming in.

  21. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    *for any team

  22. unbelievable Says:

    BuxfaninTX Says:
    January 4th, 2022 at 3:01 pm
    The only thing lovie ever did right was drafting Mike Evans


    Uh, I think Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith might have something to say about that, good sir or madam.

    (Don’t get me wrong, Lovie was awful. Terrible. Pathetic as a head coach.
    But the 2015 draft class was better than 2014 if you’re going by the number of starters)

  23. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I told my boss, I was tanking this week… he fired me.

  24. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Looks like TO wants a ring lol. He said if the Bucs need a wr to call him. Lol. The guy’s 48 years old lol. I think Fitzgerald would have made sense.

  25. Eddie Marz Says:

    Tanking is not nonsense. The players don’t tank. The organization tanks by not playing their best players. Putting certain guys on the injured list, resting others by giving unproven weaker players time. The players themselves don’t tank but a team can tank a game in many different ways.GOBUCS!

  26. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Good in theory. However it’s quite possible if there are head coaching changes they may not wanna keep the quarterbacks they have in place. For example, Goff isn’t exactly tearing it up in Detroit. IF there is a really hot quarterback in the 1st 4 picks he will be gone before the Panthers turn. If not the panthers themselves another team will see will sell the farm in order to move up and get that quarterback 1st off the board. There are too many players on the Panthers who want to be in the NFL next year. Even if the owner and coaches want to tank the game, the players have a lot to say about it. Is interesting thery… I just don’t buy it. A pro NEVER tries to lose.

  27. SC. Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe you show me a bubble NFL player who is willing to tank on the Panthers on command and I’ll show you a player on his last NFL game. Now you might say the brass plays the end of the bench but those will be playing as hard as they can.

  28. HC Grover Says:

    Jets QB sneak on 4th and 2

  29. HC Grover Says:

    The results of the last few Buc drafts indicate the best thing they could do is trade down their first 4 picks for decent current players with some experience.

  30. Oneilbuc Says:

    Talk about Lovie all you want but look at the bears record every since he left ?? And he was the one who built the Chicago Bears back than !! It’s funny how every black coach is hated on this site just like to ignore how Dungy was the coach who brought winning to this franchise and still yall don’t give him his credit.

  31. Cainishere Says:

    T.O. wants to be a Buccaneer

  32. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Here we go again, oneilbucyall pulling the race card. Could it be possible he was just a shatty coach. No one trashes Tomlin a future HOFer. I constantly trash BA, last I checked he is white. This year you have Belichick, Reid, Shanahan, McVay, Reich and Vrabel, sorry the rest all suck. Oneilbucyall, you do know by making a statement like that you’re proving how prejudice you are. Oh by the way Dennis Green was a great coach lot of energy and very fun to watch.

  33. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    Ok ok those fond of yester year. I offer up 11-27-83 to remind you of how bad it can be. Repus bowl 1. Pretty sure there was a repus 2 out there too.

  34. Jbeachbuc Says:

    @ Listnfrmafar …
    Agreed… This crap is so beyond tired. It’s almost laughable at this point.

  35. Roy T. Buford Says:

    The shot at Lovie was maybe not so fair but it certainly wasn’t racist and wan’t altogether inaccurate. Lovie was brilliant in not wanting to Winston. We have the great Jason Licht to blame for that (and maybe the owners). Lovie was incredibly stupid in giving up Darell Revis (maybe it was because Revis was black?). Hiring his sons on his coaching staff was just plain wrong as it was stupid. Bringing ALL his buddies in to turn in 6 wins in two seasons and then asking the Glazers to let him bring in a friend from Chicago as a consultant the next season? To the curb he went!

    I still maintain Dungy was 3rd best HC in Bucs history…McKay was end best. First? Hmmmm.

  36. SufferingSince76 Says:

    While I don’t agree with oneillbucs race baiting, Smith did take the Bears to the Super Bowl against Dungy’s colts. Did he have nothing to do with that?

  37. Bucsministerfuller Says:

    Remember when Joe was so sure the Jets were gonna tank?
    Lovie Smith was the worst coach to ever stand on the Buccaneers sideline.

  38. Joe Says:

    Joe you show me a bubble NFL player who is willing to tank on the Panthers on command and I’ll show you a player on his last NFL game.

    You are confusing “tanking” with “throwing.” A bubble player generally is a borderline player. He doesn’t purposely have to lay down.

  39. Lesko_Brandon Says:

    Terrel Owens is offering his services. I just heard he’s been training all season in Tampa, specifically at USF…. maybe we can use him for the rest of the season

  40. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Lovie was a pioneer, and the architect of the Cover Who? defense.

  41. Greg Says:

    @Listn. I have to hand it to you nice and accurate post! As is obvious Tony D is justifiably in the ring of honor and in the HOF @ Oneil.

  42. Craig Says:

    I don’t think it will matter. The offense got really frustrated before the 4th quarter started in Jetsland. The the 4tn came together.

    No one will ever notice if the Panthers tank, the Bucs are going to destroy them, even if they want a fight. They need to get the taste of most of last week out of their mouths.

  43. Ben the GA Buc Says:

    This is all just speckalation and reckalation.

  44. Joe Says:

    Lovie was a pioneer, and the architect of the Cover Who? defense.


  45. Joe Says:

    So, yeah, the Texans probably think they’re good to go with Davis Mills.

    To be fair, David Mills has likely shown more promise than Jennifer Lawrence in Jacksonville.

  46. Joe Says:

    Lovie was brilliant in not wanting to Winston.

    That’s the first Joe has heard of that. In fact, Joe heard the exact opposite from a guy who used to be in meetings with Lovie to go over quarterbacks to draft.

    Lovie and Jameis were actually close. Joe has spoken with a lot of Bucs types over the years and never heard Lovie didn’t want Jameis. Actually heard the exact opposite. And Joe has heard a lot of stuff that has never seen the light of day.

    You sure you aren’t thinking of Koetter? Fairly confident that Koetter was never fully onboard with Jameis.

  47. firethecannons Says:

    Regardless of all of this, I would love to see the Bucs play a solid game with low penalties, efficient offense, getting to see Perriman and Grayson and T.Johnson get some more reps together, would love to see Scooter get in the game. Like to see Mikey get his 1000. No more injuries(hoping for too much perhaps). Love to see Leveon Bell get more reps. So get some more reps for JTS and Cam Gill and Anthony Nelson.

  48. Buc4evr Says:

    TO looks pretty good on IG. The guy would probably be ok for 3 games playing against the Nickel or Safety with limited snaps. Has been working out all season, we should bring him in and give him a look see.

  49. Lesko_Brandon Says:

    there is also Dez Bryant and LArry Fiztgerald. Maybe we can sign all of them for 4 games.

  50. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafar I know facts hurt but what I said was the truth. Maybe you might don’t feel that way . But when I hear people talking down on Lovie with no real proof. Lovie came to a team that Shaino destroyed by letting the top defensive players go. And what have Chicago done since Lovie left? Lovie took Rex Grossman to the superbowl . And yes Dungy is a hall of fame coach who gets down graded only on this site. Ain’t no race card with me I’m just stating the facts when it comes to some Tampa fans. Gruden gets all this love but he’s proving that it was Dungy team he won with because he ain’t done nothing with the Raiders his last time their , he didn’t even make it to the playoffs. But again the Bears ain’t done nothing since Lovie been gone. That’s why none of these podcasts let people call in because it’s easy to crush all of there narratives that they push on people. It’s just that I think for myself I don’t let media narratives tell me what to think. I go by what my eyes tell me !!

  51. RandsABucFan Says:

    This would be a perfect game for us to play all the backups including the air apparent QB Kyle Trask

  52. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Oneilbuc: The Bears made the playoffs last year. That’s more than Lovie did in Tampa. As Joe said, the Lovie “Cover Who?” defense doesn’t work, not even in college (Lovie: “Our defense would’ve worked, if they didn’t run 3 receiver sets” at Illinois).

  53. Wayne Perez Says:

    No way they tank

  54. BucsMinisiterFuller Says:

    3 instances of Lovie being a terrible coach for you…
    #1 his first choice for a quarterback was Josh (I gotta throw this pass as i am getting tackled) McCown.
    #2 In Marcss Mariotta’s very first game he played against Lovie who had been studying for Mariotta for at least a year in making the decision between Winston & Mariotta. Mariotta finished that game with a perfect QB rating and was pulled at the end of the game because Titans were crushing the Bucs.
    #3 Devin Hester. How many times did Hester run back balls for Lovie’s Bears? What did Lovie do the first time he faced Hester? He kicked straight to Hester. What did Hester do? He ran it right back for 6.

  55. Wild Bill Says:

    I don’t think any bucs would be willing to lay down at all in this game. That goes for the starters and the subs as well. If anything the guys should want to make a statement in this game and blow out the opposition and have that positive momentum going into the playoffs.

  56. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Thanks Pops but I think we knew that.

  57. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oneilbucyall, how does dissing Lovie & Dungy by fans on this site who didn’t care for their coaching style turn into a political movement? Gruden won a freaking SB as Bucs coach, if he were black that wouldn’t change their feelings. Some on the site feel sorry for AB and other are upset by his antics, it would be the same if Gronk quit on his team in that fashion. Why do you have to turn everything into a black vs white issue? You do the same in your posts about Brady, you’re not happy Brady took Jamaises job even though the world knows he’s a better QB. You want him to fail because he’s white. Is there any gray in your world? I feel sorry for you man, it must suck to live with hate everyday.

  58. Mike Johnson Says:

    I was wondering just last week when joe was gonna take another stab at ole Lovie . He’s been absent from the columns lately. Besides, we gotta find a few punchin bags limpin into the playoffs.