Yes, The Bucs Are Contenders

September 20th, 2022

This Bucs team is no joke. So long as the defense keeps playing like the 2002 Bucs, this team will do major damage.

Who typed that? Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. Lots of football is still to be played, of course. But after two games, Joe and every fan gets a feel for how each team will play for the next month or two.

With the Bucs, a team playing their brand of suffocating defense is no poser, Iyer types in a piece sifting through contenders and pretenders. In fact, Iyer believes — like Joe has typed often — the defense is going to carry the Bucs until the offense figures things out.

Tom Brady un-retired, only to come back to multiple injuries on the offensive line and receiving corps. But his team has still come up with dominant road victories over good NFC foes Dallas and New Orleans. The Bucs have pivoted from offensive-minded Bruce Arians to defensive-minded Todd Bowles at the right time. Just as in Super Bowl 55 vs. Mahomes, their loaded defense is the team’s backbone and strength. When the GOAT’s main help gets healthy, Tampa Bay will be an even stronger . . . contender.

Donovan Smith will be back, perhaps Sunday against the Packers. And every snap left guard Luke Goedeke and Robert Hainsey take, they improve. So the offensive line will be better.

Joe figures sooner or later Julio Jones will get back on the field. His bad knee was a gametime decision yesterday. Chris Godwin definitely returns. So the receivers group will improve.

The thing about truly good defense reminds Joe of a Bobby Knight axiom: good defense doesn’t have a slump.

Yeah, Knight was referring to a different sport but experience with the Bucs’ glory years says Knight’s belief holds true in the NFL, as well.

23 Responses to “Yes, The Bucs Are Contenders”

  1. Scott Says:

    look at the bills and eagle’s they look good we look slow and out of it ….. I know its early but we don’t impress me so far….

  2. Bucanero Says:

    Two road victories with a third team left tackle? Impressed 👍

  3. Howard Cosell Says:

    What game were you watching?
    Howard saw 2 defenses not nearly as good as the Bucs and Vikings QB doing his best Winston impersonation.
    Anyone that doubts Brady is a casual fan or has butthurt agenda. Howard notices that snowflakes are easily butthurt by Brady.
    Brady is the smartest QB as far as knowing exactly what he can and can’t do on a given play.

  4. Buc king Says:

    We are a top 3 team right now and that is with most our offense injured….
    Get back a few receivers and linemen…will look sharper..
    Still love to get gronk suh n another wr right now Edelman..gmc or O’Dell Beckham idk but we need some bandaid right now

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Mike needs to take the suspension for the Packers game. We need him more against the Chiefs the following week…prime time.

  6. steele Says:

    None of this talk of contending means a thing. In December, which team has survived? And of those, which ones are healthy, and which team peaks right then?

    Two businesslike wins, one ugly (but we’ll take it), and lots of work to do, lots of injuries. That’s all right now. Grind. Collect as many ugly wins as possible, survive this schedule.

  7. PassingThru Says:

    It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you finish it.

  8. BucsfanFred Says:

    Mike shouldn’t honor that bogus suspension at all.

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    It’s two games in. Shut this noise.

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Any words on Akiem Hicks?

  11. stpetebucfan Says:

    IMHO the OL played well against the Saints! Remember it was an incredibly LOUD stadium with Hainsey and Goedeke having to get their second dose of silent snap counts and the disorganization that generally goes with LOUD stadia. They did a good job in Jerry’s joint last week as well.

    I do not recall just how many times I was doing the old 1001…1002..1003,,1004
    There were plenty of times Brady had PLENTY of time to find targets.

    The REAL problem with the offense was a total LACK OF SEPARATION…Brady had time he did not have open targets. This is because on Sunday we probably saw the best “back 14” in the entire NFL on the field at the same time. Like everyone I loathe Lattimore but the dude is very talented and with the refs in his back pocket ME13 may be the only receiver strong enough to fight through Lattimore’s cheating.

    N.O. has good LB’s as well…their back seven are talented…ALMOST…ALMOST as talented as the Bucs. IMHO the Bucs have more depth and flexibility.

    I haven’t kept up with GB’s back seven so I’m not sure of the challenge ahead.
    There are many here better informed than me so give us your report on how hard it’s going to be for the Bucs to get separation! The OL will take care of their responsibilities.

    If there is no separation the burden falls on BL and TB to come up with some very creative plays.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This game against the Packers is huge… will be a tie-breaker down the stretch.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Knight … ‘Good defense doesn’t have a slump’.

    Hmmm, now you’re starting to come around Joe. Been saying that for years … DEFENSE RULES.

  14. lambeau Says:

    The nickel defense with the three interchangable safeties is magnificent–I would guess that it provides multiple opportunities to disguise coverage and confuse QB’s, especially slow-processors like Jameis.

  15. Georger Says:

    Packer game is more important. We need to beat GB it could decide who the the bye

  16. AMI_Chris Says:

    It’s a long season. A lot will happen between now and January — injuries, surprise performances, etc. The Packers got crushed by the Saints in Week 1 last year and wound up with the #1 seed. Two road wins is a great start. The offense is still getting its act together — the unit hardly played in the preseason.

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    This Defense is going to be a great one, maybe even historical. That Tampa Two Defense put Dungy in Canton. The 1979 Defense wasn’t too shabby either. In fact, it’s the reason why the Bucs (at the time) made the playoffs in their 4th season. That put them in the NFL history books. Great Defense is a tradition down here. And yep, great defenses win championships. Now, I hope CG14 is physically ready if he starts.

  18. kyle Says:

    scott?? what are you smoking? Two road wins against potential playoff caliber teams to start the season? No buc coach has ever done that??

    With all the injuries, im proud of these guys. Kudos to light, bruce for creating the depth on the roster to help while we get healthy.

  19. Razor Ramone Says:

    Going on the road to our arch rivals and beating them when your down to your 3rd LT ( go Warhawks) IS impressive. Really?

  20. D Says:

    We need Gronk for this team to truly be complete and compete. A beefy sawdust eater to rotate with Vea and Hicks would be nice too.

  21. Mike C Says:

    I hope CG 14 has the Bucs back instead of Jaymiss……

  22. Browsing from DC Says:

    Too early to tell but:

    Defense looks great, but could be a little better against the run (and look at the 2 offenses we played. No killer O in Dallas and no Kamara in N.O. plus Jameis being Jameis)

    Offense does enough to win (Brady’s trademark) especially when you consider how green many players are and all the injuries at skill positions.

    They play with fire in their guts and with a will to win. That can go a long way. Brady is a master of summoning that will and these guys believe in themselves and their teammates. Plus they all want to be better individually and as a unit.

    Barring more or lingering injuries, the offense will get better but even though Brady is staying relatively untouched, he doesn’t look too comfortable back there and seems to be a little too quick to get the ball out, hence the number of 0 to 4 yard passes hoping for some YAC.

    Imo by week 6 we’ll see monster improvements all around and look out!

  23. Brandon Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    September 20th, 2022 at 1:43 am
    Mike needs to take the suspension for the Packers game. We need him more against the Chiefs the following week…prime time.


    Appeals usually take a few weeks. If he appeals he will be good to go for the next two weeks, minimum.