Wounded Beasts

October 2nd, 2022

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Two pissed-off football teams clash at Raymond James Stadium tonight, each seeking redemption.

The Bucs and the Chiefs have spent the past week lamenting self-inflicted wounds that contributed to setbacks. Tampa Bay lost two fumbles, committed several key penalties and botched a 2-point conversion attempt that could have sent the Green Bay game into overtime.

But compared to Kansas City’s performance at Indy, the Bucs were downright crisp.

The sloppiness was evident from the start when rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore muffed a punt. A backup kicker missed an extra-point try and a 34-yard FG attempt. A fake FG turned into a debacle. And perhaps worst of all, KC’s best defensive player lost his cool as Chris Jones was flagged for taunting Matt Ryan after a third-down sack that extended the game-winning drive.

“The Colts kicked our ass and we got exactly what we deserve,” says Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. “We didn’t have the attention to detail that we needed.”

If the Bucs can improve to 3-1, the immediate road ahead looks very promising. After facing down Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, Todd Bowles isn’t going to lose sleep about preparing for the next three quarterbacks on the schedule.

Marcus Mariota is up next.

The Falcons, Steelers and Panthers all enter this weekend at 1-2.

Marcus Mariota, Mitch Trubisky and Baker Mayfield don’t strike fear into the heart of a Buc secondary that has excelled through three weeks.

The Chiefs claim they harbor no feelings of revenge toward the Bucs, who denied KC an opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl champion. That 31-9 thrashing triggered an offensive line makeover for Andy Reid and the pass blocking has improved.

But the Chiefs still lack a dependable ground game and Tyreek Hill is now going deep for Miami. You can bet the focus of Tampa Bay’s defense will be on tight end Travis Kelce, on pace for his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season.

Kelce was one of the few Chiefs who showed up in that lopsided Super Bowl matchup, catching 10 passes for 133 yards. He could have done even more if Mahomes wasn’t running for his life on virtually every shotgun snap.

Todd Bowles is barking offensive orders, says Ira Kaufman.

Tampa Bay has had its own issues establishing a credible run game the past two weeks and Bowles is basically ordering Byron Leftwich to give alternate backs besides Leonard Fournette some carries.

Although the return of Mike Evans should add some juice to a flat attack, Tampa Bay’s defense will likely have to carry the day.

“Todd Bowles does an outstanding job,” Bieniemy says. “He’s been a great defensive coordinator, now he’s the head coach, He has a great staff and guess what — they’re doing a hell of a job on defense. When you turn on the tape, our guys know … you’ve got to line up and play.”

Bieniemy and Leftwich have aspirations to be a head coach, but it hasn’t happened. While Bieniemy remains in Andy Reid’s shadow as an offensive guru, this Buc offense is now Leftwich’s baby.

At the moment, that baby is in the crawling stage.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

7 Responses to “Wounded Beasts”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    The baby has a full diaper and needs to be changed.

  2. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    ^^^ LOL!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Ira … ‘This Buc offense is now Leftwich’s baby. At the moment, that baby is in the crawling stage’.

    Goatfarmer … ‘The baby has a full diaper and needs to be changed’.

    Some you have to work for, and some just fall into your lap. Ira would’ve made a great setup guy like Ed McMahon.

  4. BucsfanFred Says:

    I think we can beat the Chiefs

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    The Bowles’ philosophy is a balanced attack. Lead with rushing to open up the pass. IMO, we should be doing the exact opposite. We have the weapons to be a passing team, particularly with TB12 under center. You pass, pass, pass to open up the running game.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    PSL Bob … I agree about Bowles wanting a balanced attack, but the whole idea should be to keep the defense off-balance, not our fans. The run can be used to set up the pass OR vice versa. In our case, we’re much too predictable regarding WHEN we’re gonna run. Would much prefer more short passing to try to get Lenny or White especially in space.

    Tend to think that Bowles favors more running right now because of the youngsters on our OLine. Seems like run blocking (for some at least) would be ‘easier’ than pass blocking. Plus if used properly (not that we do), it can keep a defense off-balance and help buy a tad extra time for our QB. Bucs unfortunately are not an especially good running team. But we could be with better play-calling.The talent’s there.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    DR – you are so right! The universe wrote that one.