Dark Horse

November 9th, 2022

You mean there’s a chance?

Joe suspects the Bucs win the NFC South. Joe is suspect because the loaded offense is just not getting the job done.

And Joe will repeat: If failing Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich knew how to fix this offense, he would have done so long ago.

Joe thinks the only reason rookie left guard Luke Goedeke is not starting is that he is hurt, not because Leftwich had an epiphany and switched up the lineup to find a winning combination.

In speaking with various unnamed NFL suits, Jeremy Fowler of BSPN found a Bucs believer in the NFC and a non-believer in the AFC to speak off the record about the Bucs and their chances.

The Bucs are still considered a dark horse contender for not just the NFC South crown, but the entire conference. “I know they aren’t very good, but it’s so wide open that if they can just catch fire, they are talented enough to make a run,” an NFC personnel man said. “That roster is still better than most.” An AFC executive disagreed, saying the Bucs look “old and not as crisp as they did the last few years. Tom Brady clearly has had trust issues with the offensive line, they can’t run the ball and the front seven on defense hasn’t been as good.”

Said the NFC suit, “Catch fire.” That’s one big reason why the Bucs chose didn’t sell at the trade deadline, despite playing some really lousy football. This team has talent and the division is bad.

Akiem Hicks’ return seemed to make a difference. The Bucs’ offense, however, is still being dragged down by an awful offensive coordinator who, if he was with just about any other team, would have been launched by now for this season’s level of non-production and ineptitude.

The Bucs are talented enough to get hot. And if that happens, the Bucs will be dangerous in the postseason.

But as Joe’s good friend Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders once typed, “Never underestimate how bad coaching can drag down a team.”

22 Responses to “Dark Horse”


    The only chance of the Bucs winning the NFC south is to get rid of Leftwitch.

  2. Dooley Says:

    Get to 5-5 first, then lock in on the rest of the season being 7 games long after the bye week. Also, if the Bucs do manage to get hot, watch a lot of ya’ll laude Brady as a hero and still want Leftwich canned. Which following this team and seeing the views of some other fans on this site, is as predictable as some of you think our offense is lol

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    Like many, I think it is the coaching. Why can this line do so well at pass blocking but so poorly at run blocking? Same big, strong, guys. Must be the play calling and/or the design and implementation of the running plays. That is on the coaches. Fix it while you have a bit of time.

  4. Tony1775 Says:

    ATL has division this year. Sad to say we are to dysfunctional.

  5. Panhandle Buc Says:

    Time to send a message and light a fire by showing Byron the door!!

  6. Don’t listen to what he Says:

    Season is lost until the offense is found.

  7. adam from ny Says:

    i think geno smith an his gang are going to go to munich and he’s going to finally meltdown a bit…

    bucs will get their turnover game back, and geno could even look a bit like jameis out there overseas…

    ok, if seattle is pretty good, i hear that…yeah they area 6-4 type good…

    but not a 7-3 type good…7-3 is just way over seattle’s potential this season…

    geno at some point will be who we though he was…as i’m hearing the voices in my head of one particular denny green

    i can see them going 10-7 ish…

    tommy b and the offense will perform well in munich and captivate the german nfl fans

  8. ATLBucsFan Says:

    “Akiem Hicks’ return seemed to make a difference. ” Only because we played an equally bad team.

  9. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Agree with both sides. On one hand, perhaps they can re-find what was lost and remember who they are even if for just another half yr. On the other hand, they went from explosive to slow. Guys can’t get open anymore with regularity. They’re losing the LOS on both sides, Lenny is PLODDING PERSONIFIED. They ARE older and they are a bit slow, teams like the dolphins and others are the gold standard now with chunk plays and the Bucs have become yesterdays news to a degree. We have one All-Pro caliber player right now and that is Antoine Winfield. Bringing in older vets can be great, until it isn’t.

  10. Dooley Says:


    Geno Smith is completing 73% of his passes this season, Seattle is the 4th highest scoring team in all the NFL, and they’re 4 games into a winning streak where they’ve scored 114 points(28.5 ppg). We’ve scored more than what they are averaging in their last 4 games, once in 9 games. Gotta know your opponent, Geno Smith all these years later, looks like what he was supposed to be coming out of WVU all those years ago, but now on a pro team.

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    What is currently going on with this team is apparently acceptable to the organization. They are telling you they are fine with underachievers and mediocrity. The question I would like asked and answered is why. Their fans deserve to know.

  12. ZZbucs Says:

    I undesrtand the heat on BL up to certain point……But what is hard for me to believe is that TB12 is not involved on game planning…Even on the play calling….It´s easy to blame just BL, but IMO is shared with TB12….

    TB 12 gets rid of the ball in 2 seconds,it´s imposible for a WR or TE to be in agressive positions with two seconds…… Sooner or later if we want NOT to be so predictable TB12 has to trust more on protection, that as far as the season goes is not bad by any means……..
    I agrre that the OL is pretty bad on the running game, NOT on protection

  13. adam from ny Says:


    yeah i hear ya…it’s wild that he is throwing to a 73% completion rate…and they are rolling on a 4 game streak…

    i’m not saying they aren’t good by any means…i think they’re just “due for a loss” – and maybe tom will pull this offense up by it’s boot straps…

    seattle has been very impressive with a nice rookie rb and 2 terrific wideouts…and lockett is one of the most underrated league wide imho…

    i do think the bucs somehow some way will be more up for the game – and get some turnovers…

    i will venture to say the breaks and luck goes the bucs way, rather than seattle’s early sunday morning…

    also i think geno’s success is making russell wilson look a bit more like a system player now – and the coach carroll is darn good

  14. D Says:

    Burn the Wich!

  15. G-Buc Says:


  16. BucsfanFred Says:

    Give geno a chance. That guy was always an @sshole and he always will be. I laughed out loud when his teammate broke his jaw because Geno stiffed the guy over $600.

  17. BucsfanFred Says:

    And then he never did get his starting gig back

  18. PassingThru Says:

    All this optimism based on a win against a similarly troubled team?

  19. Goatfarmer Says:

    I thought this article might have been about a new Tom Brady girlfriend. He seems to like the equine types.

  20. 1#bucsfan Says:


  21. Buccos Says:

    I would be throwing deep to Evans early and often. Good things happen. If he doesn’t go up and get it then chances are that he gets the flag

  22. Lakeland Steve Says:

    It’s amazing with all the coaches on the Bucs staff that the head coach still matters as much as he does. Does anyone reading this believe the Bucs would be playing so poorly on offense right now if Arians were still the head coach? Obviously Arians was deeply involved in the offense from game planning to the actual play calling on game day. It looks like all the praise placed on Leftwhich the last couple of years should have went to Arians.