Inexperience Awaits

November 22nd, 2022

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Just get in.

That’s the motto for the 2022 Bucs following a bye week that should set them up nicely for a late-season run. Five of Tampa Bay’s final seven opponents currently sport losing records and there ought to be an investigation and a special counsel appointed if this club doesn’t finish first in the deplorable NFC South.

Let’s assume the Bucs win the division — because it’s too depressing to think otherwise. That would guarantee Tampa Bay an opening-round playoff game at home … a good start for a potential January to remember.

If the Bucs are indeed one of the NFC’s seven playoff teams, the race to Glendale would be considered wide open. The Rams and Packers shockingly look like toast, taking two veteran quarterbacks out of the mix.

That leaves the Bucs with a huge advantage in terms of postseason experience under center. It’s not a stretch to suggest that would represent the winning edge in every conference matchup along the way.

Let’s start with No. 12. Tom Brady is the most prolific postseason quarterback this league has ever seen — and it’s not even close. His 47 appearances are 15 more than runner up Adam Vinatieri and that 35-12 record attests to Brady’s dominance on the NFL’s biggest stages.

“Tom sees the whole field and we all know about Tom in the playoffs,” Von Miller said last January. “He’s incredible, man.”

Miller was reminded of Brady’s magic when he almost pulled off yet another epic postseason comeback. rallying from a 27-3 deficit in the final 18 minutes against Miller’s Rams before Cooper Kupp’s catch set up the winning FG for the eventual Super Bowl champs.

In sharp contrast to Brady’s brilliance, the rest of the NFC playoff field is littered with playoff novices.

The Eagles keep finding ways to win, but Jalen Hurts has only one playoff game behind him. It came in Tampa last season, when he was picked off two times and sacked twice in a 31-15 setback. Don’t be fooled by the final score — the Bucs led 31-0 after three quarters and Hurts was hurting.

Playoff experience for Daniel Jones of the Giants? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Dallas could be a tough out, but Dak Prescott is 1-3 in the postseason. In his last playoff start, he was sacked five times as the favored Cowboys lost to San Francisco.

Ira Kaufman examines the NFC playoffs QB crop, which should include the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins.

Kirk Cousins certainly has a lot to prove in January. He’s 1-3 in the postseason, suffering 14 sacks. His last playoff appearance came in 2020, when the 49ers dropped him six times in a 27-10 triumph.

Geno Smith is right there with Mr. Jones when it comes to playoff starts … bupkis.

Now we come to the strange case of Jimmy Garoppolo. Jimmy G. is 4-2 as a postseason starter, despite throwing six interceptions and only four TD passes. He averages just 137 passing yards in the playoffs, yet the 49ers remain dangerous with him barking out the signals. We just saw what he can do in Monday night’s blowout win at Arizona.

San Francisco could well have the stingiest defense in the league, so Garoppolo isn’t called on to carry the team. In a limited role, he can be effective.

Any playoff scenario has to account for the surging Commanders. Ron Rivera’s feisty group has won 5-of-6 after a 1-4 start and Taylor Heinicke has emerged as the unquestioned starter under center. Buc fans remember Heinicke well from Tampa Bay’s opening playoff matchup en route to a championship.

On a chilly evening in the nation’s capital, Heinicke completed 26-of-44 passes for 306 yards in a 31-23 loss. In his lone postseason appearance, Heinicke fared better against Tampa Bay’s defense than Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes would in the ensuing weeks.

Still, Brady vs. Heinicke doesn’t quite seem like a fair fight. Buc fans could care less. That 35-12 postseason mark is quite a testament.

Just get in.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

15 Responses to “Inexperience Awaits”

  1. D-Rok Says:

    Optimism abounds! The Bucs have all the tools to be a serious contender, but do they want that trophy bad enough? The next 7-10 weeks will show us how bad they want it. In Germany, they wanted it, and they went and took it. Rinse, repeat. Please!

    GO BUCS!!!

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    The OL has one good game since Dallas opener.

    Pump the breaks.

    Remember who the head coach and coordinators are.

  3. BucU Says:

    I hope I’m dead wrong but with Bowles and Leftwich running the show we will not go to the promised land.
    They’re not upper echelon coaches in this league.
    Come playoff time that matters big time.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Just play better. Make me not want to stop watching.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I read that there is a connection between Arians and Jim Irsay up in Indy, who will be looking for a new head coach next year.
    LOL, maybe Arians will go and take Lefty with him ?
    I worry about the 49ers the most, and I also worry about the Eagles.
    Plus, Dallas really seems to be coming on lately.
    But, when you have Tom Brady, you always have a chance!

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s pretty obvious Bruce can’t step in to save us, not with his health the way it is. It isn’t really Glazer style to fire HCs during the season.

    So we’re riding out the season with Bowles.

    That said, this team has a long way to go to convince me we can win in the playoffs…and if they can’t win, then all it does is cost us draft position.

    Then again…draft position can be overrated.

  7. Crickett Baker Says:

    Thoughtful article, Ira.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Really counting chickens here aren’t we…..or are we counting Falcons?

    We’ve got some work to do…..let’s hope that the Bucs are focused on Cleveland….not their playoff opponents.

  9. Mike Johnson Says:

    Most people who follow the NFL can clearly see the Bucs are not a championship team. They might make the playoffs. But there are maybe 5 teams ahead of us right now. Brady or not, we simply don’t have the bell cows to pull the sled. all the way to a Superbowl. Gonna be fun watching it play out though.

  10. BucsfanFred Says:

    Of we keep building on the success of the last two games we’ll be ok.

  11. George Says:

    The Bucs need to focus on beating a tough Cleveland squad

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike Johnson … While I agree that the Bucs haven’t looked like a championship team Mike, I also wouldn’t have ever guessed that the Bengals would play in the Super Bowl last year after allowing their QBs to be sacked 55 times in the regular season plus another 19 times in the playoffs. Actually I was surprised that Burrow was still standing at the end of the season.

    Just goes to show though that once you get into the playoffs, anything is possible. Bengals missed being Super Bowl champs by a mere 4 points.

  13. Jim Says:

    Pssst! Ira, the Glazers are moving to sell Man U…

  14. BA's Red Pen Says:

    Cleveland is 3-7, they are not a good football team. Hand ringing over the Brown Stains is dumb.

  15. garro Says:

    Great article Ira!
    I get your point… but.
    Our history with inexperienced QBs in the regular season is incredibly bad. one example is Daniel Jones…In 2019 Jones threw for 336 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 2 more as a rookie to beat our Bucs. 🙂