First Or Famine

December 22nd, 2022

Click on through to shop at Bill Currie Ford GM Sean Sullivan is ready to help you PERSONALLY and give you the Ira Kaufman discount. Just ask!


Right place, right time.

In any other NFC division, the 6-8 Buccaneers would be at least four games out of first place. Jason Licht would be ramping up his draft prospect evaluations and checking on his Senior Bowl reservations.

Instead, Tampa Bay remains in first place due to an astonishing case of Southern hospitality.

It would be shameful to waste such an opportunity. It would be a football crime to join the Panthers, Saints and Falcons below .500 while Tom Brady takes every snap under center.

The current standings suggest the Bucs are not a good football team. The disturbing scoring differential (minus-41) backs that up heading into Arizona on Christmas night.

The Cardinals are toast, playing out the string with a backup quarterback and a likely lame-duck coach, but the Bucs have dropped their last four road games by a combined margin of 99-45.

We just saw the Bucs at their best in a dazzling opening half against one of the NFL’s hottest teams. The Bengals were manhandled for 30 minutes before Brady unraveled. It was a classic case of the Bucs beating the Bucs, which used to be a weekly lament around here during a 12-year playoff drought marked by six head coaches and a few million empty seats.

Ira shares Keanu Neal’s perspective.

Still, there’s hope. You have to look hard, but there’s hope.

You have to put the league’s worst ground game behind you and focus on a potential home playoff game against the Cowboys. who have won three postseason games since 1997.


“It’s not where we want to be, unfortunately, but we’re still in first place,” Keanu Neal said after Sunday’s second-half meltdown. “The goals are still there. We’ve got to figure out who we’re going to be and what our identity is. Look ourselves in the mirror and go from there.”

The next few weeks will shape the future of this franchise. If the Bucs win the division and dispatch the Cowboys, the Glazers won’t be inclined to dismantle this group — beyond some assistant coaching changes. If Brady departs as a free agent in that scenario, it won’t be because Tampa Bay wasn’t interested in retaining him.

Owner Joel Glazer could preside over another roster-gutting, Ira says.

But if Tampa Bay fails to capture the NFC South, all bets are off and the heat is on.

The Glazers could implement a rebuilding plan on the order of the 2009 veteran purge that dispatched Derrick Brooks, Joey Galloway, Warrick Dunn and Ike Hilliard.

The Bucs could decide to move on without Brady, seeking to get younger, faster and more physical. Licht would try to find a new face of the franchise under center. If that sounds harsh, think again.

If you don’t finish first in a horrid division WITH Brady, what confidence would you have when Brady turns 46 next August?

Missing the playoffs under these circumstances would be embarrassing.

For Brady, a losing record would be unprecedented. It’s unthinkable … but here we are.

“We’re 6-8, which is not where we want to be,” Neal said. “But we’re still where we want to be — in first place.”

For now.

Ira with his good friend and draft guru Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford and host of the Best In Class podcast. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. Just ask!!!

13 Responses to “First Or Famine”

  1. Faspro Says:

    Like someone else on here said; they’te like an “unflushable turd”…
    The unflushable turds…

  2. Couch Fan Says:

    Week 15 and you are still trying to find your identity and “who you are going to be”…. JBF really needs a face palm emoji.

  3. Buddha Says:

    No Pro Bowl center, no Pro Bowl safety, no Pro Bowl linebacker and chief pass rusher, no Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame tight end, declining quarterback. Ths team was overrated from the getgo. Over under at 11 and 1/2 in Vegas was a gift. You really see. I took it, hoping the Buccaneers would be better but not believing it. Too much young talent to scrap the whole team and start over.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This team is simply poorly coached… has tons of talent even with some losses from last year.
    Brady needs to take control and win the next three games convincingly….

    Then, anything is possible once we make the playoffs.

    Backing into the playoffs because our division opponents lose just won’t cut it.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…. correct, finish strong against weaker teams and something or someone on this listless team might catch fire.

    Go Bucs!!!

  6. D-Rok Says:

    There’s that silly Identity word. Again. This Bucs team has NO identity at all. Good defense, perhaps, although inconsistent mostly due to injuries.

    Start using no-huddle, ASAP!! That’s their identity. What they did first half against Bengals, THAT’s their identity. Use that.

    If they don’t, this year has no hope.

    As a parting thought, you know, I almost wish the Bucs did not have that great first half against Bengals. It gave me hope…and false hopes are a dangerous thing to have floating in my head. They proved they COULD do it, and then they got the snot kicked out of them in 2nd half.

    False hopes. No identity.


    I will keep watching and rooting for Bucs until they are eliminated. I won’t be shocked if they don’t make playoffs, or are done early in playoffs.

    I will be massively shocked if they win first 2 playoff games. That would stun the world, and this fan.

    Rant over – have a great day, JBF, fans, posters – I hope all have a relaxing, rewarding, and blessed Merry Christmas for those who celebrate it.

  7. orlbucfan Says:

    “The Bengals were manhandled for 30 minutes before Brady unraveled. It was a classic case of the Bucs beating the Bucs, …”
    Thank you, Mr. Ira. 🙂 I’ve got folks who don’t even follow the sport saying Brady should have retired after the Bucs made NFL history with their SB win. Man, was I going ballistic listening in the 2nd half. Good thing I have low BP.

  8. Darin Says:

    This team doesn’t deserve a playoff game. Let’s see if another nfc south team decides to deserve it. Won’t be the Bucs with the insane clown posse in charge. Still can’t believe a coaching staff could mess up such a talented team so bad. Sad. McSorely be who he be so watch out

  9. Iamabuc Says:

    Do you guys realize that if we win it all from now on, will mean that the Bucs will get to keep these two wanabees (BL &Bowles)…..
    . Oh Lord!!
    Well, if we win it all I believe is because of Brady and our players, not because the of these two.
    ..and these two will get all kind of praces…smfh.

  10. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Will this bad brand of Buc football send The Irv into retirement/exile as well? Perhaps he can join a Chiefs blog to finish off his storied career…polishing off some KC BBQ with Andy Reid while pitching Priest Holmes for the Hall of Fame? Just a thought/dream…

  11. ClwJB Says:

    The fact we are even having this discussion should be all there is to know

    An interim coach with his USFL 3rd string QB whipped us all day and Now, we have to beat them with their starter back

    This season will go down as how the historically inept Bucs even figured out how to tarnish the GOAT reputation by putting a patchwork OLine in front of him and then pulled the playbook out from under him

    Way to go Glazers… dad would be proud….

  12. JBBucs_06 Says:

    Realistically, nothing keeping the Bucs from finishing 9-8 but, well….the Bucs. Should be 3rd string McSorley with Cardinals, should stomp Darnold, and beat rookie Ridder. IF, we get Dean, Vita, Jensen, Winfield back for home game against the Cowboys….I bet on the Bucs…IF we don’t beat ourselves.

    Win that game, go on the road and all bets are off, anything can happen. I don’t give full blame on the coaches (I mean, who is going to bench TB12), but they deserve some. But playing with 50% NEW starters on Offense against a #1 record schedule is NO small feat.

  13. OrlandoBucfan Says:

    Ira, here is a sage perspective on the truth:

    “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.”

    Winston Churchill

    I guess we’ll have to see what the truth looks like in a few weeks.