Last Playoff-Caliber Test Before The Playoffs

December 18th, 2022

After today’s clash with the Bengals, the Bucs won’t play a good team — a winning team — for the rest of the regular season.

Next up are the godawful Cardinals and their backup quarterback, followed by the bumbling and pseudo-tanking Panthers and then the Falcons, losers of four of their last five games who are handing the ball today to their rookie third-round pick of a quarterback.

Simply stated, the Bengals are the Bucs’ last chance to test themselves against a legitimate playoff team before the postseason begins.

Wait a minute Joe! The Bucs aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot. True, but they have a lead in the NFC South and are the most talented division team with four games left. The odds are heavily in Tampa Bay’s favor to be playing on Martin Luther King weekend in Tampa. So Joe really, really wants to see how the Bucs stack up today against powerful competition. It’s a chance for the entire roster to gauge where it stands.

The past is irrelevant, such as the Bucs clubbing the Seahawks in Germany or getting hammed at San Francisco last week. Where are the Bucs today? That’s what Joe is hungry to see.

Moral victories are for losers, but Joe would be ok with the Bucs only being competitive today, if they put up points and stay within one score.

Again, it sounds like a line directly out of the loserville playbook. But as ugly as it is to type, Joe would feel pretty good about the Bucs if they lost , say, 27-24 today. That would be a major step up in performance, and it would give a lot of Bucs fans a shred of confidence going forward.

21 Responses to “Last Playoff-Caliber Test Before The Playoffs”

  1. Bucfan1988 Says:

    “Where are the Bucs today?”

    Really, you gotta be kiddin’ me….

    They are a GOD-AWFUL team with piss-poor coaching, and a lame-duck vanilla offensive scheme…

    If it wasn’t for some decent defensive playing earlier in the year, this would be a 2-3 win team right now. It’s THAT bad Joe 🤷🏻‍♂️…

    This will be an ugly blow-out today….

  2. Dave From Winter Park, Florida Says:

    Short and Sweet: THE BENGALS WILL DESTROY THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS. Dave Corcoran, 2018 Westgate Super Contest, Winter Park, Florida. Follow me @benmaller. P. S., Roscoe the Parrot 🦜 said “Tom Brady Said I QUIT !

  3. new_man76 Says:


    “So Joe really, really wants to see how the Bucs stack up today against powerful competition. It’s a chance for the entire roster to gauge where it stands.”

    Did we not just see this result last week AND in week 4?!

    “The past is irrelevant”

    The Bucs were boat raced twice against heavyweights this year (this SO matters.) The seahawks, ravens and cowboys don’t count (especially when you almost find yourself losing to Mr Coach My Scheme, and SEA IS NOT WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.) And I dunno whats going on with BAL and dont care really. Now that I really think about this, I dunno what to think after typing this because I am now confused AND ANGRY because I know the Bucs are going to p!ss themselves tomorrow. I know they cant score, cant run the ball, meh on special teams or play consistent defense. This may actually be the WORST coaching staff the Bucs have EVER had. #SeanPayton #Collaspe4Caleb LFG!

  4. captivajim Says:

    “Clubbing the Seahawks ” ??? Really ??!! we won 21-16= not a clubbing to me …

  5. Goatfarmer Says:




  6. David Says:


    My money says they don’t make them

  7. Buczilla Says:

    We’re gonna get seal clubbed, but I’d get some confidence back if we can beat the bengals today and the cardinals next week. Stringing some quality wins together is the only way to cure my cynicism towards our team.

  8. kyle Says:

    gonna be a lost decade groin kick kinda we arent healthy enough to compete today.. lets get ready, playoffs start next week!

  9. ClwJB Says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it – this team is hot garbage as long as Bowles and Leftwich are in charge and we will not make the playoffs – Joes are being homers, and we get it, you want your pass to work at the stadium

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Need to clean house of season for all under performing players and coaches. Tom has lost the team as a leader and motivator. Can’t blame him because of what he went through through outside the game. It has effected him and his leadership….but he is only human after all.

  11. Hodad Says:

    Joe the past is relevant. It tells us the Bucs are a bad football team. The past is the Bucs record, it ain’t good. They can look good today against the Bengals making Joe feel good only to lose badly next week against Colt McCoy. That’s who these Bucs are Joe in case you haven’t guessed by now. The big game will be at home against Carolina. That game will decide a lot about the Bucs future.

  12. PanthersSuck! Says:

    24 points? That would require 3 TD’s Joe…

  13. NEfan Says:

    Bucsfan-1988, what games did the Bucs D play well? Dallas, GB? How about Carolina, Pittsburgh, Saints? Baltimore, Seattle, KC, SF, Cleveland, kinda equals out, don’t ya think. There are possibly three positive notes on this team, Otton, Thompkins (small sample size and R. White. What else???

    FYI, Tua is overrated. Without a running game he is nothing. Plus two of the best wr’s in the league.

  14. John Sinclear Says:

    The “Bumbling Panthers” could very well win this division. The Bucs, with “One Touchdown Tommy” could very well lose it, if they haven’t already. By bedtime tonight the NFC South could have a totally different look. Wait and see.

  15. D-Rok Says:


    Emphatically agree with every word you typed in this article. I just want them to be competitive!!! Last week was JV (us) vs. Varsity (Niners).

    Please show us some fight and spirit today, Bucs!!!!

  16. aleyz2020 Says:

    I’ve been here since day 1 with John Mckay and have seen many “coaches” come and go and can tell when they’re shovelling BS. This staff was handed the keys to a perfectly well running sports car and just drove it off into the ditch. They’ve enjoyed not even having to interview for the job and not acknowledging changes that could have turned this season around. BA’s consulting position has only benefited those searching the best whiskey or cigars. I would have expected more involvement from him to right the ship. Many key players may not hang around for next season!

  17. Erick Says:

    Stop with the playoffs talk. It’s embarrassing. Helen Keller could see this team is garbage.

  18. Rob Says:

    Lol. If the Bucs lose today and drop to 6-8 they’re not going to the playoffs.

  19. Mark Reese Says:

    If today is any indication they will go one and done in the playoffs.

  20. Rudy Says:

    Joe: I have that confidence, by what I saw in the first half. I just wish Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich stepped down or were suspended for the remainder of the season. A prevent defense at the end of the first half is reprehensible, it onsulted a great defense, aand broke their spirit. “Coach has no confidence in us as a unit.” That’s the self-talk it creates inside a competitor’s helmet. It has been painfully obvious all year: when someone other than these two fake punt calling goofballs are in charge of calling plays and giving the team directions, we’re looking like the caliber of team that matches the depth of talent on the roster. I’ll repeat this message frequently because it’s a fact, and until people acknowledge and admit it.

  21. G.Marosi Says:

    Brady had 3 TD and 300yds we still lost