Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons

January 8th, 2023

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Let the real season begin. The warmup season was a stinker.

A week after clinching a third consecutive playoff berth, the Bucs forgot to show up in the second half Sunday during a 30-17 setback at Atlanta. Tom Brady looked sharp in a tuneup stint and the best news is he’s healthy going into next week’s postseason opener against Dallas.

There wasn’t much else to celebrate as Brady closed out the first losing season of his incomparable career. He hit on 13-of-17 throws, highlighted by a TD pass to a ghost named Kyle Rudolph.

Buc Nation can’t wait to close the book on these 17 games. Not only did the Bucs stumble to an 8-9 finish, but Tampa Bay’s scoring differential (minus-45) is the worst in the league’s worst division.


But someone had to finish first in the NFC South and the Bucs, as the No. 4 seed, have been awarded a home game. There is NFL precedent for a losing club advancing past the wild-card round and Brady’s presence gives Tampa Bay a puncher’s chance.

On Sunday, the Bucs couldn’t lay a jab on the Falcons in the final two quarters. While it’s true Todd Bowles rested almost all of his regulars in the second half, that’s no excuse for an embarrassing performance over the final 30 minutes.

Neither Blaine Gabbert nor Kyle Trask provided much of a spark under center and Tampa Bay’s defense was overwhelmed by three rookies as the 7-10 Falcons closed with two victories.

Here’s how the Bucs wasted a solid opening half en route to their fifth loss in the final six road games.

* Everyone not ruled out played except for Mike Evans (illness) and Tristan Wirfs (precaution). They should be ready for the postseason. The same may not be true for Robert Hainsey, who left with a hamstring injury. What a boost it would be if Ryan Jensen was cleared to start at center. Probably wishful thinking.

* The Bucs were outgained 304-38 in the second half and snapped the ball only 16 times. That’s inexcusable, no matter how many backups are on the field.

* Bravo to Chris Godwin, one of the league’s toughest players. He’ll be back all the way next fall but he just proved that Godwin at 90 percent is pretty darned good. In his final four games, this generation’s version of Hines Ward caught 31 of 34 passes sent his way.

Antoine Winfield, Jr.

* Some of Atlanta’s 2022 draft picks showcased their skills against the Bucs. Drake London caught six passes for 120 yards, Tyler Allgeier ran 24 times for 135 yards and Desmond Ridder displayed poise while throwing for 224 yards and two scores. If Arthur Smith can continue to develop Ridder, the Falcons will have the nucleus of an effective offense.

* Who showed up on defense for the visitors? Antoine Winfield led everyone with 13 tackles as one of the few Bucs who played with any juice.

* In terms of playoff positioning, the Bucs had nothing to play for on Sunday — and it showed.

* At the age of 45, Brady ended up averaging 43 passes per game. If he throws that many times against a stout Dallas pass rush led by Micah Parsons, the Bucs are probably in trouble.

* If you’re wondering, Tampa Bay’s only first down of the second half came on Trask’s 9-yard completion to Breshad Perriman.

* The Bucs didn’t have a single snap that gained more than 17 yards. The Falcons had five snaps that gained at least 20 yards.

* The Cowboys have been installed as early 3-point favorites on the road, where they went 4-4 this season compared to 8-1 at home. Dak Prescott has much to prove in the postseason, where he is 1-3. Brady has nothing to prove in the postseason, where he is an astonishing 35-12. Dallas fans are feeling confident about America’s Team. Fair enough, but Buc fans are feeling equally confident because this is Tom’s Team.

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34 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons”

  1. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Lovie Smith fired yet again

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bloweswich will once again figure out a way to flatten the team’s energy, blunt any aggression on offense and make the defense play their worst at the most critical times.

    Cover zero blitz where no one blitzes, but at least they will leave Cee Dee Lamb uncovered.

    No worries. The exposure of the Toddster is in full bloom.

  3. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Monday night Bucs Cowboys

  4. Irishmist Says:

    So the Drama Queen chokes again. In his own stadium. Against the Lions. I just wonder what all those people who said that Brady is done and it is Aaron Rodgers year are going to say now.

  5. BucsFan81 Says:

    Damn didn’t want Monday night. We don’t perform well on Monday night football.

  6. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Why the hell they making Bucs/Cowboys Monday nite 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️???

    If we win, we get one less day to practice then we on the road most likely at San Fran…

    Yeah that’s BS..

  7. Jerry Says:

    I knew we were going to get shafted.
    So if we win, we get a short week and possibly a long trip to SF.

  8. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Detroit Lions no longer a weak team…

    Those dudes leave it all out in the field…

    Kudos to them!! Playing hard for their coach!

  9. Aleyz2020 Says:

    This will be a very short post season but unfortunately the Glazer’s will be so proud of their NFC South Champions that the coaching staff will get an extended stay of execution. Although I’m sure many players realize it’s time for them to move on so this ship will look very different next season. We’re in for some rough sailing.

  10. ElioT Says:

    The Lions deserve to be in the playoffs over the Bucs.

    Hate to say it but it’s not even close.

    The Bucs are losers

  11. SKBucsFan Says:

    OK Bowles. At least attempt to get them ready for a Monday Night Game. If not Lovie Smith is ready ti step in your place.

  12. Bucfan1988 Says:

    If we don’t beat the Boys next Monday, Glazers May blow this team up…
    Leftwich better be gone regardless….

    If Brady doesn’t wanna come back, then it’s time to unload vets, and start the rebuild…

  13. Bucfan1988 Says:

    ElioT, I totally agree with you!!!

    Lions would beat the Bucs now…

    Their O-line is nasty!

  14. Oxycondoms Says:

    At least bowles has an extra day to prepare vs cowboys. Who bucs would play following week is all speculation

  15. theghost Says:


  16. Ira's Beet Salad Says:

    What’s up with the podcast? Hope Ira didn’t catch the bug going around and lose his voice. 9 Days with no Sage wisdom….the withdrawals are rough.

  17. Gman Says:

    I am just here for the whiners crying about us playing on Monday night even though it is to our advantage. They are just too imbred and dumb to understand why.

  18. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    If Bucs only had heart of the Lions. This team doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs and Bowles, Leftwich and Armstrong will make sure Bucs get embarrassed. Brady can only do so much and can’t overcome incompetent coaches and lazy players.

  19. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Bucs just screwed . Is anyone shocked? Also let’s say they face the 49ers who play Saturday. What a joke. They got screwed period!!!

  20. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Gman how is it to their advantage?!!!! It’s a short week if they somehow advance.

  21. sasquatch Says:

    The Bucs don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. This is an awful team. Think they get bounced on their ass Monday. The thing I don’t like about the Monday game is that it delays Leftwich’s firing by another 24 hours… and we’ve suffered too long. Please let it be over ASAP.

  22. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Sasquatch you are such a negative nancy man.

  23. Frank Pillow Says:

    Pls, pls, pls let our nightmare come to an end and have the courage to dismiss our coaching staff and seasons’s end. Don’t get me wrong, I want a playoff win (or 4), but this HC and OC is an abomination. There is no future under Todd.

  24. Beej Says:

    Has there EVER been a MNF playoff game?

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Sasquatch is a chick. And I’m not being funny. SAS I a female and yes, Real Negative. Loves the 80 for Brady though. He WILL (Brady) sell at least 1 ticket to Sasquatch. Imagine the smell…… of popcorn is what I mean of course.

  26. Ira's Beet Salad Says:

    Sasquatch is a chick.

    Eddie Murphy’s Goonie Goo Goo skit from Delirious comes to mind…

  27. SB Says:

    All of them pretty much spot on!!

  28. BucU Says:

    This team/coaching staff sucks bad.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘The Bucs were outgained 304-38 in the second half and snapped the ball only 16 times. That’s inexcusable, no matter how many backups are on the field.’

    That was the Bucs DEPTH on the field in the 2nd half. Yuck! And not just our depth; those were largely the players who are under contract for next season … IOW, the FUTURE. And don’t tell me they had nothing to play for; the defense gave up 304 yards in the 2nd half and the offense gained only 38 yards. THAT’S what our DEPTH & FUTURE put on tape.

  30. stpetebucfan Says:

    Yes it’s been a very rough ride. But there are some silver linings and extenuating circumstances.

    We’ve talked ad nauseum about losing the ENTIRE middle of the OL…Marpet, Cappa and then Jensen before the season kicked off. THAT would have been huge then add continued injuries to the backups. The Bucs started yesterday’s game with a backup right tackle and the backup to the backup at the critical LT. Having said that the guys that played weren’t the major problem. The 2nd half was a joke not worth remembering.

    Bottom line. I’m no Lovie Smith fan but he did have the Texans improving by the end of the year. He DESERVED one more season at least. The Texans have now fired their second coach in a row after each had just ONE FREAKING SEASON. Who is going to want that job? What is the total turnover of culture three years in a row going to do to the Texans?

    I get the dissatisfaction with Bowles and I share much of it. I also get the upset with Leftwich but it is so far over the top…remember who pulls the trigger..the GOAT does anyone believe these games are getting called offensively by just Leftwich. Why did the Leftwich/Brady combo tear up record books the first two years…win a SB…lose to the SB champs on one play the next year.

    So am I too believe the first two years were simply luck and the 3rd year is how the Brady/BL combo really play? I’ve seen enough glimpses of the past this year to believe my first paragraph about the amazing challenges this season presented. If we start back on the coaching carosel we start back on the past disfunction.

    I think BL and TB are fine. I do question whether Bowles is truly HC material but he deserves a shot with an actual stable OL and a QB not distracted for two weeks and more by his pending divorce. IE This season has TOTALLY lacked any continuity.

    The Bucs are healthy and a a scary team to face. My fear about the Cowboys is trying to beat a team a third time in a row. But the Bucs can certainly win it.

    SF is the team to beat along with Philly. The Bucs cannot match up talent wise at the moment but it’s not that far apart. As the late Chris Thomas used to say NFL stands for No Freaking Logic.

  31. Easy The Great Says:

    How bad is Logan Hall? I mean he was getting rag dolled constantly.

  32. Bosch Says:

    Ira – Bucs fans are equally confident? And you know this how?

  33. beano Says:

    IRA SAYS: “* If you’re wondering, Tampa Bay’s only first down of the second half came on Trask’s 9-yard completion to Breshad Perriman.”

    1. Trask should have been given much more than 2 series at the end of the game.

    2. Trask should have been allowed to play with the first team.

    3. That Trask, playing only the last 2 drives, threw for the only first down in the entire second half tells you all you need to know about the personnel on the field in the second half.

    Terrible coaching and management all around.

  34. Sbucs Says:

    Welcome to another lost decade