Hearing The Whispers

October 19th, 2023

The big what-if of Sunday’s first quarter.

Joe has heard tons of national praise for the Lions after their beatdown of the Bucs at The Licht House on Sunday.

Despite being chosen to play the Chiefs on opening night — and winning — and being a hot club since midway though last season, it is now that the Lions seem to be on Super Bowl radars everywhere.

But what intrigues Joe is that in all these breakdowns of the Lions’ success in Tampa, there’s always a quiet mention of two Bucs screwups.

The big one is the painful vision in the All-22 still image above.

It’s the first play of the Bucs’ second drive with no score in the game. Baker Mayfield’s right arm is about to release a throw to wide-open Mike Evans — with nobody behind Evans and the nearest defender running the wrong way.

Instead of a touchdown that would have taken the Lions-fans-loaded crowd out of the game and sparked more Hall of Fame chatter for Evans this week, the throw was batted and intercepted. Detroit found a field goal to take an early lead. Call it a 10-point swing.

Also mentioned is Evans’ drop in the Bucs’ fourth offensive series — a 3rd-and-12 pass near midfield that was uncontested.

The analysts whisper about those two plays as if they don’t want them to acknowledge a little luck went Detroit’s way.

Detroit also scored it’s two touchdowns on 3rd-and-long, one on a play safety Ryan Neal should have made to force a punt.

Joe is not pretending the Bucs are close to being an elite team, but Joe also is not going to be like some fans barking about how the sky is falling, the playcaller stinks and the pass rush is worthless.

Joe believes the Bucs are better than the Falcons, Sunday’s opponent, and that the Bucs will take care of business. If not, well, then Joe will reassess.

44 Responses to “Hearing The Whispers”

  1. BucU Says:

    This defense can play with anybody in the league. Our offense will keep us at a middle of the road team. You can’t have the worst run game in the league and be successful. We are what we are.

  2. DS Says:

    Lions aren’t untouchable they dink and dunked Bucs can hang with anyone imo

  3. Bee Says:

    Baker unfortunately couldn’t find the throwing lane to get the pass off. He was off all game. The loss certainly isn’t all his fault either. But I hate the What’s Ifs after a loss, every team can do that. Fact is Baker needs to figure out how to avoid batted balls and add more touch to his deep throws.

  4. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Likely drop

  5. DS Says:

    Game of inches

  6. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Joe, you forgetting something else too….

    Right after the tipped ball interception, Goff handed off to David Montgomery, and Vea came in & blew it up. Tackle for loss in the backfield and forced fumble..

    MAGICALLY BY GODS WILL, the ball bounced right back up to his gut when he landed…

    If that ball woulda be ounces any other way, good chance Bucs recover and get ball back…

    Sooooo, you had:
    – Lucky tipped pass by Lions D resulting in interception and took TD off the board for Bucs..
    – Unlucky bounce for Bucs on Vea’s forced fumble…

    I saw those 2 plays and immediately knew Bucs were gonna lose that game…

    The luck gremlins were not on Tampa’s side at all 🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:


  8. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    They are whispering, because people still can’t believe the Lions are good.

  9. Everything is just horrble! Says:

    Everything is NOT horrible! lol

  10. Durango 95 Says:

    ,” but Joe also is not going to be like some fans barking about how the sky is falling, the playcaller stinks and the pass rush is worthless.”

    I see you’ve been looking at the game day threads. Talk about overreaction.

  11. Voice of Truth Says:

    I think that’s the point, we are better than our divisional teams and a few other bottom dwellers and that’s about it

    I don’t think it’s the talent, I think it’s the coaching

  12. Duane in Sanford Says:

    As I said before, when you lose a physical game, you obsess over the miscues. I am ride or die with ME13, but I could easily see him drop that batted down pass. The defense still held the Lions to 20 pts. Gotta find a way to score 21 per game. The sky is falling only if you are certain that this team has maxed out its talent.

  13. Bojim Says:

    Still a lot of football yet. We’ll get better.

  14. Weebs10 Says:

    Good call ‘88! I forgot about that fumble. Couldn’t believe it bounced right back to Montgomery. Those two plays were infuriating. After that the dropped ball by Mike was the nail in the coffin to me.

  15. Beej Says:

    ME13 seems to have a higher catch % on contested throws

  16. Duane Says:

    All teams every game have plays that don’t go their way and plays that do go their way. Same thing with officiating calls. Good teams take advantage of luck when they can, overcome it when they can’t, and otherwise impose their will on their opponents.

    Bad teams don’t.

    There is no point to whining about missed plays, luck good or bad, or bad calls.

    I don’t see that the sky is falling for the Bucs and their fans. We are still less than 1/3rd thru the season and there is plenty of opportunity for growth and development by this largely remade roster. Perhaps more changes will happen and no firm conclusions can be drawn until December, or even later.

  17. Boss Says:

    doesn’t matter.

    that wide open?

    That early in the game

    ME would have DEFINITELY dropped the ball.

  18. Mike C Says:

    Wow, I actually agree with Boss…… sad

  19. Brandonbucc Says:

    Evans would have dropped it

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Voice of truth … ‘I don’t think it’s the talent, I think it’s the coaching’.

    Billionaire NFL owners don’t put their prized business assets worth mega-millions of dollars in the hands of coaches who don’t know what they’re doing. I can guarantee you that the Glazers have an incredibly detailed business plan for the Bucs, and that Jason Licht & Todd Bowles are the 2 key figures tasked to turn that plan into reality.

    Todd Bowles wasn’t given nearly the assets last year that Bruce Arians was in 2020 (ya, the same BA who went 7-9 in 2019 with Jameis at QB). But IMO he’s proven to be a much better TEACHER than BA was, and with this very young team, that’s critical. And despite all the peeing & moaning about how ‘stoic’ he is on the sideline, it appears to me that this Bucs’ team is highly motivated & excited about their prospects for the future.

    You & many others have called Todd Bowles a ‘loser’ any number of times, but obviously the Glazers don’t share your opinion. Neither do I. I don’t care who the coach is, they all make mistakes (every leader does), and so do the players who they coach. Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs … but he also struck out 1,330 times. I love what Thomas Edison said about failure … ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’.

  21. SlyPirate Says:

    It’s not rocket science. The offense is garbage.

    How to fix the offense …
    1. Upgrade Center. Hainsey isn’t strong enough.
    2. Upgrade RB. Get a bigger back that pounds the rock.
    3. Move on From Evans. Love the guy but he’s not a rebuild player.
    4. More creativity. Screens. Draws. Reverses. Make the defense guess a little.

  22. Oneilbuc Says:

    Baker Mayfield is average at best he’s been dinking and dunking all season and once we play a good defense or a average defense he sucks in those games.

  23. Will Says:

    Hey Joe on the play you showed yesterday where Carlton Davis got blown up. I hope that play isn’t totally being blamed on Neal although he should’ve made the tackle, the play should’ve been over before that because it looks like LaVonte got juked and the ball was caught in his zone. Please correct me if I’m wrong though.

  24. Joe Says:

    Hey Joe on the play you showed yesterday where Carlton Davis got blown up. I hope that play isn’t totally being blamed on Neal although he should’ve made the tackle,

    Bowles didn’t name names but did say two other defenders should have tackled Ra Ra before Davis got splashed, that the play on Davis never should have come to that.

  25. Boss Says:

    @ DR….love the edison quote.

    but people were not paying, and taking their time to watch him fail.

    and in this case it would be like edison was given the filament, bulb, power source…….all he had to do was flip the switch.

    the rest of your post is excuses and nut hugging

  26. Will Says:

    Thanks Joe just wanting to make sure these tired eyes weren’t lying to me. Keep up the great work. You make being a Bucs fan in Cali a bit easier with all your articles and inside stories.

  27. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I’ll be honest I was a little annoyed we lost against the lions but after calming down I realized just like JOE said there’s deff a few plays the lions got lucky on and our defense kept the number 3 offense in the league in check most of the game. If the offense sustains drives and scores on the int when ME13 was wide and a few deep shots to Palmer and we win this game or at least it’s a hell of a lot closer. Biggest thing is we need a run game. The growing pains with a new play caller new QB couple new starters on the oline is going to take some time to over come but when it does we will have a border line elite team. Eagles niners lions and then prob Bucs. Seriously if we were as physical as the eagles we would be neck and neck with them n the niners.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Boss … Apparently we also have a difference of opinion about Todd Bowles (my guess is about Tony Dungy too). No big deal, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I try to respect that, unless they’re nasty & ‘juvenile’ (StPete’s term … love it).

    Having spent a long career as a fighter pilot, and a good part of that teaching young pilots how to fly those beasts, I can tell you that teaching them how to exercise good JUDGMENT was the hardest part. Teaching skill-sets (techniques, tactics, etc) is one thing; but teaching them how to apply those skill-sets in a myriad of different situations is a whole nuther animal.

    In my opinion Boss, it’s no different than what coaches encounter every day teaching sports, with the NFL being the pinnacle. EVERYONE is so good that the slightest mistake can cost you dearly (ask Baker about tipped balls). Problem for the coach is that he’s not out there. You’ve got 11 on 11, every one of them exercising their best JUDGMENT, yet some of them make mistakes. Sometimes ever so slight (like Neal’s ‘almost’ pass deflection) but that’s all it takes when the big dogs are hunting.

    So ya, I do appreciate what Todd Bowles brings to this team, especially as a teacher. It’ll pay dividends one day, although he may not be here to accept the accolades. Kinda like Tony Dungy?

  29. Florida lone Wolf Says:

    The Buccaneers need to learn how to play a lot more man to man pass coverage !!! This soft zone they’re playing is ridiculous 10 yd off of the receiver You can’t give to the other team 7-yard passes all day long and not even try to defend them. The coverage guys need to meet them right at the line of scrimmage and knock them off their timing a little bit. I’m sick and tired of seeing guys running wide open in our backfield, again it’s ridiculous !!!

  30. Since76 Says:

    It’s not luck that went Detroit’s way. Mayfield telegraphs his throws and he’s short. Batted passes have been common place this year. The throw to Evans where he dropped it was spot on……the only thing is he threw it as hard as he could I think that had a lot to do with it. There is a common denominator in all the close misses and miscues.

  31. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    When Bucs are ready to be a serious football team they’ll start Kyle Trask.

    Until then the clown show will continue

  32. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Is the goal here to win a championship?

    Or is the goal to cater to certain vanities?

    Start Kyle Trask. Enough fooling around.

  33. Boss Says:


    comparing Dungy to bowels is not the same. Dungy was on a different level. He invented cover 2 and he had a good amount of average players athletically. No slight on them. Love me some lunch pail players who play with discipline and instinct.

    bowels was HANDED a SB team and single handedly blew it up. Bowels is a good DC…but he is not HC material. He may be level headed, but he has no passion.

    Dungy’s only issue was he was not a closer. He built a great team. Bowels was handed a great team. to me thats the difference.

  34. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The playcaller doesn’t stink- the execution vs Lions stink
    The pass rush is very good- when Vea and Kancey are on the field- when they’re not- the pass rush stinks

  35. rrsrq Says:

    That’s true Joe, but you know who did mention it, Skip Bayless, he talked about that (non) play to Evans and the over throws to Trey Palmer, even keShawn said those plays make it a different games and it was not what the Lions did, though they admit Goff played a really good game

  36. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucfan1988 Says:
    October 19th, 2023 at 12:26 pm
    I agreed with your remarks about luck. ALL the breaks went the Lions’ way. I got that sinking feeling before the half ended. However, the better team won. Bucs’ weakness was the green O. Lions didn’t have that problem. Not so sure that’s gonna happen this Sunday. These division games are brawls. Canales has had another week to figure out his O. The rest of the team will be ready.

  37. stpetebucfan Says:


    Nuthugging? After you take D.R.’s Edison quote and completely screw the pooch!

    “filament, bulb, power source…….all he had to do was flip the switch.

    Really? Filament…a QB that the majority of posters here threw under the bus before the first game. Bulb? Like a defense of proven starters not looking for help from Kancey, Dennis, Izien, McCollum and other youngsters? Power source? You mean the vaunted Bucs OL which was totally brand new except for Hainsey who is derided here daily as the reason the Bucs can’t run.

    And as for last year…The Bucs were NOT a SB team. Brady was not only over the hill physically, he waited until the start of football season to even attempt to repair his failing marriage. Distraction much? Brady was NOWHERE NEAR the QB that won 7 SB’s!!! The rest of the team checked out with him and of course there is the great OC Leftwich. The lost the heart of the OL Nensen and Shaq Barrett ended up tearing an achilles.

    But I’m not defending D.R. because he knows a lot more than me and doesn’t need defending, I’m not trying to change your mind because at the end of the day I realize haters gonna hate.

  38. Boss Says:

    I see the same posters here making excuses for their favorite coach, player etc…..

    Always new excuses.

    Yes, Brady was distracted last year…and it probably hurt team morale.

    But the coaching and play calling and in game bad decisions on the coach.

    Was the closer. I put it fatty fitty

  39. MelvinJunior Says:

    Yes, it was extremely frustrating, BUT would he had actually, Caught-It!? Idk about that, because he has had a strong tendency to just flat-out DROP Those. It was a CONSTANT early in his career & going back to last season, it seems he’s dropped hide last 4-5 of them. Just think of the career he ‘coulda’ had IF he’d played A LOT more focused and competent.

  40. D Cone Says:

    What if the defender intercepts and takes it to the End Zone. Bucs lose 24-6.
    Football is a game of inches and Baker was about 4 short on that play.

  41. MelvinJunior Says:

    Yeah, Boss… I was going to say the same! I agree with DR’s overall premise, but not in comparing Dungy & Bowels. Bowels is not in Dungy’s class from what I remember.

  42. garro Says:

    Nailed it Joe.

    The 3rd down stuff we gave up? If it was a rare thing for our defense, I would find it alot easier to accept. However it is not.

    Go Bucs!

  43. Pewter Power Says:

    This team is much better than they’ve played in losses. In our wins they are making the plays they have to. In wins it’s like they fold for some reason.

  44. Pirates Life Says: