Still Hope For Bucs Playoffs

October 28th, 2023

Playoffs still in reach.

Shockingly, the Bucs are very much in the playoff hunt despite dropping three in a row. Joe detailed this Thursday night.

And yes, there is ample evidence from as recently as last year that teams that lose three in a row can still make the playoffs.

The biggest piece of evidence is the Bucs. They lost three in a row, just like this year, to close the month of October. The Bucs hosted a playoff game even, winning the NFC South.

There were others last year.

In the AFC, Miami and Jacksonville each had three straight losses during the regular season and made the playoffs. In the NFC, aside from the Bucs, Seattle advanced to the postseason despite three straight regular-season losses.

The Jags at one point last year lost five straight games. They got their ship right and finished the regular season on a 6-1 run.

The Dolphins also had a streak of five straight losses. They blew chunks in December, ending the season on a 1-5 run but still got to the postseason.

The Seahawks also had a bad December, losing three straight.

That’s the good news. Now the bad.

All of the teams Joe mentioned in this here post, including the Bucs, had a franchise quarterback. Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence, Miami: Tua, Seattle: Geno Smith, Tampa Bay: Tom Brady.

Joe’s not sure Baker Mayfield is at that level, yet.

54 Responses to “Still Hope For Bucs Playoffs”

  1. Onetrickpony Says:

    False hope ?

  2. optimisticbucsfan Says:


    Come on. And bowles? What’s his overall record?

    Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  3. RGA Says:

    Back into a possible playoff game, the least worst team of a terrible lot? A retread QB that is not a winner. We are nothing close to a playoff team.

  4. Old School Bucs Says:

    Until this organization gets a n Oline this team goes no where. This defense is shaky at best. So where does this coach get off talking about playoffs. Hey Bowles how bout talking about figuring out how you will won the next game. Geeze, this org is so full of losers!!!!

    You know Joe, every game I watch I see what you said a few weeks ago. I see just how much better this team is without Brady. 🤣😭😂😭🤣😭😂😭🤣!!! Clowns every where!!!!

  5. Tbbucs3 Says:

    A loss to the Texans will officially end any playoff hopes for this team…I highly doubt the Saints and Falcons will be as lousy as they were last year so I’m not expecting the margin for error we had last year.

    The Saints are likely to pick it up soon with the talent they have and the Falcons have a tremendous defense.

    The thing the Bucs were hanging their hat on was the defense but know teams are figuring out its glaring weaknesses like Neal, poor run defense and no pass rush. Pair that with a 1st year play caller who constantly forces a running game thats nonexistent.

    I certainly wouldn’t bet on another getting another home playoff game but who knows the NFL can be unpredictable. Also, the idea of tanking is for losers unless your team is utter garbage like the Panthers or Bears you should ALWAYS try and get to the post season if there’s a glimmer of hope.

  6. Mike S Says:

    optimisticbucsfan isn’t feeling very optimistic LOL

    That can’t be a good sign.

  7. Tye Says:

    Title: ‘Still Hope for Bucs playoffs!’ – encouraging…
    And then you see the pic of Bowels and realize ~ Not with him at HC!

  8. DoooshLaRue Says:

    False hope is the foundation that this team was built on.

  9. adam from ny Says:

    they say if you start off your season 0-4 (when we had a 16 game season schedule) you are basically done for the season after that…because even if you play 8-4 ball you afterward, you still finish 8-8…and let’s say after the 0-4 start, you are one of the best teams in the league and play 9-3 ball, you still only finish 9-7, and it can be iffy to secure a wild card spot at 9-7…

    so moving to the bucs…

    if we drop this next game in houston, we will have basically had a 2nd quarter of the season 0-4 stretch…

    soooo……we will have to basically play some of the best football in the league after that to grab the division and get to the playoffs…

    yeah starting out 0-4 is a death sentence…but going 0-4 in the 2nd quarter of the season is a potential death sentence too…someone needs to let coach know the season is on the line this week – because maybe he doesn’t even know…


  10. Onetrickpony Says:

    I hope we get a new coach who can coach this team up. I belive he has neutered his OC,as nothing has changed from Leftwhich. And his ho hum attitude ,has gone through the entire team, I see quiting on him, I hope I am wrong. We are doomed as long as he is here.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    What about losing 4 of the last 5?

    Frankly, for the first time ever, I could care less. So long as Baker Mayfield is the starter, I’m done for the season…and I suspect I’m not the only fan who feels that way.

    It’s time someone do the billboard thing again. Wish I had the money.

    Glazers need to take notes. Bowels is going to ride this team into the ground rather than change QBs and admit he picked the wrong guy.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    As to the playoffs? Bah. One and done. Reaching the playoffs because we have a better record than the rest of our divi does not mean we deserve to be there.

    The joke of the playoffs.

  13. Jaybuc Says:

    If only JTS, Logan Hall, Feiler, R. White, D. White, Vaughn, etc weren’t ghosts for 99% of the time… thanks licht!

  14. Mike S Says:

    Bonzai I knew from moment one it would blow up in Bowles face when they signed Mayfield. We’re watching it unfold now.

    So yeah. I’m seeing this as a lost season. If they put Trask in I’ll pay attention and root for the kid to develop and to get a gauge on whether the Bucs are in the QB market or they’re going to draft one next season.

    It will at least be productive and somewhat interesting. What we got now is an ugly swan dive.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Mike S

    Exactly how I feel.

    I don’t expect Trask to save the season…but we need to at least put him in and start developing him. At best, he could remove the need to draft a QB next year. At worse, he could be a competent backup for years to come.

    Mike Evans will likely move on after this year. I don’t blame him. He’s got only a few years left at best. He deserves another ring.

    If he decides to say, he’s potentially making a career sacrifice for his team. Admirable, but unlikely. He would have to do so without knowing if we solve the issues yet.

    Jensen will be off the books as well.

  16. Obvious Says:

    It’s NOT Licht’s fault. Sorry to tell you. BOWLES is the Head Coach and RESPONSIBLE for getting Any and All talent trainined to a Pro Level!

    And THAT’S the Bottom Line! TRY AGAIN because you might need some training to be able to see the forest through the trees if you Really Believe Licht is also responsible for the talent DEVELOPMENT!

    Then again, if you’re blaming him for hiring Bowles……. You might be On to something though I’m pretty sure Ownership had the last word there…

  17. MadMax Says:

    Nope….6 wins, about what was guessed about a Bowels led team….its ok, we’ll keep bowels and have high draft picks the next two drafts….is what it is 🙁

  18. Mike S Says:

    Bonzai my expectation is that Trask doesn’t save the season. Either way I think there is no shot at a super bowl run. Not without a running game and Bowles at the helm.

    I do think in short time he will be more productive than Baker with a chance to be very good.

    Last two preseasons he’s thrown dimes all over the place. I can’t be the only person to go on youtube and nfl+ and watch game replays and highlights of this guy consistently pushing the ball downfield with success. There is definite talent there and I cannot for the life of me figure out why Tampa doesn’t give him game reps. To me it makes no sense whatsoever.

    NFL punditry is full of parrots. Everyone is protecting each other’s backsides. A narrative gets established everyone sticks to it. Right now the word on Trask is he’s not good enough to push through a very mediocre Baker. That makes the assumption that Tampa’s coaching staff is getting this right. Of course I disagree, but its rare for anyone to push back against that this early – especially Joe’s gang – because this is the gravy train everyone’s riding on biscuit wheels. Nobody is going to crater the marketing effort or try to force a change from writer’s block. Everyone has to sell the coach’s decision – from ESPN on down. There are exceptions like Stephen A, Cowherd, Skip, Unc, etc… guys who rip a team’s decision from time to time, but those are established old hats who feel entitled to try to set the conventional wisdom – and they are skilled at the timing on dropping something like that.

    Trask is a victim of this narrative game. The only way he’s going to dispel it is getting on the field. Then if he plays well all the parrots will say how great he is – Joe included.

    What Trask has going for him is Baker is playing on borrowed time. Someone will win this weekend and Bucs will be out of the playoff spot they temporarily hold. If they lose to the Texans things will get real dicey. 3-5 record with 4 in a row. I know Joe is already trying to set the table with this keep the faith stuff on why they need to keep running Baker out there – OMG THEY CAN LOSE 5 IN A ROW AND BLAH BLAH BLAH, but I don’t see it.

    Cowherd just fired a major salvo – essentially called Baker a backup. Yeah the guy is a left coaster yuppie hipster, but he got this one take nailed. I expect the tide to turn at some point especially as losses mount. Steve Smith Jr went on and on about how great Baker looks before the game on NFL Network and then Baker played like spit. Everyone loves a good sales job, but professional credibilities can only be stretched so far. Eventually you sound like an idiot rah rahing for a guy that keeps losing.

    We just have to be patient and let this play out. Things will lineup before it’s said and done this year.

  19. Mike S Says:

    Max a third year would be pure cost-saving stubbornness from the Glazers.

    With coaching performances like Thursday night – that’s going to be hard to sell to the fans. All those 2 year deal season tickets expiring, I don’t see Bowles coming back in 2024.

  20. TB bolts Says:

    Bucs averaging 17 points… defense has kept them in every single game.. some how its always everyones fault but bakers. Before the season it was wow imagine baker with godwin and evans.. now its oh they have no run game… no O line… fact is baker is a panicky short qb with hardly any vision. I wonder if evans is tired of sprinting his ass off for 4 quarters only for a couple targets. Baker thinks he’s a hero with his scrambling… its just pure ineptitude and the 17 point average is half from the fg kicker. Baker was carried in cleveland… he has a big mouth and his “moxie” is the only reason he’s had so many chances. Its a business and you can see from all the blind baker supporters exactly why teams keep giving him chances. Its not about winning at this point.

  21. Buc4evr Says:

    “Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic “ is the best analogy I have heard. The defense can’t continue to try to cover for such a miserable offense. I don’t even blame Baker. Think it is two issues: 1. Lousy situational play calling with stupid in game decisions and 2. Miserable O line play. Jason has made some terrible decisions with the O line. Moving Wirfs, Godeke at RT, Mauch who should be on the practice Squad and Hainsey who is not really a Center. Jason trying to be the smartest guy in the room backfired. The Titanic is sinking fast.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe’s not sure Baker Mayfield is at that level, yet.’

    That 3-letter word at the end … YET … says so much about your optimism regarding Mayfield Joe. Keep HOPE alive. (Newsflash: he’s biting us in the arse).

    Everyone knew who we were when the season started. The optimists saw us winning the weak NFC South with a barely winning record thanks mostly to our defense, but not going anywhere in the playoffs. The pessimists saw us struggling all season to a losing record that’d allow us to draft high, presumably taking a franchise QB in Rnd 1. I fully admit that my expectations ranged from a 10-7 record on the positive side to about a 7-10 record on the downside.

    Nothing to brag about in either scenario, BUT … it is the 1st year of what’s probably a 3-year rebuilding. I’m looking for progress, and right now I’m not seeing any. Instead, we’re REGRESSING on both offense AND defense. I’m convinced that injuries are playing a big part in that, but that’s why a team needs DEPTH. Some of our starters simply aren’t performing up to expectations, but unfortunately our depth consists of too many space-fillers it appears.

    Unless the injury bug strikes even harder, making it to 7-10 is quite possible. Making it to 10-7 is looking less and less likely however. Haven’t given up the ghost … YET … but with the defense teetering now and the offense regressing it’s not looking good.

    Assuming that Licht won’t trade for any RB, TE or OL upgrades, Bucs might as well start Trask and emphasize the passing game more, especially the intermediate & deeper routes to take advantage of Evans’, Godwin’s and Palmer’s strengths, as well as our OLine’s supposed strength of being better at pass protection than run-blocking. Let’s see what we’ve got in Trask, and also what we’ve got in Canales (hey he was Seattle’s QB COACH and PASSING GAME coordinator, not run game coordinator).

  23. Tony Marks Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 3:04 am

    So long as Baker Mayfield is the starter, I’m done for the season


    Bye. Have a merry Christmas.

  24. HC Grover Says:

    The FG fiasco is the tell on Bowles.

  25. nick houllis Says:

    Father Dungy’s teams ALWAYS went 3-4 before going on to playoffs. besides first two seasons, 1998,1999,2000, and 2001 all went 3-4, sometimes after going 3-0 or 3-1. No, there aren’t 4 HOF on this 2023 defense. but mayfield is better than Dilfer or King. Not over yet.

  26. Tony Marks Says:

    🙂 at some of the comments

    The weird thing about this losing streak and the claim the sky has fallen and the season is over?

    its based on losing ONE game

    Go ahead and roll back the clock and look what everyone on here said at the beginning of the season. Just about everyone had us down for loses against Detroit and BUffalo. All the Traskites, all the Baker bros and everyone on the sidelines . Then Baker and the team over achieved expectations and people started getting WILD expectations. So the whole present sky has fallen and its over is based on one game loss – the game against Atlanta. One single unprojected loss.

    If you are going to jump off at a little adversity even rooting for you own team to get blown out on national TV 45 – 3 like a good chunk of you did and then now wish the QB gets “killed” in pass rush because they didn’t and you didn’t get what you want in a roster change – don’t make the door hit you in the back . Any “fans” like that don’t deserve another title or even a good run. Karma is what they say it is.

    You are the reason why despite all this whining about losing home games we actually have lost NONE. There are no “home” bucs games because there’s usually more fans of the opponent in the stadium than “home”. The whole league knows when you want to root against the Bucs you go to tampa because of fair weather “fans” such as yourselves.

    May Baker stay Healthy and start in every game. The Kama would be rich ( though not for Trask that seems better in moral quality than his fans).

  27. lunchmeat Says:

    As usual, Defense Rules has nailed it.
    This is year one of a rebuild job.
    This team is two to three years away.
    Given that, two .500-quality teams will make the NFC playoffs, s ince there is only one true contender who won’t win its division.
    Why not the Bucs?

  28. Beej Says:

    It took a few games of film for teams to figure out how to stop our offense…. They’re just dropping the safeties into coverage, STILL stopping the run with the normal front 6/7, STILL getting to the QB without blitzing. I’m not seeing an answer to this

  29. Pewter Pride Says:

    Mayfield is hot garbage, anyone who can’t see that should find another sport to watch, clearly you don’t understand football.

  30. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Playoffs are wishful thinking. The Bucs are bad at all levels. If they go 500 which I doubt, they will end up 8-9. I’ve been a Buc fan since 1976 and I’ve seen this scenario many times and every time the team has missed the playoffs the HC and the entire staff is fired or there are massive staff changes. Hoping I am wrong Hoping we can right the ship and at least finish above 500

  31. Beej Says:

    Mayfield is performing better than MOST of the QB’s in the NFL, (better than ALL the possible free agents we might have signed) slightly better than the $32 million dollar man Derek Carr, better than Burrow, LOTS better than the $250 million dollar man Deshaun Watson, Garoppolo, or Herbert. It’s human nature to assign negative attributes to people we otherwise dislike. Could the guy be better? Of course, but it’s not like he’s a boat anchor dragging us down

  32. Allen Lofton Says:

    Geno Smith is no Tom Brady, but Mayfield is at the very least is on par or better than Geno Smith.
    The Bucs ate $75M in 2023 but 2024 they’re have over $70M in cap space. Listening to the sports writers the world is crashing for the Bucs – the Bucs must do this to ?????.
    These writers haven’t anything to talk about because many of them haven’t a real clue, but it doesn’t stop them from mouthing off.
    It’s a building year for the Bucs with a chance to win the weaaaak NFC South. In the next few weeks the running game will improve allowing the Bucs a chance to win their division.
    Until than, use ear plugs to drown out the naysayers

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … ‘Could the guy be better? Of course, but it’s not like he’s a boat anchor dragging us down’.

    This team responded to his leadership in the beginning Beej, but not now. Opposing defenses have figured this out & we haven’t responded. This offense looks to be designed to move down the field if everything works flawlessly. Unfortunately that world doesn’t exist (certainly not with this Bucs’ offense), and Baker seems incapable of making things happen to reinvigorate it (he did several times in the first few games admittedly, but NFL defenses catch on fast). He’s not gonna beat other teams with his legs (like a few of today’s QBs), nor is his arm good enough to truly open up our attack.

    None of us have any idea if Trask (or even Wolford) could do any better, but we’ll never know if we don’t put him into the line of fire and see how he responds. He’s a different type of QB than Mayfield is, and MAYBE his different skillset is the shot in the arm that this offense (AND Canales) needs to make his attack work. Clearly our running game is struggling & our defense is struggling now too. Let’s at least try to take advantage of our remaining strengths (our WRs?) and stop pretending that we have the talent to be something that we’re obviously not at this point in our ‘retooling’.

  34. Irish Laughter Says:

    Down from my original prediction of 13-4, the Buc will be 10-7 and make the playoff. Funny, under Arians there was Super Bowl dreams, under Bowls (these past two years) we are just hoping to break even. How are outlook has changed.

  35. EEK Says:

    Who are they going to beat?
    Sadly I don’t see more than 3 more wins on the schedule for this team

    Admire how hard Baker plays

    This team has too many weaknesses

    That said, I’ll be watching and hoping for progress

    It’s a likable team

  36. power sweep Says:

    Making the playoffs is not what it used to be. Half the league makes it.

  37. power sweep Says:

    Defense Rules Says: “None of us have any idea if Trask (or even Wolford) could do any better, but we’ll never know if we don’t put him into the line of fire and see how he responds. HE’S A DIFFERENT TYPE OF QB THAN MAYFIELD IS, and MAYBE his different skillset is the shot in the arm that this offense (AND Canales) needs.”

    That’s a great point. In college he sat behind Felipe Franks, an athletic, mobile, physical specimen of a quarterback, the type the head coach liked, but the team struggled, and when Franks was injured Trask went in and lit it up from the get-go and Franks transferred out. In other words, different types of quarterbacks can yield very different results.

  38. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    I got da Bucs winning the superbowl!
    If you’re gonna dream,
    You might as well dream big.
    Go Bucs!

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    No Bucs fan in their right mind, except the cheerleaders, should want the Bucs to make the playoffs. Unless of course you like the losing ways of Todd Bowles. For me, I dont want to give the Glazers any reason whatsoever to keep this buffoon of a HC around for another dreadful season.

  40. pewter941 Says:

    Playoffs? Dont talk to about playoffs, are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.

  41. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “No Bucs fan in their right mind, except the cheerleaders, should want the Bucs to make the playoffs.”

    Excuse me WHAT?!?!? These are some of the idiots rampant on this site. Translation of these idiot statement- no fan should root for the team their a fan of.

    Tanking is for losers and it sets franchises back years more often than not. It rarely works out so here’s a good idea Couch Fan and Bonzai, go root for other teams (how about the 1st place Falcons?) cause Bonzai you’ve stated numerous times that your actively rooting against the Bucs because Baker Mayfield is the QB. Pathetic troll.

  42. Couch Fan Says:

    If you are going to name call at least make sense while shaking those pom poms. I never said anything about tanking dummy. With Todd Bowles you never need to tank, he will lose all on his own. But there is always a chance we stumble into the playoffs like we did last season. And of course get blown out. If thats what you want so be it. I want better for my team.

    But by all means keep making irrational statements and adding things to it that nobody has said so you can pretend to be such a good lil fan boy.

  43. Cchead Says:

    So what would the Bucs record be if you replace Bowles and his coaching staff with Andy Reid and his coaching staff?

  44. Mike S Says:

    Cchead Trask would be the QB and Bucs would be 5-2

  45. gp Says:


    If it was a straight swap, from the draft on, I’d venture to guess that the records would be a close swap as well.
    Fun exercise, but meaningless.

    I, for one, would like to see Bowles have a winning season and stay. Because that would mean that my team is winning.

    Sadly, I don’t see Bowles changing his stripes any time soon.
    I think changes could be made right now that would improve our game and even propel us deep into the play-offs.

    We have some exceptional talent on this team.

    Unfortunately, that talent is NOT being utilized to it’s fullest extent.
    THIS, I blame on coaching.

  46. gp Says:

    Mike S
    Andy Reid doesn’t seem to like immobile QB’s.
    If Trask was all he had to work with, he would be able to scheme around his strengths and produce a winning season. But I think he would also have chosen Baker.
    It’s hard to tell, when your most recent sampling is guided by a coach with only one scheme, and no apparent desire to adjust it to fit the talent.

  47. Pewter Pride Says:

    Our offense is not producing, period. Mayfield has happy feet in the pocket, holds the ball too long, doesn’t see open receivers, throws one decent ball out of every 4 passes, and leads the league in batted down passes. Tell me more about how it’s not his fault. I will continue to root for this team because that is what I have been doing since 1980, doesn’t mean I won’t criticize them when the answer could be sitting on the bench but you won’t even try, even though he clearly looked better in the preseason. Oh, and we invested a 2nd round pick on him.

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    Plauoffs…Playoffs..You kiddin me? This team is going to be sitting on the couch with the rest of us eatin chips and guzzling beer watching other teams in the Playoffs.

  49. Defense Rules Says:

    Allen Lofton … ‘The Bucs ate $75M in 2023 but 2024 they’re have over $70M in cap space.’

    ASSUMING that the Bucs’ adjusted 2024 salary CAP number comes in at $244.9 mil like Spotrac predicts, we’d have $48.0 mil of CAP space available WITH only 39 players signed. BUT … 6 of those 39 are UFAs on Void contracts (we kicked their costs down the street?) so the real number of players under contract is only 33. Thus that $48 mil is all that’s CURRENTLY available to sign an additional 20 players … MINIMUM (assuming no IR, minimal Dead CAP, etc).

    Obviously that’s not enough, but the situation gets even more dicey because we’d have a bunch of our own (and other) FAs to re-sign (many of them starters?). Players like Winfield and possibly others like Evans, Mayfield, Gaines, LVD, White, Gholston, Feiler, Delaney, Leverett, etc. And IF we don’t re-sign those guys, then we’ll have to find a suitable starter-capable replacement from the FA pool. And of course also sign our draft class. All with $48 mil?

    Reality IMO is that Licht will make a number of other ‘adjustments’ to free up more CAP space. Things like releasing some guys before their contract ends (saves money but usually menas we end up eating some Dead CAP). Me thinks that 2024 & 2025 will both be lean years from a salary CAP standpoint because of the number of starters we’ll need to sign or re-sign. The key to us doing reasonably well IMO will be the quality of our draft classes in those 2 years AND how well (and how quickly) our coaching staff can develop those youngsters.

  50. HC Grover Says:

    Kine of like a excesise in futility. They just aitnt too good….This is not a SB team and everbody knows. A race to a playoff game? OK kine fun.

  51. mark2001 Says:

    We just need to play Chicago and Minnesota 5 more times and we are in.

  52. Cobraboy Says:

    I chuckle: barely 40% into the season and casuals are clinging to “there is still hope.”

    Well, this is what you get when you go “all in” and bust the cap chasing glory.

  53. UKBuccaneer Says:

    We need to start Trask. Not because he’s better than Baker, because he’s not. Just so that’s everyone can finally see that he’s not the answer, and also accept that this team has far greater problems than Mayfield.

  54. dasaazter1 Says:

    you are smoking some wishing vape or something