When Will The Bucs Stop Being Discounted?

October 11th, 2023

What if…

Joe is sensing changing attitudes about the Bucs. 

The vast majority of #NFLMedia outside Tampa thought the Bucs would be awful and in the running to draft Caleb Williams (#CollapseForCaleb). Well, that doesn’t look possible. The Bucs jumped out to a 3-1 start and are in first place in the NFC South.

Joe has listened to national hollering shows now claiming the Bucs will win the NFC South and secure at least the fourth seed in the playoffs, which means hosting a playoff game.

That’s a far, different cry than a month ago.

However, Sara Walsh of NFL Network thinks folks are still underappreciating the Bucs. Walsh is the NFC South beat reporter for NFL Network and she recently worked the breakfast table on “Good Morning Football.”

While Walsh was quick to point out the Bucs aren’t in the 49ers’ league, she wondered what the reaction would be if the Bucs can trip up the Lions on Sunday, Creamsicle Day?

“The Bucs have been completely discounted,” Walsh said. “I’m not saying they are up here in elite situation. But what happens if Detroit goes down there, high on the situation — they just pummeled a Panthers team that is definitely downtrodden — what happens if the Lions go down there and Baker [Mayfield] puts on a show? And the Bucs defense is really good?

“Not saying [the Bucs] are up there with the Niners, but at what point are going to stop discounting them — if the Lions come into their place and they beat them?”

Beating the Lions would be a beginning. A 4-1 record truly would shock the NFL. But again, Joe already is seeing a sea change in how the Bucs are perceived.

Detroit is sort of the new kid on the block. The darling of the NFL. It’s an easy team to pull for because of their sad history, fun offense and cool coach.

If the Bucs beat the Lions, Joe is sure people will start respecting the Bucs as much as they do the Cowboys.

25 Responses to “When Will The Bucs Stop Being Discounted?”

  1. First Name Greatest Says:

    Don’t want doubters? Don’t give them a reason to doubt you.

    Winning erases doubters

    Coaching has got to be better to erase the doubters

    GO BUCS!!!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When we win….

  3. RagingBrisket Says:

    Beat a very tough and well-coached Lions team and people will have no choice but take notice. Lose to the Lions and no one will think twice about the Bucs. Just win baby

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    If and when the Bucs cream-sicle the Lions, there will be a massive media presence at OB Palace, and former non-believers will be scarce.

  5. JimBobBuc Says:

    The national media is seeing the Bucs are the best team in the very weak NFC South. That’s a change from the early predictions because Carr is not playing well for the Aints, and The Baker is playing solid football. I agree that when we beat the Lions, the Bucs will get more support nationally.

    There are advantages to being discounted, though. The national media won’t talk about how surprisingly good we are – so that leads other teams to undervalue the Bucs. The Bucs players, especially the young ones, will be fired up to prove how good the Bucs really are. It keeps some of us here fired up too. I actually prefer the Bucs to be undervalued while we keep winning and getting better. Joe, keep asking the players how they feel about being undervalued by the national press and Vegas!!!

  6. KC Buc Says:

    Wait…people respect the Cowboys?

  7. Sly Pirate Says:

    MY HOPE … Not until the very end.
    I’m loving this year. My absolute favorite part of this season is proving ALL “the experts” and all the other fan bases wrong. Long-time Bucs fans value defense. This team is loaded at nearly every position on defense, but people only see one thing anymore … QBs. No one can fathom how a career loser, like Baker, can beat them. They can’t see defense, special teams, offensive line, and complimentary football. The Bucs will open eyes to how the game is really played … or maybe they won’t and Licht will have a secret formula (win-win).

  8. KC Buc Says:

    Beat the Lions and we gain respect, keep foothold of the division and get H2H advantage over DET. Unfortunately, the 49ers look like a team poised to win 14+ and the Eagles are pretty unstoppable too with a H2H over us. So realistically pushing for the 1 or 2 seed is probably a pipe dream already.

    But hey, I will take a full plate of respect and genuine hope that our team could make a playoff run any season. Stranger things have happened and dominant looking teams peak too early all the time.

  9. Darin Says:

    Bring your nugs this ones gonna be for the big boys

  10. D-Rome Says:

    Don’t want doubters? Don’t give them a reason to doubt you.

    Well said. If the Bucs lose to the Lions they’ll be labeled as pretenders. Most national scribes have the Bucs as a top 10 team (at 10). If they lose to Detroit they’ll drop to 15th or lower and people will come out to say “tHeY hAveNt beATeN a WiNnInG tEam.”

  11. Since76 Says:

    When the offense plays better consistently. You have two games out of four that the offense was not good.

  12. pewter941 Says:

    Its still really early, If we beat the Lions that will go a long ways.

  13. stpetebucfan Says:


    I read all of your posts because I totally respect your takes.

    So I must confess to a little surprise to see you repeat a well worn meme.

    “No one can fathom how a career loser, like Baker, can beat them.”

    I guess I need the definition of a career loser. Lets just forget last year, he played for a dumpster fire in Carolina and filled in during a losing season for the Rams.

    So if you just look at the major part of his career…The Cleveland Browns…he finished his 4 years there at 29-30 with an 11 win season playoff victory and 2nd place voting in Rookie of the Year.

    For perspective…Bill Belichik had 5 years as HC in Cleveland, one more year than Baker. He managed to have ONE season that matched Baker’s 11-5 and playoff appearance…overall with the crappy Browns he finished 36-44.

    IE despite another year he still only managed ONE 11-5 season like Baker did in 4 years. Do we suppose anybody considers Bill Belechik a “career loser”?

  14. Dwayne Cone Says:

    I doubt that the Lions and their coaching staff are ‘Discounting’ the Bucs. I think that since the Seahawks loss they have been taking care of business and looking forward to their next crack at a good team. It’s not only going to be a chance to see how the Bucs stack up but also the Lions. I’m sure that they have heard just about as much talk of not beating anybody. Seattle is the closest they have seen and will probably be a Wild Card Team.

    Gonna be a good mix of Old School and New Era Football. Played on Grass.
    Should live up to the billing of Game of the Week.

  15. HC grover Says:

    When they whup the Lions?

  16. stpetebucfan Says:

    With a couple of breaks the Bucs MIGHT have stolen that game from the Eagles.
    The depressing part is that it would have required significant luck since the Eagles pretty much forced their will on the Bucs.

    That’s what I’m looking to see. How does the team play against another physical opponent that wishes to force their will upon the Bucs D.

    If it’s a good game decided by a play or two or a bad call (when has that ever happened to the Bucs) then I think the Bucs still prove they’re for real.
    If they go out and get stomped physically the question will really get loud.

    They don’t have to win but they do have to show up. Not sure they did that against Philly.

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    For some reason, I feel the Cardiac Bucs will win Sunday and go to 4-1. They were outplayed and outcoached by the Iggles. Detroit is very good, but not Philly. The FL colors will bring Bucs luck. C’mon, Tampa Bay, it’s about time you get a home win coming off a Bye.

  18. The Fighting Schianoes Says:

    Explain it again Joe, this time with nuggies.

  19. Mike S Says:

    When they beat a playoff team

  20. BillyBucco Says:

    After the Rams played the Eagles, Cupps first game back, the announcers still said the Rams looked REAL. They lost easily and the Eagles had like 5 12 play drives, kinda like against us. We might still be the only team to stop a 3rd and 1 against the Eagles. My point is, even if we do lose this game, it’s how we play and how do we lose that matters. It is a game of inches and bad calls and sometimes LUCK.
    I think Tampa learned A LOT from the Eagles game, but I meed to see it on the Field. Come out like it’s a PLAYOFF GAME atmosphere and play that way.
    No way does Detroit treat this like a Playoff Game after beating the Panthers.
    They wake up every morning hearing and reading how good they are.
    I’m not saying they will take them LIGHTLY, but there will s a difference between SERIOUS and PLAYOFF GAME.
    Bucs 31 Detroit 24

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Until Bowles beats a legit playoff team, no reason to not discount us. He’s 11-10 as a HC. We got our doors blown off at home by a Cowboys team thats equally mediocre. Same against the Eagles….beat a legit team and the narrative will shift.

  22. Since76 Says:

    Stpete….Bellichick is a losing head coach minus Brady. Look at him now. It is what it is.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally couldn’t care less if the national media discounts us or not. Opinions are plentiful, and theirs won’t affect our season record 1 way or another. What will affect our record is winning this Sunday’s game against the Lions. Yet even if we lose, it’s still the same Bucs’ team, and we can learn from a loss just as much (and sometimes more) as we can from a win.

    This TEAM is playing sound, fundamental football and that’s what’s keeping us in ball games. We’ve got talent for sure, but there are any other number of teams that are probably more talented (SF, Philly, etc). But on any given Sunday, they can all be beaten because it takes a lot more than just talent to win at the NFL level.

  24. Idroolpewter&red Says:

    If the Bucs compete on Sunday and lose by one score, they shouldn’t be discounted, especially if they take care of business against the Falcons the next week. Let’s face it, this Bucs team may be a bit of an overachiever given the chip on their shoulders from all the naysayers. I’ll be happy if we finish 9-8 or better, but I’m not expecting a deep playoff run this year. If Baker keeps baking, let’s get him signed for 3 more years, get Wirfs, Evans, and Winfield signed, White if we can afford him, and then expect a deep playoff run after the 2024 season.

    In the meantime, like most of you guys, I’m just going to keep enjoying this scrappy, physical team. This is so much more fun than talking about the draft at this point in the season! Go Bucs!!

  25. garro Says:

    Long time fans know we have seen mirages and we have seen the team truly on the rise. Nobody could truthfully tell the difference.

    Being one of those that has lived through both…I understand from fans perspective.

    However…Who the heck knows with the media…we could go 16-1 and there would still be the doubters.

    Go Bucs!