“Championship Moment” Awaits Bucs

November 19th, 2023

Measuring stick game.

Large challenge today when the Bucs face the 49ers in Northern California.

In fact, Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales referred to today’s game as a “championship moment.”

Canales wasn’t saying this game will decide the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. What Canales did say was that the 49ers are the type of team the Bucs will face in the playoffs.

How the Bucs do today, how well (or badly) they perform, will give coaches a good idea of what works and what needs major work to get the Bucs playoff-ready.

Players will get a chance to know what it takes to win in the playoffs, at least for the players who were not on the Bucs roster when the team won the Super Bowl in 2020.

“Yeah, big challenge,” Canales said earlier this week. “Championship moment, right? Championship opportunities all the way. [We were] talking about like, ‘We need these games. We need these games to go against the Eagles, to play the Lions, to play the 49ers this week to really see where we’re at when we play such a talented group.’

“They tell you the truth about where you’re at. We have to be honest and okay with that response of what that is. Just calling all the boys to see this for what it is – these are championship moments that we have to relish as we finish down the stretch. It’s going to come down to winning the division.

“We’re going to have these types of matchups. If you win the division, we get a home game and then you’ve got to go travel somewhere. That’s the reality of it. You’ve got to win on the road against really good teams. [It is] just another good litmus test for our group going forward.”

Canales is right. Playing a strong team like the 49ers will expose a team’s weaknesses big time.

If the Bucs don’t learn from playing San Francisco, when will they learn? They got stomped in September by the Eagles, the defending NFC champs this year. The Bucs couldn’t overcome the Lions, the likely NFC North winner.

So if the Bucs can’t figure out what they need to work on after today, Joe is going to guess they won’t. At least not this year.

19 Responses to ““Championship Moment” Awaits Bucs”

  1. Tye Says:

    ‘team’s weaknesses will get exposed big time.’

    We are well aware of the BIGGEST weakness of the Bucs team:
    Extremely incompetent HC!

  2. D-Rok Says:

    ^^^ And the O-line. LOL, Joe.

  3. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Gut check on the road. Gotta get the ball out to Godwin and Evans early and often. Dont mess with that front 7. Big fan of shots downfield, but we gotta keep Baker from taking too much punishment. Never realized we had Godwin running wide out routes-GET THAT MAN IN THE SLOT! Baker cant find him on the wing, and CG will make the tough catches over the middle. We dont need an effort game, we need a win. Keep them under 20 and score more than 20.

  4. First Last Says:

    If we wouldve been the texans and falcons then this would have been a good test run for the playoffs. Now this game is a must win if we want to create distance at the head of the division. We need an upset.

  5. steele Says:

    Forget any “championship moment” noise, please. Besides the unfortunate fact that the Bucs and Bowles are who they are, the NFL is parity. No dominance. Whichever “decent” teams manage to get to the last four games healthy and peak at just the right time will get to it. That’s it.

    That said, the 49ers are beatable. Even if the Bucs “upset” them, it wouldn’t mean the Bucs are great. SF is the team that lost 3 straight, for reasons besides injuries. They showed themselves to be a parity team in those losses. They have a defensive coaching problem (Wilks), a bad secondary, and offense too reliant on too few stars (Trent W), and a QB who still hasn’t proven himself fully.

  6. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    This D on the Bucs flashes really good from time to time. If they can play great, if the corners man up; this game could be a low scoring memorable slugfest.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Gut feel is that this game will come down to explosive plays. Bucs defense has given up far too many this year, and our offense has made precious few. This is the game that we’d better reverse that.

  8. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Canales = Fool’s Gold!

  9. Hodad Says:

    I think Baker is due to get knocked out of a game. This could be the one. Think this is the game Trask comes in, and to no one’s surprise the game goes worse for the Bucs. Get ready, it’s coming.

  10. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    McLaughlin needs to have a career day and Camarda needs to have a career day. Special teams decide this one.

  11. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Santa Clara weather 65 and sunny , but 10-20 wind , take the wind at your back in the 1st quarter if you can.

  12. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Run on every first down. That’ll show what doesn’t work. Then run on second down. They’ll never see that coming.

  13. realistic-optimistic Says:

    It doesn’t take a championship team to expose your weaknesses. Atlanta exposed us just fine.

  14. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Atl even sat their best player for the entire game and still had no trouble with us.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    Cardiac Bucs time. If they bring their A+ game, and are hungrier than the 49ers, they win. Devon White better not be loafing off. I doubt he’s injured. He’s hardly moved his butt all season. LVD has had to do it.

  16. Sacker58 Says:

    You’re delusional if you believe this team will be in the playoffs.
    After today another two or three game losing streak.
    And disappointed demoralized fan base.
    Shouldn’t even be thinking anything playoffs.
    Should be thinking about how to draft,sign some interior linemen and a db that can stay healthy and a safety.

  17. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    “They have a defensive coaching problem (Wilks), a bad secondary, and offense too reliant on too few stars (Trent W), and a QB who still hasn’t proven himself fully…..Steel

    Right!! Here is a PARTIAL list of the few stars:
    TE- -Kittle (watch a true TE)
    RB- -CMC (mid-season pick up)
    WR- -AIyuk
    QB- -Purdy ( yes, he has only been two partial years of running one of the best offenses in the league. We should be happy if we had half the stars)

  18. Oz Len Says:

    This game has always sat on the schedule like a mountain in the distance. Like Napolean at Waterloo, the Bucs’ offense will see the heavy cavalry today. Hopefully, the team comes out of this game intact with no major injuries and their heads held high. The schedule looks good for the Bucs on the other side of today.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe you need a different picture of Dave Canales. The ones you used when he first got here made him look like a mid-20’s new OC ready to take on the world with a fresh perspective. The current photo makes him look like he’s aged 20 years in just a few months and is asking the press … ‘OK I’m ready for the next beating. Who wants to go first?’