Five Things

December 11th, 2023

Cade Otton and Chase Edmonds celebrate Otton’s game-winning touchdown catch behind dejected Dixie Chicks’ safety Richie Grant who Otton beat on the play. (Photo courtesy

Yes, it is true. Your first place Bucs! That’s right. The Bucs now control their own destiny for a playoff berth. Victory Monday, indeed! Grab your mug of java and let’s get to it!

Clutch Play

Joe wishes the Bucs didn’t have to go that route like they did yesterday. Joe wishes the Bucs would have had a lead, a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter.

But hey, a win is a win. And the Bucs were super clutch when they needed to be.

Man, was Twitter on fire killing Bucs coach Todd Bowles and specifically, offensive coordinator Dave Canales yesterday. Everyone and their brother accused Baker Mayfield of forcing passes to Chris Godwin.

You’d rather Mayfield force passes to Deven Thompkins?

Mayfield denied this when Joe asked him. Maybe he was forcing passes to Godwin. Maybe he wasn’t. Either way, Joe is happy as hell Mayfield was throwing to Godwin.

That total clutch catch and run for 32 yards set the Bucs up for the game-winning touchdown, a sweet pass and a sweet catch from Mayfield to Cade Otton.

So the Bucs are on top of the NFC South. Destiny is in their own hands. Two weeks ago Joe thought the Bucs were ripe for getting picked off by the Stinking Panthers. That’s how bad they were playing.

Now? Playoffs are a very real possibility.

What a difference two weeks makes in the NFL.

Bucs Have A Run Game

Joe was in full throat with the chorus on social media yesterday. “Stop running the ball!” Joe was getting real close to punching a hole in the wall watching the Bucs slam Rachaad White time and again between the tackles.

Hey Bucs, does White look like he’s wearing No. 40 to you? Does he give anyone the impression he’s built like a fullback? Joe was absolutely going wild watching the game wondering if Team Glazer would have to come down from their luxury box and order Todd Bowles to order offensive coordinator Dave Canales to quit running the ball between the tackles.

The offense was horrendous in the first half, just 85 total yards (minus penalty yards) largely because the Bucs kept slamming like White up the middle thinking there would be a different results.

Then a light bulb flashed for Bucs coaches. Maybe let’s try running White outside? What a novel concept, a dude who is dangerous in the open field could be dangerous outside.

It worked. White ran outside of Tristan Wirfs and got 12 yards. Then, Canales had White catch a short pass near the left sideline and White scored from 31 yards out.

That jump-started the offense and the run game. All of a sudden, the Dixie Chicks had to worry about the Bucs’ outside game, not waiting for White to plow between the tackles on first down.

Will the Bucs learn from this and start using White outside more? Well, Joe has seen enough of this coaching staff the past two years to know better. Next week in Green Bay Joe expects to see more of the same.

But damn, how much better could this offense be with a little more diversity?

No More Devin White?

Try to tell Joe the Bucs missed Devin White yesterday? The past two weeks the Bucs have gotten as much production from White’s replacements as he had made in weeks of games.

White and his bad foot were not at the game in Atlanta — he was not required to be there. Ryan Jensen and his wrecked knee was there. So was Vita Vea with his bad foot.

When dudes making league minimum or close to it can come off the bench and get the same production as White and not get dragged down the field 5, 10, 20 yards — and they shed blocks and not overrun tackles, it’s time to wave goodbye to White at season’s end.

The Bucs can buy a stud edge rusher for what White wants to get paid. How does Brian Burns sound lining up on one side of the defensive line with YaYa Diaby on the other side?

Season-Saving Tackle

At this point in the season, Joe doesn’t think it’s crazy to suggest that K.J. Britt saved the Bucs postseason chances with a crazy tackle late in the first quarter.

The Bucs led 3-0. The Dixie Chicks had marched down the field and got inside the Bucs-5. A sweep to the left was called for star Atlanta rookie running back Bijan Robinson.

Robinson ran around left end and looked like he was about to score a touchdown. Instead, Britt raced in from the defense’s left side and dragged Robinson down near the left sideline pulling Robinson down at the Bucs-2.

Atlanta would settle for a field goal. The Bucs would eventually win by four.

And yes, that tackle Britt had near the goal line proved to be a difference in the game and may have saved the Bucs’ season.

Remember that play if the Bucs win the division and host a wild card.

Making Up For The Past

Last month when the Bucs played in Northern California, the Bucs tried to make a game of it against the mighty 49ers despite a brutal first half.

The Bucs had two opportunities to get very close but failed each time. One was when Cade Otton dropped a touchdown pass. Joe spoke with Otton after that game and he was really beating himself up over the drop. He really believed he let down his teammates.

Yes, some players really do care.

So yesterday when Otton made a tough over-the-shoulder catch of a beautifully thrown pass from Mayfield for the winning touchdown with seconds remaining, Joe immediately thought of the way Otton was torn up over dropping a touchdown in Santa Clara.

Not sure if “payback” or “vindication” is the right term but Joe is pretty confident Otton’s teammates, after he caught the game-winning touchdown yesterday, have forgotten his drop in Northern California.

27 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. CleanHouse Says:

    Team seems like they like Bowles. Maybe they can win some more games going forward.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    The Desperados got their six! Stainks and Panters will give us 8. Beat the Pack or Jax and we head to playoof at 9 and 8 as an improoving team. Its Alive!

  3. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Picking up a stud DLineman next year would be sweet. Next week is gonna be tough, but the Jags seem to be sliding, that is definitely a possible W

  4. Todd Rolls Says:

    Bucs on 3

  5. Mord Says:

    In this and other post game locker room clips, you can tell these players respect and *like* Todd Bowles. It’s a really different vibe than I would have imagined, honestly. And Bowles’ energy seems like it should make it out on to the sidelines more. Then, Wirfs at the end? Yeah!!

  6. Lakeland Steve Says:

    You can tell a lot of guys are all in. Maybe Bowles is different to these players than what we see from outside the facility. That doesn’t mean he is a good coach, just it seems the players love and respect him. I saw an interview with Mike Evans in which he said he loves Todd Bowles, so obviously the players are playing hard for him maybe just not smart all the time.

  7. NJbucs23 Says:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this. The bucs are actually playing better than the 10-3 Eagles. And the bucs play horrid drive me insane football.

    My goodness what a season. 🤦

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Was happy to see Chase Edmonds have a very good game yesterday … 8 rushes for 40 yards (5.0 YPC) plus 2-for-2 receiving for 18 yards. Impressed with his vision & acceleration. Hope he can stay healthy now because he makes a nice complement to Rachaad.

    That 32-yard pass play in the 4th qtr to Godwin saved the game Joe, but on the day Mayfield was 1-for-8 deep … thankfully that was THE ONE. Godwin was 1-for-4 deep and Evans was 0-for-2 deep. In Mayfield’s defense though, Atlanta’s Secondary deserves credit because our WRs weren’t getting open.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    Where’s Ira’s column? Hope he’s ok.

  10. Beeej Says:

    Most of those long throws weren’t make-able, as I could tell, shouldn’t have been thrown (outside of that one to Evans where the ball was too far outside)

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Every game is a one game season from here on out.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to use Otton & the TEs more in our offense…..last week there were Zero targets to TEs….ZERO…..

    And, yesterday with Evans & Godwin covered, we needs more passes to TEs & RBs.

    And….what can you say about Camarda…..6 punts for 325 yards…….

  13. Nutterbuccer Says:

    Great teak win Bucs…As a long time Devin White fan and supporter, I have to agree. He has gotten worse year after year. I think it’s a combo of winning early in career and not working hard to get better. I don’t knownwhat ye does in his own time but posting Gifs of him in another team uniform in the off season should of been the line. Not saying Britt, Russell, or Dennis are as good as white when he is playing on fire, not many are, but doesn’t look like we will get that Whote again. Also I think him playing behind Vea, Suh, Barrett, JPP and next to a younger David, and Jordan Whitehead, covered up alot of Devin Whites Cons. Think about it, didn’t have to shed many tackles while playing with that crew

  14. BucsFan Says:

    JTS should buy dinner for the entire offense , because had they not scored and won the game JTS getting outmuscled by Ridder for the score when he had Ridder dead to rights would be all anyone would be talking about.

  15. Mark hardt Says:

    So lotz of people on this board say Baker is too short, a disappointment as #1 overall, average, a backup, can,t throw deep, won,t win anything, can,t win a playoff game against #2 in the East, and finally we want him gone now. Furthermore, Baker is not to be believed by many when he says he thrives under preszure, his back is to the wall and when everyone doubts him. Ok, lets look at this years #1 over all Bryce Young and compare to Bakers rookie season. Bryce is actually shorter by 3 inches but nobody slams him for it. Bryce is 1-11 so far starting from day one on a 7-10 team last year. Baker in 2018 was 7-7 after taking over for an injured Tyrod T after the Browns were 1-31 the last 2 years. He actually set a rookie record for TDs playing 2 games less. Already kicking Bryces but. Baker has a cannon arm and in one point in his Career was considered tops in plus 50. This year he uncorked a 60 spiral that would have been caught if Goodwin and his wife had been looking at the QB. In his 3rd season he creamed The steelers in Pit. Then only lost to the chiefs on a blown helmet targeting call. Alas you will get your wish and the Bucs will be outbid in FA. Maybe by the Steelers or Rams if Stafford retires.

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    JTS had to be careful with Ridder. He got nailed for grabbing a facemark. The refs were eyeballing him. There’s no doubt the team really likes and respects Bowles. I don’t know if a few palms got greased, but the Birds got lucky on quite a few plays. They also played tough. Bucs still won. Hopefully Canales is FINALLY getting all the talent that is still healthy and playing on his offense. Next week will tell. Bucs have the usual hardest 4 games left compared to Aints and Falcons. Nothing new there.

  17. Allen Lofton Says:

    When Ridder scored a TD, Todd Bowles bent over in disbelief thinking his time in Tampa was over.

    With 4 games remaining I can’t see the Bucs any better than 8 wins and 9 losses.

    The Glazers need to part way with Bowles and staff with another losing record.

  18. Mike S Says:

    Two uncharacteristic Koo misses and the Bowles-Baker bros are riding high.

  19. Mike S Says:



  20. Since76 Says:

    On defense we could lose white and jts and play more consistent. Possibly improve.

  21. ScottyMack Says:

    Not great by any means, but the Bucs are scoring two points less than the Superbowl champions this year and two points more than last year’s Brady-led Bucs.

  22. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Agree Mike S those are facts, Baker is not the answer and Mark Hardt you can go with him when he signs somewhere else. I do say it’s not all on baker though Canales’s scheme and routes are not getting it done. Opponents are constantly out smarting Canales. IMO he was not ready to be an OC. That being said are losses are a combination of all 3 Canales, Bowles, Mayfield. Throwing for under 200 yards a game and under 50% completion is not going to get us many wins. That is just the truth. If they could put there stubbornness aside and work together they could win, but what are the chances of that ?

  23. BAKERSBucs Says:

    Mikesays 48% & 144yds u can’t even read the state sheet rite he had 62.9 % jackass can’t even be happy they won to all the haters u su k not the bucs we shud b happy they are doing pretty good for a 1st year squad ouldnt ask for better baker & co

  24. BAKERSBucs Says:

    Proudbucsfan how can u have a post name like that when I never hear anything good out u r pie hole plz change that title cause it’s bs

  25. Glass (almost) Half Full Guy Says:

    The Falcons had no respect for our run game (wonder why?) so they sold out on coverage. The run game did start to click until White ran outside, but the receivers were rarely getting open enough for “safe” throws. Not sure if it was effort, bad play design or Atlanta’s pass D had Canales’ number. Maybe all of the above?

    I think that’s one big reason our offense sputtered in the first half especially. Mayfield didn’t try to force the ball into tight windows often (he did a few times to Godwin) but mostly threw to safer spots, even if they were incomplete. He may have played it too safe given what was riding on the game but protecting the ball worked out. This time.

  26. Lakeland Steve Says:

    It was kind of sad in the first half seeing a light box and the Bucs only getting one and two yard runs. I liked the adjustments in the second half to a little outside run game. Godwin threw a couple of devastating blocks to help spring White. You know the packers are going to try and do the same thing. Don’t let Evans and Godwin beat them downfield and make the Bucs prove they can move the ball on the ground.

  27. kaimaru69 Says:

    @Mike S

    Baker was baking!