“Nobody Played Like They Didn’t Belong”

January 22nd, 2024

Joe is proud of how the Bucs finally went toe-to-toe with a big bad bully of the NFC yesterday.

Heck, tough guy Lions head coach Dan Campbell referred to the Bucs as a “mirror image” of his club after the game.

Sorry, beating the reeling and nearly tanking Eagles last week didn’t make the cut. But the Lions were the real deal in a crazy hostile environment. The Bucs were tied entering the fourth quarter before their defense fell apart with their pass rush on fumes and cornerback Zyon McCollum and safety Ryan Neal overmatched.

Still, the Bucs came back swinging and made it a one-score game. They had the ball with a chance to tie with two minutes remaining.

And they could have had it again if Todd Bowles didn’t give up intentionally with 35 seconds left.

Perpetually grumpy former Chiefs, Patriots and Jets offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was on SiriusXM NFL Radio today lauding the Bucs’ going punch for punch with the Lions all through the game. (Weis also was furious about how the Bucs got hosed on their two-point conversion attempt late in the game, and he didn’t blame Baker Mayfield for his first interception and wasn’t scolding him much for his second.)

The face (voice?) of SiriusXM NFL Radio Pat Kirwan, the former Jets assistant coach and personnel chief, raved about how all the losers in yesterday’s divisional round proved to be bona fide contenders.

“Nobody played like they didn’t belong,” Kirwan said.

No moral victories, but damn the Bucs brought their heavyweight game yesterday. Tampa Bay had 23 first downs and more than 400 yards of offense.

All that noise and Joe can’t recall a false start or a bonehead procedure penalty.

That performance has Joe really thinking hard about how close the Bucs believe they are to getting back to the Super Bowl. The answer certainly could affect general manager Jason Licht’s entire offseason.

68 Responses to ““Nobody Played Like They Didn’t Belong””

  1. TomBucsFan Says:

    Go Bucs

  2. Lol Says:

    IDK why Ryan Neal started this game……………….

    That 3rd and long the Lions got in the 4th quarter was a killer.



  3. Boss Says:

    The Bucs were gifted the game going into the 1/2.

    They failed to adjust in the secondary and did not come out playing the way they did on offense going into the 1/2.

    no adjustments and went into turtle mode.

    thats on todd. fire todd. and me started the game with a pick and putting us in the negative.

    let mike walk.

  4. Not Says:

    Ryan Neal must walk the plank !!!!
    Hopefully he will pull Toilet overboard with him.

  5. Mark Says:

    Lot of work just to bring Baker, Evans, Lavonte, Winfield, and McLaughlin back. But that doesn’t move the needle. Yesterday showed we need a center and a pass rusher who can bring heat on his own.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….that third & long killed us…..

    Dan Campbell is a great coach……has the fire I’d like to see in our HC…..

    We were continually playing catch-up with a very good team….not good.

    I’m very satisfied with our season

    By the way, that game ending pick cost Mayfield about $10 mil over 2 years on his next contract.

  7. Tye Says:

    Some teams from the HC down are well built and can easily be thought of as strong chances of repeating the playoffs next season….
    Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, even the Lions appear to be well built and should have a strong winning season next year….

    The Bucs are NOT in that category… Luckily getting to the playoffs by being in a poor division; barely getting in playing the last game against the worst team in the NFL; getting to play the worst team in the playoff that was obviously on a down hill spiral… That all will not happen for the Bucs again….

    The Saints likely improving, the Falcons likely improving, if the Bucs stay status quo will be lucky to end in 3rd place next season, IF the Panthers don’t leapfrog them!

  8. The Dave Says:

    Todd Bowles gets us two games from the Super Bowl and you want to fire him. With 13 rookies and a salary cap gimp all year long. You guys are idiots. Lose the greatest QB of all-time, then have a winning season capped off with a playoff win – fire the coach! Idiots, idiots, idiots. You have no clue.

  9. rickym Says:

    @ The Dave- Thank you for your post. This year is over and the Bucs have many decisions to make. I believe Mayfield will sign a long term deal and will be the BUcs QB for many years. I hope Dave Canales will be here as well but I would not be shocked if he ends up as the Panthers HC. Many big names out there will balk at playing for the deranged Panthers owner but I beleive Canales can win him over and have sustained success if given the opportunity. Todd Bowles deserves another season to prove if his systems and ideas build on the current success.

    It will be an interesting off-season but looking forward to next season.

  10. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd Bowles now has just as may playoff wins as Bill Belichick does without Tom Brady

  11. SB~LV Says:

    Giddy up!
    On the trail again.

  12. Doc Says:

    What a joke

  13. Stephen Hursley Says:

    Tough loss, but great season overall! I’m a little mad I made a bet with my carpet cleaner on this game and will now have to actually pay for my cleaning, but ultimately I think we have a lot to be excited about for the future as long as Canales and Mayfield stay with the team.

  14. HC Grover Says:

    Don’t matter at all now. They LOST and should of won. On to next year. Slicing and dicing the GLORIOUS loss is a waste of time and space.

  15. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    The last 2:30 when Bowles didn’t call time out and let the Lions run the play clock all the way down before they punted showed he didn’t belong. He didn’t call enough effective blitzes and allowed Goff to sit back there all night long with barely any pressure

  16. HC Grover Says:

    Pfffft…Glorious Loss….You people are pathetic. A LOSS is just a loss.

  17. HC Grover Says:

    Brady would not have had 2 picks.

  18. stpetebucfan Says:

    I’m like D.R. when it comes to Bowles sideline demeanor. Again, there are more ways to get a job done than one than emoting like Pete Carroll.

    I like Campbell and respect him. But did his “sideline demeanor” really make any difference? IE Did the Lions really look that much more amped up than the Bucs? In the trenches perhaps where they were clearly outclassed, not by coaching but by talent. Another great draft can adjust that.

    All this talk about demeanor. The greatest Republican President of MY lifetime was Dwight D. Eisenhour. He was the Todd Bowles of U.S. Generals in WWII in terms of demeanor…not talent or leadership…JUST demeanor. IKE was a freaking genius leading the contentious allies to a huge win on DDay and after.

    George Patton was the egotistical LOUDMOUTH who got a movie made about him…IKE did not. My father who served in WWII from Italy, through France and into Germany told me the troops loathed Patton. They made fun of his nickname “Blood and Guts’. They called him “My blood and your guts Patton”.

    If I honestly wanted to nitpick I’d give Detroit coaches credit for winning the “chess match”. There OC outsmarted TB and their DC did the same thing to Canales. But again did they have the same number of equal Chess pieces or was Bowles playing with too many pawns and not enough Queens, Bishops and Knights?

    I do not believe coaching affected this game. The cream rises to the top and the Lions are simply a season ahead of the Bucs talentwise. A great draft this year can negate that. Todd Bowles going all firebrand on the sidelines will not make a difference. Let Todd be Todd.

  19. T. McGee Says:

    Big bad bully? They won 1 playoff game in what. 25 years? The Bucs were supposed to be the bully. The Bucs have two rings in the 2000s, not the Lions. Bucs fans should’ve expected to win. They didn’t because of two people… Bowles and Baker. That was a dream season for both. 10-9 with a Divisional Round Loss. Resign them if that’s the standard. But if it isn’t, look elsewhere.

  20. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @HC Grover- unfair comparison since Brady could have thrown three picks just like he did in the NFC championship game and had to be bailed by the defense that fielded a fierce pass rush with JPP, Suh, and pre-injury Shaq.

    That’s the Bucs problem and what sent them home yesterday. Getting pressure with 4 is what wins championships on defense these days. If they fix it they will contend.

  21. NJbucs23 Says:

    We’re 1-2 drafts away.

  22. Popcorn Mike Says:

    I didn’t like some of what happened yesterday like that big run up the middle on the defense or Mayfield throwing that critical interception, but I am not going to just pound, pound and criticize the Bucs. They were picked by most of the NFL talking heads to finish 6-11 or 7-10 at best 9-8 isn’t bad when you look it how bad the Bucs looked in the losing streak and so many around the NFL not giving them a chance Hell Buffalo has a franchise QB and a team that was supposed to be Super Bowl bound. They are going home just like the Bucs

  23. StormyInFl Says:

    Coach ‘quitter’ is not even close to Dan Campbell.

  24. HC Grover Says:

    They LOST….Gloriously.

  25. CleanHouse Says:

    Fire Bowles yesterday.

    The list of reasons is long and I’m sick of explaining the obvious.

    Guy proves to be clueless again and again. If that’s what ownership tolerates, they get what they get.

    Off topic- but move Tristan Wirfs back to Right Guard where he’s a two time All Pro

    Devin White was also an All Pro

    If you are an All Pro at any point that means you are Very Very Good at your position.

    So I don’t want to hear about Devin White’s regression to a terrible player.

    The regression is poor coaching and messing around with what works.

    We had to suffer through the tinkering of moving another All Pro, Winfield out of position for a whole season. We don’t have time to let Bowles figure out to let Elephants be elephants only for him to forget what worked one week later and go back to failure.

    This loss to the Lions was a failure. Failure to adjust from his own poor adjustments.

    This franchise competes in spite of Bowles and is stuck at his ceiling, spinning its wheels.

    Licht seems to draft well, Coaches develop pretty well, but there is no coherent identity because Bowles likes to out smart himself constantly.

    He’s just not smart, not a consistent strategist.

    I grant that he has flashes with his game plans, took us on an incredible Super Bowl run.

    He lost us the Rams game and this Lions game with poor coaching decisions.

    I’ve had enough.

    With Dungy, you knew what you were getting – Consistent incredible defense with a lack of offense.

    And Malcolm Glazer said enough and it was the right choice.

    With Bowles, we don’t even get any consistency.

    It’s like a nightmare we can’t wake up from and some call it good.

    Save your opinions trolls…

    This is a solid take.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    I wonder if Brady would take kindly to getting a participation trophy? I’d guess not.

    The Lions were the better team, but man, Bowles just sitting back in a soft zone and letting them move the ball at will … and on offense, you take those 23 first down and over 400 yards, and that’s only good for 23 points, and you throw a pick on the last drive with a chance to tie it up — after 2 plays…

    So many thing the Bucs could have done differently, and personally, rather than celebrating losing, I really hope they get angry, and let that anger build all offseason, and come into next year focused and mad … and not reading their own press clippings thinking they gave it their best shot, and gosh darnit, that’s good enough.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    CleanHouse – I don’t have a ton of faith in Bowles, but he took a team that wasn’t supposed to be very good, and a bust of a QB, and got them to the 2nd round in the playoffs, he’s not going anywhere.

    Now, next year I assume Baker will return to being what he’s always been – and Bowles will probably do what he did in the Lions game and abandon the man-defense that was working so well, but I certainly could be wrong – I was wrong this year for sure.

    In any case, no need to whine about it, Bowles isn’t going anywhere, Baker will be back, so we’ll just have to see how it goes and hope for the best.

  28. D Cone Says:

    If Bowles was going to burn the timeout it would have been on first down and the Lions would have took the snap and killed 3 seconds and took a knee twice. Then fourth down they would have run it down and kick it out of bounds inside the 10. Might have had a second or two left.

    Bowles knew it was over and by not calling the time it allowed the Lions to run the play clock all the way down to 0:00Twice they snapped it with 16 seconds left and that 38 seconds talked about would have been gone.

    Like conceding a 4 inch putt. Bowles let the Lions offense finish on the field in victory formation and not a humiliating last play by the Bucs.

    It was over. Can use it to make a claim that Bowles screwed the pooch at the end just like his QB.

  29. Murph Says:

    Enjoyed watching a team play hard no matter what the circumstances. Obvious that the players enjoy playing for Coach Bowles and this coaching staff. Hard to believe that a team with so many first and second year players was able to play well in such a hostile atmosphere. Amazing how the offensive line was able to communicate so well. Great to watch a team go toe to toe with a team with better talent, especially in the trenches. Can’t wait for next year. Glad to see a majority of posters with a favorable outlook.

  30. Mike S Says:

    Rod Munch I dumped on Baker all season, but he was a top 10 QB in the league this year by any measurement.

    He had games were he looked like a top 5.

    Its either going to go one way or another.

    Either Baker builds on what he did this season – or he regresses to the mean.

    That’s assuming Mayfield doesn’t get a significant offer elsewhere the Bucs won’t match – a possibility.

    Thinking Belichick is going to want a new QB in Atlanta.

    They are going to offer Mayfield a bundle. Will the Bucs match?

  31. kaimaru Says:


    Re:White You clearly don’t see DW making boneheaded moves and vacating his zone in coverage to freelance giving up plays all game along with missing tackles. 5 years in the league and he still tackles high and doesn’t wrap all the time. He loafs on plays. He read the press clippings that we would suck this year so just protected his body. If he hadn’t regressed, they why was he demoted and not the starter at the end of the year?

    My opinion, your take is a joke.

  32. firethecannons Says:

    Mirror Image except they have Aidan Hutchinson and an Offensive Line

  33. Boss Says:

    what clean house said!

    sucks cause you get all your stuff in order…popcorn ready, this week they will be good like last week,,,,,,,,,

    and then they either come out and lay an egg completely or bowels f’s it up himself with his….well sheez… just todd bowels man….

    he’s just a token coach at this point

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    CleanHouse thinks Devin White is an All Pro? 😂😂😂😂😂

  35. doolnutts Says:

    Another big need for the bucs outside of Edge and LG is we need another Saftey. Draft or FA’s but I would not bring Neal back. I wonder if Whitehead will come home he is a FA this year.

  36. Carolina K Says:

    Half of these fans wear the other teams jersey when they come to town 😐

  37. Buc king Says:

    Fire todd..
    He’s not the answer his defense failed us

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike S – When I go team by team, I don’t think the market for Mayfield is going to be as big as people think, the number of teams that need a QB and won’t just draft one, it’s not as many teams as people think. However it only takes one, and if Atlanta wants to give Baker a huge Derek Carr like guaranteed deal … I’m certainly not matching that. It would be a huge risk for any team to give Baker that kind of deal, coming off a career year, betting your franchise on Baker. Personally I’d have no issues pivoting to someone like Justin Fields or Geno Smith if he’s available – or just drafting someone. But that’s just my opinion, and obviously it has no bearing on anything that actually happens.

    With that said, I’d be very surprised if Baker isn’t back. I think he’ll make a ton of money next year, over $30m, and the Bucs would then be able to keep him beyond that at probably $40m, or escape from it for under $10m. But the Bucs will need to be creative on how they do it – so we’ll see what happens.

  39. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Jason Licht did a great job with the roster….

    That being said, the decision to let Mike Edward’s walk for Ryan Neal proved to be costly.

    Edwards is currently the starting safety on the NFLs #1 defense and makes a similar salary to the NFLs worst safety Ryan Neal.

  40. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Jamel Dean also made it clear that he is the Bucs best starting corner, not Davis….so if were gonna have to let one walk, its gotta be Davis.

  41. Mike C Says:

    Bucs Played fantastic for being a road team on a short week

  42. Defense Rules Says:

    Tbbucs3 … If they took a look at who makes what and their respective CAP hits & Dead CAP, it’ll be quite clear who will be the first to go.

    o Davis … Signed a 3-year, $44.5 mil contract in 2022 ($30 mil guaranteed). We restructured that in 2023 though, so his 2024 CAP Hit is now $20.4 mil and his Dead CAP is $14.1 mil.

    o Dean … Signed a 4-year, $52 mil contract in 2023 ($24.5 mil guaranteed). His CAP Hit last year though was only $3.8 mil (instead of $13.5 mil) so his 2024 CAP Hit is now 14.7 mil with a Dead CAP of $18.1 mil.

    Looks to me like Dean’s not going anywhere, but Davis might. He’s about the only one who Bucs could ‘save money’ by releasing early (only about $6 mil though). All the others making BIG money (Godwin, Vea, Wirfs, Dean & yes Shaq) would all cost us more to release than if we kept them. That’s the beauty of ‘kicking the can down the street’ (kinda like compound interest?).

    Two others with BIG Dead CAPs are Gage & Jensen. Got a hunch Gage will be released to save money (his CAP HIT is $13.4 mil but his Dead CAP is only $2.2 mil in 2024). Jensen’s CAP HIT is $6.0 mil, but his Dead CAP is way up at $16.6 mil for 2024. One of the things that I really wish the NFL would change is how they deal with long-term injuries like Ryan has. IMO he should be paid all of his contract by the Bucs, BUT the Bucs shouldn’t have to held responsible for those huge CAP Hits over several years. That’s like a triple whammy. You lose a major player, AND it continues to hurt you big-time in terms of your salary CAP, PLUS you have to pay whoever you replaced that player with, hurting you even more.

  43. infomeplease Says:

    Tbbucs3 said: “Jamel Dean also made it clear that he is the Bucs best starting corner, not Davis….so if were gonna have to let one walk, its gotta be Davis.”

    When Dean is on the field, perhaps! But this kid is physically NFL challenged! When he got hurt yesterday (again) the d couldn’t play man any more, the game was lost( playing soft zone)!! He gets hurt about every other or every third game! For real! If he’s only playing part-time he shouldn’t be getting the big buck$!! CD is slightly, only slightly better in this respect, too! Bucs need to find or develop another man coverage cb.

  44. Beeej Says:

    I thought Zyon was making huge progress, until yesterday. If CD3 is cut, Zyon is the most likely replacement, dunno about that.

  45. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    One of those picks is clearly Mike’s fault.

    Zero argument there.

    Last year’s loss felt like a funeral.

    This year? I have HOPE for next year even with Todd as HC.

    Hope. Get Baker a decent running game…and some help on the o line.

    If the Glazers think this was a fluke then franchise tag him. Run it back and see what happens. If he flops then fire everyone including Jason Light.

  46. Tbbucs3 Says:

    They are both way overpaid but Carlton Davis is perhaps the most overrated corner in the league….

    Ive never seen Jimmy Dean have complete meltdowns at the position like Carlton Davis has at times and Dean looked like a man amongst boys those last 2 games.

  47. Buddha Says:

    No that was not a good take even for a self-absorbed baby who thinks he knows something about football. Todd Bowles knows more about football than you ever will or could. The game slipped away when we lost our best cornerback and pass rusher.

  48. DBS Says:

    The prognosticators already at it. Of course you know what each team in the division will do. Hell you don’t even know who some of the coaches or players are yet and you are all ready talking crap.

  49. Defense Rules Says:

    infomeplease … ‘When he (Dean) got hurt yesterday (again) the d couldn’t play man any more, the game was lost (playing soft zone).’

    That’s pretty much the way I saw it too. They picked on McCollum 3 passes in that TD drive after Dean got hurt. I’m guessing that he’s not good man-to-man. Those 3 passes were all completed & resulted in 60 yards gained (24, 16, 20 yards). That was disheartening & gave the Lions a 2 TD lead with just over 6 minutes to go in the game. Hard to come back from that much of a deficit against quality teams like the Lions.

  50. Defense Rules Says:

    Buddha … ‘The game slipped away when we lost our best cornerback and pass rusher.’

    I remember Ya Ya getting hurt, but can’t recall how much game time he missed or what he did after getting hurt. I thought he’d just had the wind knocked out of him, but maybe it was something more severe?

  51. Drunkinybor Says:

    De. End is a massivel major glaring hole. I wouldn’t give up on Shaq yet. Year two after a Achilles injury is usually much better. However the lines are the #1 priority. Put your hands together and pray Jesen comes back healthy cuz our center ain’t him. Robert looks like a rag doll out there. My mantra this off season is get better up front,

  52. WyomingJoe Says:

    I was going to give this site a rest until March, but A-holes like Capt’n Munch spewing his BS keeps pulling me back in.

  53. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    With a few more attainable pieces we should be in the conversation for Super Bowl contender.

  54. Saskbucs Says:

    I agree with the people saying we are close and Licht should stay aggressive this off-season while not completely putting the Bucs in cap hell.

    To the negative posters… yeah the Bucs will have a tough schedule but the NFC South is still in their control. Carr sucks, and the Saints are one of the oldest teams in the league, they will be sniffing the basement soon. Falcons are only gonna be good if they can find a QB. If they make a good HC hire, they are the biggest threats. Panthers who the hell knows but looks like they are a couple years away.

    Resign our main 5 guys, find a decent veteran C, draft Edge/OL/DB first 3 rounds. Trade up in the first for your edge rusher if need be. Lots will unfold but that is how I currently see it/ want it to play out.

  55. HC Grover Says:

    This ‘Glorious Loss” stuff makes me sick. Should of WON!

  56. Joe Says:

    All this talk about demeanor.

    Sideline demeanor doesn’t mean jacksh!t and is the stupidest discussion in all of football. So a guy running around like an unhinged lunatic is a better coach, really? Bill Walsh, Paul Brown, Chuck Noll, Tom Landry were all guys who were Sphinxes on the sidelines. It’s not about acting like an azzhole, it’s about putting guys in the right positions to make plays and outsmarting the other team.

    Personally, Joe prefers cigar store Indian on the sidelines. He’s got his head in the game.

  57. HC Grover Says:

    Open the Pod Bay Door please Hal.

  58. Steven007 Says:

    House, aside from some of your other eye rolling meanderings, you absolutely lost all credibility with your ranting about Devin White. Seriously. In a sea of bad takes, that’s probably the worst one I’ve seen.

  59. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … ‘I do not believe coaching affected this game. The cream rises to the top and the Lions are simply a season ahead of the Bucs talentwise. A great draft this year can negate that. Todd Bowles going all firebrand on the sidelines will not make a difference. Let Todd be Todd.’

    Beautifully said StPete. I missed that yesterday.

  60. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Sideline demeanor doesn’t mean jacksh!t and is the stupidest discussion in all of football.’

    Love your take on StPete’s comment Joe. Couldn’t agree with the two of you more.

  61. Mike C Says:


  62. Mike C Says:

    And if you say two days rest doesn’t matter you are also telling me you have never played football.

  63. Mike C Says:

    I get it is a cash grab but do a Friday night to open the playoffs, that way the winner of the Monday Night game isn’t Effed

  64. BucU Says:

    Ryan Neal’s NFL career is over.

  65. Barbosa Says:

    Once Dean was hurt in the fourth quarter, the lions took advantage. This shows how important Dean is ( and how expendable White is also).

  66. Defense Rules Says:

    Barbosa … ‘Once Dean was hurt in the fourth quarter, the lions took advantage.’

    How very true. Bucs had only 4 PDs in the game … Jamel Dean had THREE of those. Also had 5 tackles … 4 solo … in his 54 def snaps. He had a very good game.

    Zion McCollum had 44 def snaps, with 6 tackles … 5 solo. But ZERO PDs. However, 4 of his tackles … 3 solo plus 1 assist … came on that one Lions’ TD drive late in the 4th quarter (after he replaced Dean it looks like). Yes, the Lions ‘took advantage’. Unfortunate for us, but smart move on their part.

  67. 941Boltsfan Says:

    Not a bad result for having a brand new 1st year play caller, with a basement bargain “Bust” of a 1st round Qb nobody wanted. I really would like to see year 2, hopefully figure what wrinkles are needed and need to be addressed to have a run game

  68. Dave Pear Says:

    That’s a true statement until the 4th quarter in Detroit, when Todd reverted to his infamous Zone bust because he was afraid of man coverage, instead of doubling St Brown. That was truly disgusting and reminds me how overrated as a defensive coach Todd is. Maybe he’s the right leader for a year of adversity and underdoggedness. He needs to admit his defense has been figured out by the rest of the league, (especially the better quarterbacks) . Todd – hire a defensive coordinator and let him plug the gaping holes in your schemes, fix the vulnerabilities. And use your damn timeouts.