Bucs = Winners

June 23rd, 2024

Winning. (A Tampa Bay Buccaneers photo.)

They’re out there. They’re hard to find. But they’re out there.

The vast majority of national #NFLMedia is all aboard the Kirk Cousins bandwagon. For reasons unclear, many who type about the NFL for a living believe the previously often ridiculed signal-caller for the Vikings will come alive in Atlanta, shake off his blown Achilles, rip off his sport coat to reveal he wears a T-shirt with Tom Brady’s likeness, and guide the Dixie Chicks to the promised land.

Well, Mike Jones of The Athletic isn’t buying it. Jones seems to put more stock in teams that have done it rather than teams that want to do it. As a result, Jones believes the NFC South goes through The Licht House.

After retooling during the 2023 offseason, Todd Bowles’ Buccaneers exhibited a grit that led to an NFC South title. This offseason, GM Jason Licht re-signed cornerstones Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield Jr. The Bucs then drafted their new center in Graham Barton and two other potential starters in linebacker Chris Braswell and defensive back Tykee Smith. With Atlanta and Carolina both in reboot mode and New Orleans largely stagnant, Tampa Bay has a good shot at repeating as division champion.

The only person Joe has read that offered up a quasi-legitimate argument for Cousins and the Dixie Chicks is friend-of-Ira Kaufman, Juda Battista of NFL.com. She wrote Cousins ought to get Atlanta to be two games better than its 7-10 record with dismal Desmond Ridder (13 starts) and Taylor Heinicke (four starts).

Fair point.

What Battista failed to mention is that Cousins, 36 in August, is trying to overcome a brutal blown Achilles.

Many expecting Cousins to work miracles seem to have concluded that Cousins = NFC South title is more about their dour attitudes towards Baker Mayfield than their belief in Cousins being an elite quarterback.

23 Responses to “Bucs = Winners”

  1. Beeej Says:


  2. Dave Pear Says:

    A couple A-gap and double A-gap blitzes well timed and executed, and Cousins is once again on the sidelines watching.

    In any event, Cousins is one QB Todd seems to be able to shut down.

  3. CallTheSaltTruck Says:

    The ‘Cousins is definitely two games better than Ridder’ crowd is making the same mistake people made with Baker. ‘They were 8-9 with Brady and there’s NO WAY Baker could be as good as the GOAT!!! Bucs winning 2 games this year!”

    Football is still a team sport. The Falcons defense got worse. All of the hype around their offensive players is based on ‘talent’ from their college days. Pitts hasn’t been that guy. London hasn’t been that guy. Rachaad White had more scrimmage yards and more TDs than Bijan Robinson last year despite playing behind a worse interior O-line. Before anyone @s me about how they haven’t had a good QB, remind me what the list is of guys Evans has broken 1000 yards with?

    Could Cousins be an upgrade over Ridder? Sure. Probably, even. But that doesn’t mean wins. They have two new coordinators, two new schemes, and a really tough schedule to start the year. Cousins isn’t even able to practice with them until August.

    The Falcons are going to struggle with the Saints for second again while the Bucs take first- and depending on how the season shakes out, TB might run away with it.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    After Game 12 last season, the Bucs were 5-7 and the Falcons were 6-6. Then something interesting happened: we played each other for the 2nd time that season. They’d beaten us 16-13 in our 1st meeting by running the ball down our throats 38 times for 156 yards (we only ran it 20 times for 73 yards).

    Bucs whooped them 29-25, getting both teams to identical 6-7 records after 13 games. That game was interesting because we reversed roles. The Bucs ran it down the Falcons’ throats 37 times for 148 yards (they only ran it 26 times for 96 yards).

    So with 4 games to go, both teams had identical records. The Falcons’ wings folded however, and they won 1 but lost 3 in those last 4 games. Reason? They gave the ball away NINE times in those 3 losses, against ZERO takeaways. They imploded IOW.

    The Bucs did the exact opposite, winning 3 of our last 4 games. Ironically, our defense generated 7 takeaways in those 3 wins, against only 1 giveaway by our offense (in our 1 loss in that stretch, Bucs’ offense gave the ball away 4 times, against 0 takeaways).

    I’d say that BOTH defenses made a huge difference in that last 4-game stretch. Falcons 1st 5 games this season are against some pretty strong teams: Steelers, Eagles, Chiefs, Saints, Bucs. They’ll need their defense to come up big in those games to keep the Falcons in contention early.

  5. Permanently Moderated Says:

    Baker can shut up the naysayers with another solid performance this year. Until then, it’s going to be continual and somewhat irrational disrespect.

  6. CallTheSaltTruck Says:

    >>>They’d beaten us 16-13 in our 1st meeting by running the ball down our throats 38 times for 156 yards (we only ran it 20 times for 73 yards).

    They also managed to drive into field goal range in 40 seconds through the air, thanks to our good buddy Ryan Neal. They almost did it again in the second game. Easy to forget they got the ball to the 3 yard line. If they had 40 seconds instead of 30 seconds, they might have won.

    One thing we do need to get cleaned up is our defense in the last minute or so of close games. We lost two games that way last year, and almost lost a third. It was the difference between us being 9-8 and us being 11-6. I think Whitehead really helps with that.

  7. Dave Pear Says:

    “Bucs whooped them 29-25.”


    It took a 4th and 1 conversion from Rachaad and a couple of perfect dimes from Baker to Godwin and Otton to get the last minute lead, and Ridder (!) still got them 3 yards from handing Todd his pink slip.

    That’s not a whooping.

    Bucs beating the Jags? Eagles in the playoffs? Those were whoopings.

  8. TF Says:

    WHY is everyone so focused with the Kirk Cousins addition. It goes way beyond that and the X factor and key to the Falcons this year is the OBVIOUS.

    New Coaching and systems

    Raheem Morris H.C. and former Bucs H.C.
    Zac Robinson O.C. Sean McVey disciple and key to helping Stafford win the SB
    Jimmy Lake D.C. and former Bucs defensive backs coach under Morris in T.B.

    That’s some talent. But can it translate in ONE quick year?

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    A win is a win. A loss is a loss. Stats and style points are for losers.

  10. D Cone Says:

    Named after Achilles, the Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of up to 1,000 pounds

    Even if Cousins Achilles recovers to 50% of its original strength it will be plenty to plant and throw. Seriously doubt he will plant and try to block Vea or Kancey on a jet sweep or resist being sacked the two times per game he has been in his career. Edge Rusher fighting a double team maybe but a QB is really a non issue.

    My worry is Joe is so caught up in the two games the Cousins may add bring Falcons to 9-8 and won’t see the extra wins Carr may add to the Saints bringing them to 11-6

    Worry about a wife and the guy next door while their wives have been carrying on for years.

  11. Beeej Says:

    Why didn’t Carr do that last year?

  12. Leighroy Says:

    Who’d you rather have in the Achilles Recovery Olympics this year, Cousins or Rodgers?

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    Every “expert” gushes about ATL offensive weapons. Cousins is going to ignite that team. Let’s compare …

    ATL – Bijan 996 yards, 4TD
    TB – White 990, 6TD

    ATL – London 905 yards, 2TD
    TB – Evans 1255, 13TD (Godwin 1024, 2TD)

    ATL – Pitts 663, 3
    TB – Otton 455, 2

    Joe gets hurt when we expose our former OC, but he wasn’t good. Even with that hinderance, Tampa’s stars were and are better than Atlanta’s stars. Ridder completed 64% of his passes. Cousins completes 69%. Even 5% better doesn’t equal Tampa’s star production.

    BTW, Experts only look at one side of the ball. Tampa’s defense is WAY better talent wise, and would any team take Rah over Bowles as their DC? No.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    I didn’t even know The Athletic still wrote about sports. Since they got bought by the NY Times they’ve turned into a completely worthless organization who has seen their subscriptions fall off dramatically as they’ve just become just another leftist mouthpiece that spends 95% of their time as activists, not to mention they fact they fired all their Tampa beat writers.

  15. Tony Says:

    Curious to see if they consider using that Funderbunk at all because supposedly he’s been looking pretty good. Even though yeah it’s practice.

  16. Beeej Says:

    Wasn’t it the Falcons whom we were miraculously able to control at the LOS?

  17. D Cone Says:

    Beeej Says:
    June 23rd, 2024 at 1:17 pm
    Why didn’t Carr do that last year?

    Saints were two wins better with Carr last season over the year before.
    Going from 7-10 to 9-8. Did it while struggling early and playing well later on. Carr puts together a complete season and 10 o4 11 wins is within reason.

    I would say Carr did for the Saints exactly what they are projecting the minimum bump for the Falcons will be.

  18. GoneGator Says:

    Baker has more playoff wins than the rest of the NFC South’s QB’s combined. Cousins is a high (very) priced journeyman.

  19. Daniel Hammond Says:

    I don’t know how they’re trying to say Todd Bowles is on the hot seat it’s going to be either Baker Mayfield’s fault if we don’t do well this year or it’s going to be the offensive coordinators it’s you cannot put this on Todd bowls absolutely ridiculous for people to even think that way

  20. garro Says:

    Batista? umm Ira’s friend? Never heard of her. I thought Ira only hung with legends of sports journalism.

    As for the rest of the real sports Journalists, I think they all died with their newspapers Joe. There are very few reputable sports journalists on TV or the web.

    These two at least appear to have done a bit of homework on our Bucs versus Falcons.

    Good point Joe. Cousins is likely to be more of a statue back there and thus Todd will likely throw the kitchen sink at him this year. 2 years for an Achilles is accurate I think (I have had one and at a much younger age). Shoot, he may not last until our first game with them in week five.

    Go Bucs!

  21. MadMax Says:

    hmmm, i missed this article…..yep we’re winners, just watch…cant wait to see this….Baker shutting mf’s up!!!

  22. heyjude Says:

    Leighroy Says: “Who’d you rather have in the Achilles Recovery Olympics this year, Cousins or Rodgers?”

    Thank you for that laugh! My vote is neither. Both are way over-hyped.

    Kudos to Mike Jones. Not agreeing with Battista. It’s like throwing the dice on Cousins. Good luck with that. However, their guy could be Penix and not Cousins at all.

  23. Daniel Z Says:

    TF is right – Atlanta will be better this year because of coaching. Falcons fans hated Arthur Smith and the games with Atlanta last year were basically a coaching battle (but in a bad way).