Have the Bucs turned the corner?
They have two straight wins on the road, an upset of the NFC top seed New Orleans at the Superdome, a defense that did not allow one of the most prolific offenses in league history to score for nearly 44 minutes.
Have the Bucs turned the corner under first-year coach Raheem Morris? Morris would like to know the same thing.
"It's funny, I've got to ask my team tomorrow: Are they hot? Or is it their game?'' Morris said. "It''s kind of what it is. Are you guys just hot right now or is this your game? Is this who you are or are you hot? That's what you've got to ask your team tomorrow. That's kind of what I've got to find out, too. Is Cadillac just hot? Or is this his game? I'm hoping it's our game. We've got to go find out.''
Since Morris took over the defense from Jim Bates, the Bucs have allowed just 17.2 points per game. They are 3-5 since rookie Josh Freeman took over at quarterback, including a last-minute defeat at Atlanta. A win over the Falcons would enable the Bucs to end 2009 on a three-game winning streak.
"I'm liking the way we're doing and I'm liking the direction we're in,'' Morris said. "This is the formula we said from the beginning: run the football, play-action pass, easy completions, play good defense, play solid, keep them out of the end zone. That's what we've done the last two weeks.''