Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

One win better than nothing for Bucs

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) hugs Head Coach Greg Schiano after their first win of the season.


Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) hugs Head Coach Greg Schiano after their first win of the season.


In the end, all winning took was 109 days, many of them spent beneath dark clouds. Somewhere in there, it seems as if there was a plague or two.

In the end, it took a cast of 100 players or so, a lot of them using a lot of gauze on injured reserve. Also, there is the matter of the quarterback the franchise gave away.

In the end, it took a hundred cuts, and a few dozen scrapes, and a half-season of embarrassment, and two months worth of losing. It took silly penalties and stupid turnovers and uninspired play calls. It took a fourth-quarter comeback when such a thing seemed out of the question. It took a fourth-quarter stand to make it hold up.

Finally, the Bucs won.

Yeah, really.

Just when you swore you would not live to see them win again, just when you decided they would never figure out what a second half was, the Bucs beat the Dolphins 22-19 Monday night. For a night, at least, they were better than somebody. For a night, at least, the misery stopped.

And so food will taste a little better today, and the air will smell a little cleaner, and the sun will shine a little brighter. Winning does that for a football team. It scrubs off the stink, and for a while, at least, it allows a team to forget that it is going nowhere in a lousy season.

So why now?

And can it happen again?

Why now is obvious. Frankly, the Dolphins aren't very good, either. And let's face it, the recent pillow fight between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito left the Dolphins' offensive line in a mess.

You wonder: Can you blame the Dolphins' defensive line on whatever Randy Starks might have said to Cameron Wake? How about the linebackers? Did Dannell Ellerbe say something mean to Philip Wheeler? Because those guys weren't very good, either.

Regardless, the Bucs spent much of the night looking like a real team for a change. Once again, Mike Glennon looked as if he might grow into the league, after all. The offensive line plowed the field with Dolphins defenders. And you haven't seen anything until you see Donald Penn going deep.

And still, despite a 15-0 lead, it seemed certain that the Bucs were going to let another game slip away. With this team, no lead is ever safe, and the time remaining is always too much. In the time it takes to flip a switch, the Bucs went from a 15-0 lead to a 19-15 deficit, and everyone knows the way home from there.

Miracle upon miracles, this time, the Bucs came from behind. Odds against that happening? Roughly the same as someone named Bobby Rainey scoring the winning points. Can you imagine the skybox where Warren Sapp turned to Derrick Brooks and said, "What's a Bobby Rainey?" And John Lynch leans in and says, "Why, he's Warrick Dunn Lite."

On this night, he was.

Maybe that had something to do with it, too. Maybe with Ronde Barber and Mike Alstott and Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson and the rest looking on, the current Bucs decided that losing would be just too hard for the old guys to take. And maybe it would have been.

I know what you are thinking, of course. If you are a Bucs fan who has labored with them this year, who has suffered for eight straight weeks as they have underachieved, you were thinking this:

Yeah, but what about the draft choice?

For a lot of people, that's what this season had become, an open discussion about whether Teddy Bridgewater was better than Marcus Mariota and, if so, whom did you trust at One Buc Place to decide? In a season that has given little else, it's a good conversation. After all, the Bucs were the last winless team in the NFL.

But here's the thing: If Greg Schiano doesn't win a few, he won't be back next year. So what does he care? If Glennon doesn't catch enough fire to discourage talk of a new quarterback, what does he care? All the players who don't want to break in a new quarterback? What do they care?

The second part of the big question is whether this team can win again. The answer? Maybe. The Bucs finally seemed to understand they're better at running the ball than throwing it. Glennon is a lot better at third and 3 than at third and 11.

Atlanta isn't very good. Buffalo isn't very good. This team is still going to be an underdog fairly regularly the rest of the year, but yeah, it can squeeze two or three out of this season.

Is that enough for Schiano? Is it enough for GM Mark Dominik?

Put it this way: It's better than none.

One win better than nothing for Bucs 11/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 12:52am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …