Raise a glass
The Bucs appear to have found themselves a quarterback and, in the process, rediscovered their head coach.
Mike Glennon has thrown a TD in his first eight starts — the first NFL rookie to do so — and has as many interceptions all season (four) as the Lions' Matt Stafford had Sunday. The Bucs have won three straight after losing their first eight, just the second team to do that after the 1978 Cardinals.
If coach Greg Schiano's seat was red hot a month ago, it's not even lukewarm now. The team continues to play hard and win despite major injuries, a key suspension and a rookie QB. This isn't to say Schiano deserves a contract extension, but those billboards calling for his firing seem silly now, don't they?
The Bucs still have plenty of a mess to clean up. They were flagged for their 19th personal foul, most in the NFL. They have been charged with 94 penalties, most in the NFL. They mustered only 17 points on offense despite forcing five turnovers and blocking a punt. Their third-down defense is shaky. They allowed four sacks. Eric Page made a mistake fielding a punt inside his own 5-yard line and kicker Rian Lindell missed two field goals that would have made this game a lot less anxious.
Stafford threw a couple of what-was-he-thinking picks. WR Kris Durham looked like he was running with a greased pig on a fumble. WR Calvin Johnson played hot potato on CB Johnthan Banks' clinching interception. But here's the other side: The Bucs didn't do those things. They didn't turn the ball over. That's how you don't lose (i.e. win) games.
Three things that popped into my head
1. The Bucs missed suspended S Dashon Goldson. He had heat coming his way if they had lost.
2. Blame Rian Lindell all you want for missing two big field goals, but the Bucs need to start scoring more touchdowns. You block a punt and get the ball on the 11-yard line with a chance for a knockout, you need to score seven, not settle for three.
3. I've watched the replay of Lions TE Joseph Fauria's touchdown a dozen times and still don't see him get two feet inbounds.
Fast-forward to next May. Your QB is Glennon. Your coach is Schiano. You have the eighth pick in the draft. You cool with that?