Down and almost out
And just like that, everything is awful again.
The Bucs' seesaw season hit the ground again Sunday, and that thud was a noncompetitive loss to the Panthers. All of a sudden, Greg Schiano can't coach again. Mike Glennon can't play quarterback. The offensive line stinks, and the defense, led by invisible man Gerald McCoy, can't stop anyone. Okay, so maybe it's not that bad, but here's a depressing thought: Sunday's game was probably a more accurate gauge of the 2013 Bucs than the three preceding victories over bad-to-mediocre teams.
Here we go again: 14-for-21 for 180 yards, no touchdowns, one interception, one fumble.
That was the line for Glennon, who made some nice plays but took a step back from the past few weeks. And here we are, another week closer to the end of the season, another week closer to having to decide if he is the quarterback of the future, and Glennon gave us a game that gave us more question marks than exclamation points.
I'm telling you, this is how it's going to go until the end of the season. We will not get a clear-cut, no-brainer answer about Glennon. If the Bucs decide Glennon is the QB for 2014 and beyond, it will be strictly a leap of faith. And that leap likely will be made only if Schiano comes back for another year as coach.
Drafting LB Lavonte David in the second round (58th overall) in 2012 was a steal for the Bucs.
He picked off a pass and was in on nine tackles. That's pretty much a normal game for him. The interception was his third of the season, and he became the first Bucs player to have three interceptions and five sacks in one season.
Of all the players the Bucs have picked up the past two years through the draft and free agency — including Doug Martin, Mark Barron, Vincent Jackson, Glennon, Carl Nicks and Dashon Goldson — David is, without question, the most productive.
He will be playing after the regular season ends … in the Pro Bowl.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Turns out, Bucs CB Darrelle Revis is a normal human being after all. He was turned inside out on Ted Ginn's touchdown catch and suffered his second injury in two weeks. Still, he has had a pretty good season, and I'm not sure he has ever been 100 percent. I don't think anyone should be second-guessing the decision to give up valuable draft picks, including a first-rounder this year, for this guy.
2. Make fun all you want of Glennon's hot-potato fumble that reminded us of Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian in Super Bowl VII, but that play would not have happened if Vincent Jackson had run away from defenders on his 60-yard reception three plays earlier.
3. If I had a dollar for every time the Bucs run the ball up the middle on second and long, I'm certain I could buy a new computer and use it to write an email to the Bucs saying, "Stop running up the middle on second and long!''
Hey, maybe the Bucs should get involved in that NFL Play 60 — that deal encouraging kids to go outside and play for 60 minutes a day. On Sunday the Bucs participated in something more like NFL Play 17.