Bucs coach Greg Schiano just might have saved his job Monday night. For another week, at least.
Even after an 0-8 start, you had the feeling that the Bucs were not going to make a move to fire Schiano during the season. But when you blow a big lead for the second consecutive week because of stupid penalties and questionable playcalling and when you're a few minutes from being embarrassed on national television for the second time in three weeks, you had to at least wonder if there was going to be a pink slip on Schiano's desk this morning.
The Dolphins are a mess. They were about six seconds from quitting Monday night and the Bucs couldn't put them away. Yeesh, have you ever seen a team struggle so much coming out of halftime as much as the Bucs? It has been like this all season, but it was especially evident the past two weeks.
For 25 minutes or so, they look like champs. For the next 25 minutes, they look like chumps. They blew a 21-0 lead against the Seahawks and then choked away a 15-0 lead Monday. That's coaching, right? What other explanation can there be?
Fortunately for Schiano, the Bucs walked back off the plank Monday night and saved the game. And, perhaps, Schiano's job.
Bucs QB Mike Glennon finally took a step forward Monday night and, for the first time, showed that he can do more than just protect the football, make simple passes and not give games away. At some point, he needed to make big-time plays and lead the Bucs on a meaningful drive when the game was on the line. He finally did that Monday. True, he spent the biggest drive of the game handing off the ball, but he did make a big-time throw in crunch time. This isn't to say that he showed he's a franchise quarterback, but he took a step — albeit a small one — in that direction.
The Dolphins had allowed more sacks than anyone in the NFL, and are in danger of setting a record. They were playing without two-fifths of their starting offensive line. Yet the Bucs couldn't get to Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill … until it mattered. Warren Sapp must have been proud to see two huge sacks to clinch the game.
"Everybody is having fun tonight for Tampa Bay.'' — ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, midway through second quarter
"Everything has gone wrong since the end of the second quarter.'' — Gruden
Three things that popped into my head
1. Where was this running game when Doug Martin was healthy? As ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said, "They haven't looked this good all season.''
2. When tackle Donald Penn snagged a touchdown reception in the first half, he was one TD catch from being tied for second on the team.
3. You know, this ranks up there as perhaps the worst Monday night game ever.
As the Bucs were coughing up that 15-0 lead, I couldn't help but wonder how most Bucs fans felt. Did they want their team to win or did they want to pick up a great draft pick and get rid of a head coach at the same time?