Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs-Chargers edition

Most shocking numbers

Sit down. You're not going to believe some of these numbers.

The Bucs, a team traditionally known for defense more than any other aspect of the game, are putting up offensive numbers normally reserved for video games.

The Bucs are on pace to score 462 points. That would shatter the franchise record of 388 set in 2000. They've scored 260 points so far. That already is more than 14 other Bucs teams scored in an entire season.

With the help of an interception return and a blocked punt for a touchdown Sunday, the Bucs scored at least 30 points for the third consecutive game. They've done that just once before in franchise history. They've put up at least 28 points in five consecutive games, something they've never done before. Ever.

In a league that favors offense, the Bucs' ability to score makes them a threat to win any, and every, game left on their schedule.

Unfortunately, their inability to stop the pass makes them susceptible to lose any, and every, game left on their schedule.

Best rookie

As good as first-round picks Doug Martin and Mark Barron have been — and both have been sensational — I'm starting to think that second-round pick Lavonte David, above, might be the best of this rookie class. Aside from calling the signals, the linebacker out of Nebraska had 14 tackles Sunday, giving him 30 in the past two games.

Best attitude

Here's something to like and respect about coach Greg Schiano: He realizes when the Bucs do and don't play well regardless of what the scoreboard says.

"We didn't have our fastball today in every area," Schiano said, "but what we did was we played off each other in all three phases."

Know whom he kind of sounds like there? Rays manager Joe Maddon, and not just because he used a baseball reference. There are worse guys to be compared to, wouldn't you say?

Three things that popped into my head

1. Not to take anything away from the Bucs, but Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers eventually took a break from carving up the defense to go back to being Philip Rivers. That is, he did what he always does: threw a putrid interception at the worst possible time.

2. If CBS's Boomer Esiason is right about Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman living it up during the week, maybe Freeman should stay out all night and take the Bucs defensive backs along with him.

3. You can't lose two stars on the offensive line such as Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks and not feel it. Can you?

Final thought

I predicted before the season the Bucs would go 5-11. Oops.

Comments
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