Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Denver Broncos

RECOMMENDED READING


Worst loss

Somehow there was a notion among some Bucs followers that losing Sunday at Denver wouldn't be all that devastating to the team, that maybe it could afford a loss.

For starters, it's a ridiculous suggestion that any team hanging out in the neighborhood of .500 this late in the season can afford to give away games. But Sunday's loss turned out to be especially damaging after the Seahawks pulled off an upset in Chicago. Bet you didn't see that coming.

The Seahawks are 7-5 and lead the Bucs by a game for the last playoff spot in the NFC. With three home games left and a relatively soft schedule, the Seahawks can easily reach 10 victories. If that happens, the Bucs would have to win their last four to reach 10, and even then tiebreakers might go Seattle's way. Plus, we haven't even started talking about other teams that could get in the Bucs' way, such as the Redskins.

Sunday was a bad day. The playoff hopes are not completely toast, but the Bucs really couldn't afford Sunday's loss and likely can't afford even one more.

Biggest hole

The Bucs have faced five mediocre quarterbacks: Cam Newton (twice), Brady Quinn, Carson Palmer, Christian Ponder and Philip Rivers. They went 6-0 against those guys.

They have faced six good to great quarterbacks: Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and now Peyton Manning. They went 0-6 in those games.

Is there any question that pass defense, especially cornerback, is the No. 1 priority in the offseason?

Grim fact of the day

With the Vikings losing Sunday to drop to 6-6, the Bucs have not beaten a team that currently has a winning record.

Three things that popped into my head

1. The Bucs ran out of time, but give coach Greg Schiano credit for managing the scoreboard, reading the clock, kicking field goals, using his timeouts wisely and doing everything within his power to give the Bucs a chance in the final minutes. This game turned out much closer than it really should have been.

2. Is Bucs RB Doug Martin wearing down? In the past two games, he carried the ball 39 times, and his average per carry was a mere 2.7 yards. In his first 10 games, the rookie was averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

3. When it comes to the victory formation, maybe the Bucs just like to go after Mannings.

Final thought

It would be easy to jump all over the Bucs, but come on, did anyone outside of those who have their checks signed by a Glazer really think Tampa Bay could win in Denver?

Comments
Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

TAMPA ó The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said itís too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner."We havenít turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sundayís game at Atlanta. "Itís ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macyís parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.ííItís a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Koetter says Bucs not distracted by Jameis Winstonís off-field issue

The Bucs are 1-0 since news broke last Friday of Jameis Winston being accused by an Uber driver of groping her during a ride in March of 2016.That's really all the evidence coach Dirk Koetter needs to say the issue has not been a distraction to the t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Published: 11/22/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucsí practice squad and why Julio Jonesí stats have dropped off this season,...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Simeon Rice — teammates on the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl championship team — are among the 27 semifinalists to be considered for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame class.Lynch is a semifinalist for the sixth st...
Published: 11/22/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Itís a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they canít win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

TAMPA ó The most valuable player for the Bucs is Brent Grimes.It felt odd typing that, but itís time to say it.In Grimesí two seasons in Tampa Bay, the Bucs havenít won a game without him. This season they are 4-3 when he plays, 0-3 when he doesnít.H...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA ó Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sundayís game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 10 hours ago