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Putting Bucs loss in perspective, one snarky thought at a time

John Romano: Nearly eight years after it was last seen around here, we dust off the Gimme 5 column format to explain what happened in the 31-17 loss to the 49ers.
Let's see, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) is not looking at the ball and is using his left arm to block Mike Evans from making a leaping catch. Why would anyone think that's pass interference? [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 9
Updated Sep. 9

Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.

1. DOOM OR GLOOM, TAKE YOUR PICK: The early-season schedule was already looking shaky for the Bucs. Now, considering everything that happened Sunday, it’s plausible they could be 2-6 by early November.

2. WE SPELL UGLY B-U-C-S: There was a span of more than 15 minutes between the second and third quarters where the Bucs offense ran only six plays. And that’s not the bad news. The six plays were a touchdown called back due to a penalty, two fumbles (including one lost) and two interceptions (including one returned for a TD). Their best play was a one-yard loss when Jameis Winston took a knee. If a high school team did that, they’d be running the bleachers the rest of the week.

3. DO YOU THINK JAMEIS WAS WATCHING: DeSean Jackson wanted to send his love, but he was too busy ringing up 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles.

4. THAT WASN’T INTERFERENCE, IT WAS A MAULING: Just to be clear about this, the Bucs did not lose the game due to officiating. However, if replay officials allow 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman to molest Mike Evans while never attempting to look for the ball as he did on Tampa Bay’s final offensive play, then the rulebook is a joke.

5. NOT SURE IF THIS IS ENCOURAGING OR NOT: Although he missed his only three deep passes of the game, Winston was effective on mid-range routes. He completed 5-of-8 passes that traveled between 11 and 20 yards. All three interceptions were on shorter passes, including one that bounced off the hands of tight end O.J. Howard. More than half his attempts were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, which suggests he checked down often.

A list of five

Five things you don’t want to hear from Bruce Arians.

5. “I told you not to steal Koetter’s playbook.’’

4. “Do we have to use the guy making $21 million?’’

3. “That Tim McGraw looked stout!’’

2. “Hmm, that play worked in 1977.’’

1. “Tell the valet to get my golf cart.’’

Five reasons for optimism

1. Ronald Jones’ training camp hype was no joke. He hits holes quickly, and defenses will have to account for his speed. His 75 yards rushing on Sunday already surpassed his entire rookie season total.

2. The defensive line did not get much pressure on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but it did a nice job of shutting down San Francisco’s running game.

3. Winston was officially sacked three times, but generally had enough time to throw. The concerns about Arians’ offense leaving quarterbacks vulnerable to punishment were not evident on Sunday.

4. The defense held the 49ers to 256 yards of total offense. That’s better than Bucs did in 15 of their 16 games in 2018.

5. The Rays could distract us in October.

Five Buc coaches who lost their debuts

1. Leeman Bennett, 1985: Took a 28-17 halftime lead against the Bears but failed to score in the second half and lost 38-28. Chicago went on to win the Super Bowl, and the Bucs went 2-14.

2. Tony Dungy, 1996: Trent Dilfer threw four interceptions and the Bucs were outgained 406-176 in total yards by the Packers in a 34-3 loss. Tampa Bay would lose five in a row before Dungy got his first victory. It was the only losing season of his coaching career.

3. Jon Gruden, 2002: Martin Gramatica kicked a 40 yard field goal with time expiring to send the game to overtime, but a botched punt attempt in the endzone led to a New Orleans touchdown and 26-20 win.

4. Raheem Morris, 2009: If Arians was wondering about this game, he could ask Byron Leftwich about it. The Bucs current offensive coordinator was the quarterback in 2009 when Tampa Bay lost 34-21 in the season opener against Dallas.

5. Lovie Smith, 2014: One of the most forgettable rosters in Tampa Bay history, the Bucs lost 2014 to Carolina on the way to a 2-14 season.

Final five words

London asking about exchange policy.

John Romano can be reached at Follow @romano_tbtimes.

Bucs Preview 2019

A look ahead at Bruce Arians’ first year in Tampa Bay and a critical season for Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers.


  1. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl titles with the Giants. ADAM HUNGER  |  AP
    His legacy is intact as rookie Daniel Jones will start against Tampa Bay.
  2. The NFC South quarterbacks -- the Panthers' Cam Newton, the Falcons' Matt Ryan and the Saints' Drew Brees are in various states of duress. It could add up to an advantage for the Bucs, but Coach Bruce Arians says pay no attention. Associated Press
    Saints’ Drew Brees, Panthers’ Cam Newton battling injuries, but Tampa Bay coach wants an inward focus
  3. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Caleb Benenoch participates in drills during training camp at the team's practice facility, One Buc Place, in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 29, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Former fifth-round pick reportedly received a lot of interest after being cut by Tampa Bay.
  4. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and coach Doug Marrone got into heated exchange on the sidelines Sunday during the Jaguars' game against the Texans. The next day, reports surfaced that Ramsey had requested to be traded. STEPHEN B. MORTON  |  Associated Press
    The answer depends on the Bucs’ answers to other questions. Are they Super Bowl contenders? Are they willing to give up on their recent draft picks? How committed are they to Jameis Winston?
  5. The Giants will start Daniel Jones (8) against the Bucs on Sunday. MICHAEL AINSWORTH  |  AP
    New York will start Daniel Jones against a Tampa Bay team that hasn’t fared well against first-year signal callers in recent years.
  6. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston hopes to have his team dressed for success as the season moves forward, but to do so he'll need to generate more offense. Tampa Bay plays host to the Giants on Sunday. BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    In 2018, Tampa Bay fielded one of the league’s best passing units. Now it’s struggling.
  7. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees watches from the sidelines after getting hurt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. Brees has been diagnosed with a torn ligament near the thumb of his throwing hand that is expected to sideline him at least six weeks, said a person familiar with the situation. Brees has elected to have surgery, but it is not yet clear when the operation will take place or who will perform it, the person said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What Drew Brees’ injury and Cam Newton’s lingering problems mean for the Bucs. Plus: A first look at the Lightning.
  8. Bucs coach Bruce Arians has helped the team to a 1-1 record. The won-loss mark isn't surprising, but how they've done it has turned some heads. BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    For some Times staff writers, the outlook appears a little brighter. Others? Not so much
  9. Colin Kaepernick was the 49ers starting quarterback at one point, then his kneeling for the national anthem created controversy. AP
    As QBs are lost to injuries, the national anthem protester draws no interest.
  10. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees leaves the field after their loss against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. Brees left the game after being hurt in the first half. MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    The Saints quarterback could miss six games with a thumb injury, which means the NFC South may be up for grabs after all.