w1: BUCS LOOK TO REBOUND AT HOME

September 20, 2020

Although Brady threw 2-interceptions in Louisiana last week to the foul Saints, according to PFF, he still tied Aaron Rodgers with 6 “big-time throws” in week 1.

Brady went 23/36, threw for 239 yards, had 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 78.4 rating..despite not having a complete off-season program to learn head coach Arians’ complex offensive playbook- a playbook retired QB Carson Palmer admitted takes about 3 years to fully adopt. A feat made more difficult without the luxury of a normal year of training camp and pre-season games. Games which could have helped to fortify some kind of early rhythm. Something the Saints had an edge, they were virtually the same team as last year. No huge additions. The Bucs still left some good things on tape in the 23-34 loss. The team still has not beaten the Saints since a 48-40 showing September 8th, 2018. Since that game, they’ve endured a few blowouts to the tune of an 0-4 record.

What is clear in present; Brady needs more time with team/NFL record setting- 3x pro bowler Mike Evans (hopefully back to full health for today’s game) and 2019 pro bowler Chris Godwin (now in concussion protocol- out for CAR today)- as well as re-establishing with his old prolific tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brady will continue to forge a rapport with Bucs first rounder OJ Howard, and seems to be building a connection with underrated WR Scotty Miller ( 7 rec 73 yards).

 The Bucs did not look as terrible as some in the national media insisted all week following this loss. The sky is not falling in Tampa Bay.

 It was a match up worthy of a Super Bowl in itself, but in my opinion, a terrible week one option- especially without a full off-season to create the jive between HC Arians and OC Leftwich with Brady and the entire receiving core/ offense as a whole. The NFL, of course, could not fully predict the impact of COVID, otherwise maybe they’d schedule this rich matchup a bit later to ease the Bucs into the fray.

An entire article can be written on the Bucs misfortune with scheduling compared to the rest of the league over the past few seasons.

 It was still exhilarating to watch the game last week, I had butterflies, and T.B fans had something they’ve been missing for a long time- true expectations for the team. Some even calling the Bucs Super Bowl favorites.

No matter the score, it still felt in reach with Brady at the helm; a sentiment that will surely follow the remainder of this long season.

I expect the second meeting on November 11th to be way more intense.

Late in the week leading up to the week one game, Evans went from doubtful to questionable to playing; he missed a bit of practice for a hamstring that certainly affected his play. He finished the game with an abysmal 1 reception for 2 yards, it being a 3rd quarter touchdown. Godwin led the team with 5 rec for 79 yards, his best catch coming on the opening drive. Gronkowski didn’t break the stat sheet, 2 rec for 11 yards. This is to be expected, he is still getting back into football shape after coming out of retirement.

The first offensive drive after Tampa’s defense opened with a fiery 4-n-out is something Bucs fans should focus on. It was an impressive drive that saw the aforementioned threading of 29 yard deep right to Godwin, and ended with the GOAT improvising a 2 yard QB sneak for a touchdown.

For me personally, it still felt surreal to see Brady in a Bucs uniform- as a fan of this team for 17+ years and being a fan of a team that hasn’t tasted the playoffs since losing to the Giants in 2007; we desperately needed this enthusiasm in Tampa. A city that has endured far too many 4th place finishes in the NFC South, failed QB experiments, turmoil, and a revolving door at head coach. This team kept on par with the Browns for terribleness. Last week, you could tell the team had a different air to it, despite the lousy outcome. It’s why the media speculation saying the Bucs might have “buyers remorse” on Brady…

It is rather comical and quite frankly, retarded. The Bucs are fine. Some players even commented on returning to One Buc Place last week noticing a huge turn around in team atmosphere following a loss.

This is a team accustomed to losing, it’ll take time. They learned not to sulk in the probability of it being a regular occurrence as it was in the past.

It was fun to see who would be the first touchdown receptor of the Brady era, it went to OJ Howard on a 10 yard catch in the 3rd quarter.

What killed the Bucs was costly turnovers; miscues by both Brady and receivers route running. Penalties too (9 for 103 yards). The biggest penalty on defense, a 4th down offside by Vea, gifting the powerful Saints offense a 1st down. Some of those pass inference calls went in Bucs favor, helping them score, however, I may be in the minority, but I think the NFL should let the DBs and WRs fight more for the ball- really ticky tacky stuff these days- real sensitive with throwing the flag for P.I.

Still, all things considered, I have tremendous (Trump lol) faith in the Brady bunch and that they will fix this- and we will all see this week- as the Bucs host the (0-1) Panthers in Ray Jay.

 Much has been speculated on this stuff all week by talking heads. Favre said some stuff about HC Arians calling out Brady publicly after the game for the turnovers and yadda yadda, all this stuff is a non-issue and television-filler. The NFL is pretty much the WWE– storylines. I don’t believe any of it matters. This isn’t baseball where pitchers cry when a player admires a homerun or Tatis Jr. hits a fastball for a grand slam off a 3-0 pitch in a blowout– thus breaking some unwritten rule.. this is football with the best QB to play the game, I doubt he gives a shit what Arians feeds the local pen and national media or what anyone commentates on it.

Many fans saw Brady pick-6 and winced in reminder of Winston and his 30+ ints, the turnover-pick 6- machine. This lead to some concluding ridiculous things like “ Winston is better than Brady” – Child please. Brady is not in any threat of throwing ridiculous amounts of interceptions. Winston is a 3rd string QB that drew very little interest all offseason and eventually signed late in the offseason process.

The Bucs dominant run defense, accredited to DC Todd Bowles, held Saints HB to virtually nothing: Murray 48 yards, Kamara 16 yards. Kamara was able to produce a touchdown off that and had a good receiving day with 5 rec 51 yards 1 TD. We as Bucs fans always love strong defenses- reminiscence of the past that brought Tampa the Lombardi a lifetime ago.

On the good side, Ronald Jones II took a bit of the load off Brady with 17 attempts for 66 yards.

The big acquisition late in the off-season of Jags castoff Fournette didn’t have much of an impact on the game. He was held to a sad 5 attempts for 5 yards. It’ll be interesting to watch what he does today.

There’s plenty more to be said about last week’s crushing loss, but I’ll focus on one last note before moving on to today’s game- It was interesting to watch Turning Point, and hear Saints CB Jenkins talk about the Bucs running the same out route 3 times prior to his pick off, the play known as the “spray release”

Reminiscent of Buc legendary strong safety John Lynch, during the Bucs Super Bowl screaming at MVP Dexter Jackson “was it slug on C” -or something to this effect after a huge interception. It is crazy how in-tune professional players can get.

BRING ON CAROLINA:

The Bucs since 2018 are 2-2 against the Panthers.

 The last time the Bucs played Bridgewater he threw for 314 yards with 4 TDs 1 int and a 76.5 completion percentage.

If the Bucs plan to beat Carolina today, they should force Teddy to prove that he can beat them in the air. The run defense has had it’s way throughout the career of the young prolific Carolina ( 2017 8th overall pick) halfback, McCaffrey; limiting him to only a couple good games.

I dug up what McCaffrey has done against the Bucs since entering the league:

2017 : 4 attempts for 3 yards 0 touchdowns, 9 attempts for 39 yards 0 touchdowns

2018: 17 attempts for 79 yards 2 touchdowns, 10 attempts for 106 yards 0 touchdowns

2019: 16 attempts for 37 yards 0 toucdowns, 22 attempts for 31 yards 1 touchdown.

If the Bucs expect to win, they’ll have to do it with a strong showing on the O-LINE. Most notably by last year and this year fan-punching bag, LT Donovan Smith. A player Arians called out after he allowed 2 sacks facing a backup D-Line man and one missed block that caused Brady to have to recover a fumble. According to Arians, it is all technique and Smith has had a good week of practice. Many fans are hesitant of the 2015 2nd round pick, so we shall see… On a side note, rookie 1st round pick Wirfs, playing on the same oline as Smith, against a hearty test in Cameron Jordan, he only allowed 2 pressures on 41 pass blocking snaps. Impressive! It will be exciting to watch as he played exceptionally well in his debut.

There is so many players worth mentioning, such as rookie Winfield Jr. And his pretty damn good first game, and Devin White, and all the information that I could keep cramming in this, but needless to say, I’m pumped for Buc ball.

The Bucs set to kickoff week 2 at 1PM ET. I’ve got Corona and limes, some nachos, and a sexy girlfriend. We’re in Belgium. Here the game starts at 7PM, and we’re pumped to watch another exciting game.

GO BUCS

Article by: Emerson

written: Sep.20.20

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