Did Arians and crew learn from last week?
After last weeks implosion to the Giants while playing too conservative in the second half. I did a piece on that aspect of the loss (Did Bucs coaches learn anything from the loss). I weighed in on the subject by asking, “What would the Bucs do in the same situation against the Rams or another team?” Would they go conservative, play not to lose, rather than to win? A few days later, and everyone has the answer to that question, courtesy of the Bucs staff and players.
Rams down by 18 at one point, Deja Vu?
How close it came to the exact same situation is crazy. Against the Giants, they were up by 18 going into the locker room at half 28-10. This week they were up by 11 at the half, and up by 18 just into the fourth quarter, that lead shrunk to 5, and thoughts of last week came creeping in. This week though, the defense didn’t playback on their heels. They kept up the pressure on Goff and completely shut down Gurley in the yards rushing stat, with only 16 yards on 5 carries, 13 of them coming on one play. Gurley did score two touchdowns though, so he wasn’t shut down on every front.
Offense and Defense kept up the onslaught
The offense kept it coming and used ROJO almost exclusively as Barber watched from the sidelines in the second half. Winston kept throwing the ball. One was a 67-yard long ball, Winston’s longest to Evans, for a touchdown that Evans hammed up before crossing the goal line. He also slung a 13-yarder to Cam Brate. Long story short, yes, the Bucs Coaching Staff did learn something in the collapse last week and made the right decisions this week. The players responded and played up to their abilities, delivering the highest-scoring offensive game (55 pts) in team history. Godwin has officially arrived having the best game of his career, catching more passes (12 for 172 yds, both personal bests) than any Bucs receiver since Keyshawn Johnson in 2001. Special mention to the Offensive Line for playing arguably their best game together, ever!! They dominated the Red Zone, and gave better than average protection all day without a penalty!!!!! That’s right, no penalties!!
Wrapping it up
Going forward, I’ll again give you one of my philosophies: To become a special team, you must beat the teams you are supposed to beat, if not, the big wins over tough teams are reduced to flukes and big-time luck. Their importance and significance stripped away, their memories fading quickly into the fog of another losing season. The Saints game is one we should win, let’s see if we can’t keep the Rams win memorable. Go Bucs!!