Sometimes the truth hurts.
First and foremost, know that I felt this way last year, too, before the team turned it around and began their run. They could very easily do that again this season, as well. However, then, as well as now, I’m fully aware that we have the talent to do whatever we want to do, but it’s getting it done that could be the problem this season. Great teams don’t lose to bad teams very often. The loss to Chicago last season was more of a fluke than an indictment, but this loss to the Washington Football Team bears more weight, in my opinion. When the Bucs desperately needed a stop in the fourth quarter, they could not get one. Instead, they allowed the second-longest drive of the season by any team. Alarmingly, it was the front seven that bared most of the responsibility for that dagger in the heart. The defense that has made their reputation on stopping the run over the last few years could not stop the run last Sunday. The team that has been lacking in self-control with the penalties continued in those ways. The kicking game, which I have been quietly worried about all season, again missed an extra point that could have been crucial had the defense stood up at any point. It never even mattered at the end, but it should have. Field goals and extra points will continue to be a fingers-crossed-and-pray-to-Jesus affair; I promise you. Yes, I’m saying we’re back to having kicking problems. But not exactly like what we had with the previous 12 kickers. Succop is more consistent than those guys were by a lot. However, when you are missing extra points, there is still a problem.
Two losses in a row aren’t huge, but the timing is.
Two consecutive losses aren’t the end of the world. If you remember, we had one of those bumps in the road last season and won it all. However, this is a different situation altogether. Last season the two losses came to the Rams and Chiefs just before the bye week. They were close losses (3 points in each) to very good teams. But this season, those two losses are at the hands of one decent team and one bad team. Last season the team used the BYE WEEK to come together and come out hot. But this season, the first loss was before the BYE WEEK, and the second one, which was the worst of the two, happened following the BYE WEEK. The team obviously did not straighten anything out with the extra week off. Penalties are still a problem. They are mostly mental errors, and that does not bode well for our state of mind. As far as Brady telegraphing throws and using poor judgment, I’m sure he can correct himself of those. Although I saw no improvement between the game against the Saints and the one against the Washington Football Team, I’ll just have to cross my fingers and pray moving forward. Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T., so he should be afforded some type of leeway.
All is not lost by any means.
They can still accomplish their goals. The team just has to fight through their shortcomings more vigorously. I wonder if the team’s drive this season is as strong as it was last year? It’s understandable if it’s not. You would think that your drive for your first Super Bowl would be more intense than it would be for your second. We would all like to believe that it is even stronger than before. So far, it does not appear that way to me. Injuries always play a part in varying degrees to a season’s success or demise. Last season we were pretty lucky for the most part. The takeaways were able to be minimized by depth. But this season, the losses in the defensive backfield are more than evident — mixed reviews would be the fondest words you could use for them. One mistake that I believe is being made is that Ronald Jones II has not been utilized very much at any point this entire season. In last week’s game, he had not one carry or reception. If Jones drops a pass and he’s removed from the game. Jones fumbles a forced-out ball, and he’s removed from the game. If Fournette does the same thing, he’s back in there the very next play. However, last season both running backs were given games to shine in — (given the majority of the snaps). From there, the starter was decided. Jones had some problems early on, but he had problems last season as well and overcame them. Fournette is a good back, don’t get me wrong, but you take away the home run threat when it’s just him in the game. What team and NFL records does Fournette own? He’s been in the league for how long? What’s Lenny’s longest run? Our team is less lethal without Jones in there. I guess they are just making sure that Jones bolts next season. He was a wasted pick, in my opinion.
Maybe it took this to wake them up.
Who knows, this could be just what the doctor ordered. A heavy dose of “wake-up call” never hurt anyone. Washington was a two-win team when they strolled in overconfident. A team that had only beaten the Giants and the Falcons. It doesn’t matter how they looked playing against those teams — in the big picture they are a bad team. They aren’t going to the playoffs, not even close. Yet, they beat us up and down the field. Let’s all have faith in our team and our coaching staff that they will get the ship back on an even keel. The team may not be a contender at this frame in time this season, but that can change. Losing to a bad team doesn’t end the season, but it surely should help us save ours before it’s too late. The “wake-up call” is in. Will it be answered? Go Bucs!!