To describe the previous week as interesting would be an understatement. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers left Atlanta, GA, with a division win without breaking a sweat, while three players were suspended for “breaking NFL covid protocols”.
One crucial part of the secondary rotation, one of the best wideouts in his generation, and a dude who is more famous for this and Last Chance U than anything he has done in a Bucs jersey.
But first, let’s recap the Week 13 victory over the division-rival Falcons.
From start to finish, the Buccaneers offense was dominant, and despite what some statistics might suggest, the defensive unit was pretty dominant too.
Outside of a single play, this was a blowout. Tom Brady threw his 17th career pick-six against Atlanta, which admittedly was a great play, to give the final score some semblance of respect. Take away the takeaway, and the Falcons stopped contributing to this game after their first drive of the 2nd quarter. The best analogy I can think of is one of a big brother, holding little brother at bay with an outstretched hand to the forehead, while maniacally laughing at little brother putting all their effort into swinging at empty air.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did what they wanted when they wanted. Atlanta fans can tell themselves that they only lost by 13 points, and “they were in the game”.
With the season progressing to Week 14, one of the Saints, Falcons, or Panthers would need to run the table to pry the NFC South away from the Bucs. The fact that the final 5 games will heavily feature division matchups means this is only a mathematical possibility.
You heard it here first. The Buccaneers are NFC South Champions for the first time since 2007 and break a streak of 3 titles in a row for New Orleans.
Soooooo, the fake vaccine card thing?
It’s a complicated issue. When you look at the rogue’s gallery of disgraced NFL players, the actions of Mike Edwards, John Franklin III, and Antonio Brown are pretty insignificant. By all accounts, it was stupidity rather than malice.
What cannot be understated is the breach of trust. These players have not only let themselves down, but they have also let their teammates down, and they have let the organization down. Once the trust is broken, it’s like a vase. Sure, you can force it back together, but the cracks will always be there.
I’m not going to be surprised if all three players are jettisoned at the end of their respective suspensions. And they only have themselves to blame. But hey, that’s just my two doubloons.