Extensive injuries on the offensive side
With a schedule full of heavyweights, each week turns into a “must”; or, at this stage, really “needs to” win this game. It’s still early in the season, but with as many talented teams at every turn, there just isn’t a lot of room for forgiveness from losses that should have been won. Case in point, just this past Sunday. Even though the Bucs were decimated with injuries on the offensive line and receiver positions, the game was theirs to lose, and they did. There was a critical point in the Packers’ game when it almost got out of hand. Saving the day was Vita Vea dropping back and playing safety, forcing Aaron Jones to fumble short of the score that would have made it 21-3 Green Bay. Instead, Vea drops back into coverage and turns a Jones reception into a fumble recovery for Tampa. From that point forward, the Bucs’ Defense kept them within striking distance of a comeback that fell short in the end.
Falling is sometimes hard to stop once you get going good, so to speak
So the Bucs came into week 3 undefeated. They could possibly be coming out of week four at .500 and facing a Falcons team with a rejuvenated Marcus Mariota. Not to say that the Falcons should scare us, but when things get to going downhill, sometimes you slide further than what you thought you would. Figure into that equation that the Bucs usually lose at least one game that they have no business losing (see Washington Commanders 38-3 in 2021, and Chicago 20-19 in 2020), and you can easily see how the losses can pile up in a hurry. In other words, the Bucs should look at every game as a must-win situation for them. Taking care of business can lead to home-field advantage in the playoffs, and not enough can be said in favor of that end.
Chiefs and Bucs are in similar situations
You can bet the Chiefs are looking to get back to the win column after dropping one to Matt Ryan and the Colts. Whoever drops this game in Tampa on Sunday walks out at .500, having dropped their last two. Not a position after 4 that either team figured to find themselves in. Pat Mahomes and the rest will give us their best; the Bucs need to make sure they have their best ready to go on Sunday. This game marks the return of RoJo to Ray-Jay. So far, the ex-Bucs runner has not been able to break into the rotation and was almost let go at the 53-man roster cuts just a few weeks ago. Needless to say, my expectations for him in Kansas City aren’t happening. I don’t know whether he’s lost his drive or what gives with our former 2nd round pick. He’s got loads of talent when he finds that 2nd gear. It seems, as of late, Jones forgot where that gear is located and may not be far from the end of his NFL Career if he’s not careful. Here’s to the Bucs righting the ship Sunday; that’s worth drinking to. Go Bucs!!