Let it be said on a fall Sunday in late November of 2016 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced to the rest of the National Football League that they were no longer Pewter clad pushovers of the past, that Raymond James Stadium would no longer be a vacation spot and yes, Virginia, there is a Buccaneer playoff contender in Tampa Bay.
Yes folks, the Bucs domination of one of the NFC’s elite certainly sent shockwaves around the NFL landscape.
What I Got Right
The Bucs defense was every bit as dominant as I believed it was watching it live at the new Raymond James Stadium experience. The Seahawks offense simply consisted of Russell Wilson scramble to the left, Russell Wilson scramble to the right. That was it, because not a single other thing was working on Sunday.
Wilson couldn’t pass without fire-breathing Buccaneers chasing him down. They couldn’t run the ball with Rawls. It was rather shocking, honestly. The Seahawks were two weeks removed from dropping 31 on the Patriots in Foxboro. During their three game win streak, they were averaging 28 points a game.
And the Bucs, for lack of a better term, opened up a Warren Sapp special sized can of whupass on them. The Seahawks never entered the Bucs’ red zone. They sacked them six times, forced three turnovers out of a team that had turned it over just 6 times in their previous 10 games.
What I got Wrong
I wasn’t very complimentary of the offense, which put 14 points on the board in the first quarter and then threw three straight goose eggs on the board. What I didn’t realize was how complimentary the Bucs offense was playing. Rarely did they go three and out (it only happened twice in the game) and the Bucs absolutely dominated time of possession. They may have blown a few golden opportunities to salt this game away but they certainly weren’t getting their backsides handed to them like Seattle’s offense was.
I also neglected to point out how crucial the special teams play was in this game. Punter Bryan Anger was in Pro Bowl form, forcing the Seahawks to start inside their ten yard line three times in the second half. There was no way this defense was going to let Seattle go 90 yards on them.
Kenny Albert and Darryl “Moose” Johnston were back again with the Bucs taking on another elite opponent. It was downright obvious that Tampa Bay had impressed Johnston the previous week, he had nothing but glowing praise for the Bucs throughout the ballgame. He rightly pointed out that you couldn’t allow a team like Seattle to hang around and the Bucs were killing themselves, wasting opportunities to put the ballgame away.
Johnston went out of his way to say Kansas City was no fluke and as the final minutes ticked off, he said it again, “This is no fluke, folks. Seattle didn’t just lose this game. Tampa Bay dominated it.”
What the Buc Moment of the Game
With the Seahawks mounting one of their few drives of the game, the Buccaneers’ Lavonte David saved the day, forcing a fumble and returning it 53 yards to the Seattle 25.
Check it out here –
Were The Bucs as Good as They Look?
For the second straight week, the defense sure was. The offense did play keep away, which certainly helped things but the Bucs defense put on an old school show that brought us back to the glory years of Bucs football when Mr. Derrick Brooks roamed from sideline to sideline.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans get fired up about defensive football and you heard it in the crowd at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. When the defense is kicking an opponent’s backside, the Bucs fans lose their minds.
Around the Dirty South
Atlanta retained first place by shellacking the fading Cardinals. Saints coach Sean Payton got some big time payback on Rams (and former Saints Defensive coordinator and bountygate instigator) Greg Williams and the Panthers found out how the Bucs felt last month, blowing a lead to the Oakland Raiders.
Tampa Bay now has to guard against the trap game themselves as they head out west to play a pesky San Diego Chargers team. The Chargers are under .500 but have been playing well recently. Their offense can score on just about anybody, which means Jameis and the boys will need to shake out of their funk and put some points on the board.
Photo courtesy of Cliff Welch / Pewter Report