Is this a must-win for Tampa Bay? Losing is a part of life in the NFL.
Is this a must-win for Tampa Bay? Losing is a part of life in the NFL.in Die ignoranten Massen 14.11.2018 09:38
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There is no dodging it. No matter how much a team wins Lavonte David Jersey , there will always be a time where it gets beat by another team at some point. However, at some point during the season a team has to start winning or else they can kiss their chances at the postseason goodbye. That time is now for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.After winning their first two games in electric fashion, the Bucs have come crashing back down to earth after consecutive losses put them at 2-2.But it’s not the losses themselves, it’s how Tampa Bay lost those games that have left many wondering how the rest of this season will play out. Just like 2017, the defense was a sieve and the offense was very inconsistent. The same issues that plagued the team last year cropped up in a big way and if they don’t get them fixed then Tampa Bay may finish with an even worse record this year. This weekend represents a major opportunity for the Bucs to answer a lot of the questions that currently surround the franchise - at least for another week, anyway. Coming off a bye and facing a depleted 1-4 Falcons squad is just what this team needs after getting owned in Chicago. It’s a matchup of two teams that have major firepower on the offensive side of the ball but have non-existent defenses due to injuries and other factors. Tampa Bay also has a slight advantage considering both Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith oversaw Matt Ryan and Julio Jones earlier in their careers, but as our own James Yarcho recently pointed out, they still haven’t been able to stop either player. As the season wears on, the better teams are beginning to establish themselves. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they have to keep pace with both the Saints and Panthers - two teams that are currently above them in the division standings. NFC South standings after Week 5NFC South StandingsWinsLossesTie(s)Win %PFPASTRKNFC South StandingsWinsLossesTie(s)Win %PFPASTRKThe Saints showed against the Redskins that they are for real, making Tampa Bay’s victory over them in Week 1 even more important than it already was. It also makes one wonder how in the hell they beat them in the first place. What’s even more important is that despite the past two games, the Bucs still hold the second wildcard spot in the playoff race. Their conference record is key. At 2-1 with big wins over the Saints and Eagles, a victory over the Falcons would help pad that lead.A victory on Sunday would all but end the Falcons’ season as well. If a team has a chance to step on a divisional foe’s throat, it’s imperative they take full advantage of that opportunity. No one in the Bay area wants to see the Falcons hanging around at the end of the season. The Bucs will depend on Winston in a major way this weekendPhoto by Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesA loss could also drop the Bucs as many as four spots in the playoff race depending on what happens with the Packers, Vikings, Seahawks, and Eagles. You’re playing with fire if get in a playoff race with those four teams. There is one glimmer of hope should the Bucs lose this weekend. Their remaining schedule is one of the easiest in the league with a 27-29-1 record, while their NFC opponents hold an 18-24 mark. But this week doesn’t just represent potential future scenarios for Tampa Bay, it also represents the present. Can this coaching staff make the correct, needed adjustments after an entire week off? Can this team muster up a good effort after a terrible loss? Just how far have they really come since last season?History isn’t on the Bucs’ side, either. They’ve lost three straight to the Falcons and are 4-6 in Atlanta over the past ten meetings. To say this team is under pressure would be an accurate statement. How they respond to said pressure will be a big statement. But the biggest statement of all would be a win in Atlanta this weekend. It’s your move Authentic Chris Conte Jersey , Tampa Bay.Chasing the Booty: QB controversy, VHIII, and the bearded wonder Each and every Friday, managing editor Gil Arcia and deputy editor James Yarcho will discuss topics from the week pertaining to the Buccaneers and the rest of the NFL. Some things may have a positive spin while others may get under their skin.This column is broken up into different parts with brief takes: a hot button topic, a team headline, a wild card topic, and a point-counterpoint. We will also include the weekly Bucs Nation staff pick for Tampa Bay’s game.The Hot Button: A QB Controversy?James: Look, I get it. The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league. If the Buccaneers are 3-0, 2-1 after three weeks and Fitzpatrick keeps performing the way he did against New Orleans then he’s done a lot lately while Winston has done nothing.But there is no controversy.Winston isn’t going to lose this job due to his suspension. If the offense still fires on all cylinders with Fitz, imagine what they’d do with an even more talented quarterback. We’ve seen this play before at virtually every stop on the Ryan Fitzpatrick career tour. These types of games, these numbers, just aren’t sustainable for Fitzy. That’s why he’s not still in Buffalo...or Tennessee...or Houston...or New York. He has games like these, or he has stretches of success, then gets brought back down to earth. Winston on the other hand has already seen his fifth-year option picked up and will be looking for an extension after that. He’s a first overall pick. He’s the present and future of the Buccaneers. One win in New Orleans - or two out of three, which Fitz did last season as well - doesn’t change any of that.Gil: Many fans out there feel that the Bucs — if they go either 3-1 or 4-0 — into the bye should continue to sit Jameis Winston. Talk about pure and utter shenanigans. For starters, Winston is serving a three-game suspension. Not four. Second, Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the future of the franchise. And after one game, do you really think Fitzpatrick will ever play like that again? The offense was expected to be much better this year. With a reshuffled offensive line, a projected better running game, and an improved group of receivers, we saw the results of of all of that put together last weekend in the Superdome.Winston hasn’t had that yet here in Tampa Bay. You sit him Youth Adam Humphries Jersey , let’s say, for until the Bucs start losing, all you are doing is limiting his development. Despite the success from the veteran, this isn’t Fitzpatrick’s time. The team wants to sit him Week 4 before the bye week, that’s fine. But you don’t continue to bench him. If he struggles with the improved line play, running game, and receivers, then we can revisit this topic.Bucs Headliners: Season over for VHIII James: Man, this stinks. Say what you will about Vernon Hargreaves III, he was looking like a first round pick throughout training camp, preseason, and up until the moment he was hurt in week one. He was making plays, breaking up passes, creating turnovers, and being a bonafide leader on the defense. Losing him for the season hurt. Bad.Yeah, Bucs fans love to rip on him almost as much as they rip on Chris Conte, but it isn’t always warranted. Did it get frustrating seeing VHIII play with such massive cushions at times? Sure. But that doesn’t take away from the good plays he made or the confidence we had witnessed him with leading up to and including this past Sunday.Make no mistake about it, this VHIII injury hurts and is going to have its ripple effect throughout the season. In a young, inexperienced secondary, VHIII was a much needed piece to this team. And to all the people who love ripping him on social media - be careful what you wish for.Gil: I had high hopes for the young University of Florida standout this season. We heard of the changes they would be making on defense so that Hargreaves can adapt better at the pro level. Placing him in the nickel spot showed he would excel. And throughout training camp and preseason, we saw the positive results.Hargreaves was in the right spots last Sunday against the Saints. We noticed the improvement in his game. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees tried to pick on him late in the game as they were coming back http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ali-marpet-jersey , but the 23-year-old broke up a pass on the play he was injured. It’s an unfortunate situation for Hargreaves — who has just one season left on his rookie contract.Week 2 Wild Card: James’ touching thoughtsJames: Last week, we lost a Hollywood icon in Burt Reynolds. Reynolds, best known for his role as Bandit in “Smokey and the Bandit” as well as many other blockbuster hits - “Boogie Nights”, “Deliverance”, “The Longest Yard” (twice), “The Cannonball Run” just to name a few - was born in Michigan in 1936. Reynolds found his way to Florida State University where he was a standout running back before suffering a career ending injury.Enter the USFL.Reynolds would become a minority owner in the upstart league. That minority ownership just so happened to be in Tampa Bay for the Tampa Bay Bandits - no coincidence in the name. Although the team only lasted for three seasons, Reynolds would attend every game, watching from the sidelines. Basically, he was the trend setter for the move Jerry Jones has since made famous. The Bandits led the USFL in attendance during their brief tenure and Reynolds left his impact within the community. Beloved by many, Reynolds will forever have ties to the Florida State and Tampa Bay communities. His loss isn’t only felt through the world of red carpets and world premieres, but the world of pigskins and Gatorade showers. RIP, Burt. And thanks for everything.Point-Counterpoint: Was Fitzpatrick that good?Gil: So Ryan Fitzpatrick had a day. That was awesome to witness. His receivers and offensive line did him many favors. That’s not taking away from how well Fitzpatrick played. Because he played very well. But how good was he, really?Is it possible that the Saints defense was just that bad? Listen, these guys were projected to be one of the top defenses that’ll help propel New Orleans well into the post season. But the Buccaneers offense — via the playcalling of Todd Monken and the play of Fitzpatrick of course — that completely undressed New Orleans’ defense. So what if they were really that bad?This Sunday, when the Eagles come in to Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay needs to bring their A-game. Because if not, their linebackers and secondary will give the Bucs many more headaches than what the Saints were trying to give.James: The last thing I’m going to do is take anything away from ol’ Fitzmagic’s performance. He was simply outstanding. A career high in passing yards, five total touchdowns. He did everything in that game I had said in writing or on the podcast that he couldn’t do.But let’s take a deep breath, a step back, and look at this.Fitz is a backup in the NFL. He’s had his opportunities to start and it just hasn’t worked. That doesn’t make him a bad quarterback by any means. I think he could start for some of the teams in the NFL right now today. Buffalo, Arizona Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey , and Miami all come to mind when I think of starting quarterbacks that Fitz is better than. But that doesn’t mean he would succeed against the defenses.New Orleans, I still believe, is a top ten defense. However, they are notoriously slow starters. This is a team that has lost seven of their last eight season openers. How quickly everyone forgot about how the Saints were written off following an 0-2 start, only to miss the NFC Championship on a fluke play and come into 2018 as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.It’s just one week.All the credit in the world to Fitz for how he played, Koetter and Monken for the game plan, and Monken with an absolute gem of a game called - but there’s a lot more to this than just a backup quarterback dominating a Super Bowl contender. And this isn’t going to be forgotten any time soon by that Saints team.Week 2 Game PredictionsLatest line: - Eagles by 3, over/under: 44Gil (1-0): Bucs 27, Eagles23James (0-1):Eagles 34, Bucs 31Evan (1-0): Eagles 26, Bucs 20 Alex (0-1):Bucs 27, Eagles 24Jon (0-1): Eagles 27, Bucs 17Kyle (1-0): Bucs 27, Eagles 21David (1-0): Eagles 34, Bucs 31Bailey (1-0): Eagles 30, Bucs 24Dustin (0-1): Bucs 31, Eagles 21