Bucs have a big day as they sit at home

by Gary Shelton on November 8, 2021

in general

Arians had a good day while idle./(Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)

Monday, 4 a.m.

Tom Brady didn't throw a touchdown pass on Sunday. Mike Evans didn't catch one.

Shaq Barrett didn't get a sack. Devin White didn't make a tackle.

Still, it was a pretty good day for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

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Sometimes, you can win without playing. Sometimes, you just sit back with the remote control and watch the hot teams cool off. Sometimes, you gain in the standings without trying.

The Green Bay Packers lost. The New Orleans Saints lost. The L.A, Rams lost. The Dallas Cowboys lost. It was one of the Buckiest days you can imagine. Sure, the Cardinals won, but you can't have everything.

Look, the Bucs have to play better in the second half of their season. They have to be tougher, and they have to be quicker. They have to put some pressure on the passer, and it would help if the secondary didn't always line up so deep on third-and-eight that you'd think they were fielding a punt. The Bucs have had a disturbing habit this year of losing focus in the middle of games and having to pull them out in the fourth quarter.

But Sunday helps.

Start with the Saints, who charged back from 18 points down against a shaky Atlanta football team. The Saints could have taken over the lead in the NFC South if they had won. But the Falcons gathered themselves and won on a late field goal, which suggests that maybe we were all a little hasty in proclaiming Sean Payton to be a Mensa candidate. But the Saints' secondary was vulnerable late. Remind you of another team?

Then there was Green Bay, which was in good shape for the top overall draft pick. Of course, that was before Aaron Rodgers turned into Pinochio. That left untested Jordan Love in charge, which was a little unfair. Rodgers is supposed to be back Saturday, although he might pout for a few weeks to come. Of course, Rodgers could always say that the Packers didn't really lose. He demands a recount.

Then there were the Rams, another team vying for the top seed. They lost to a tough Tennessee team. Too many penalties. The quarterback threw a pick six. Sound familiar?

And how about the Cowboys? Dallas' wonderful offense was ground to a halt by...Denver. Denver? But when the quarterback is out of rhythm, and the defense can't stop the run, hitting a speed bump can happen.

There are lessons here. First is that every team has bad days, such as the Bucs had in New Orleans. Second, penalties and turnovers will kill a team, Defense is still important.

But the main lesson is that the Bucs have to stop the losing. They need to play like a team with roster advantages. Maybe that happens now that it's November. Maybe it will happen since some injured players should heal.

In the meantime, the Bucs won the lottery Sunday.

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