Looking back on the Bucs’ loss to the Saints

by Gary Shelton on December 21, 2021

in general

Arians had a difficult night./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. I think the Saints have broken the Bucs' self-regard. Between a defeat that should embarrass everyone employed by the Tampa Bay Bucs and losing Chris Godwin, it suddenly feels like the Lovie Smith days are back.

2. Subway wants its advertising money back. Maybe that's what Tom Brady said to Dennis Allen.

3. I often find myself defending Byron Leftwich from his growing throng of critics. Hey, be honest. Fans have no idea what play is called, which ones the quarterback checks out of and what options are available to him. They have no idea if it's an Arians' call, a Leftwich call or a Brady call. But Leftwich has become a convenient target, which seems unfair. But not Sunday night.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

4. Antonio Brown looks a lot less insane when Godwin and Mike Evans are limping.

5. If Pee-Wee Herman quarterbacked the Saints, he'd beat the Bucs.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On the loss of Chris Godwin, who is out for the year): “You feel bad for him because he was having such a great year, and the type of hit it was. Totally legal, but I think that’s one of the things we’ve gotta look at in the offseason. We’re so concerned about hitting people in the head that we’re getting a lot of knee injuries now because of that type of tackle. But it is legal. It wasn’t a bad play at all. You just feel bad for Chris.”

(On the return of Antonio Brown): "The history has changed since that (one strike and he's gone) statement. A lot of things went on last year that I was proud of him. I made a decision that was best for our football team. I could give a shit what [critics] think. The only thing I care about is this football team and what’s best for us.”

(On how much Brown might play Sunday): “We’ll wait and see. Wednesday and Thursday’s practice we’ll see how much he can do. Hopefully we can get 30, 35 plays out of him.”

(On Ronald Jones ability to replace Leonard Fournette): “It’s his time now to do what happened for Leonard last year when (Jones) got hurt. I’ve got all the confidence in the world. He ran great, caught the ball good, and I think going forward it’s his job right now.”

(On the Saints defense): “It’s all 11. They’ve got 11 really good players, a great pass rush with four. They mix it up. Do a hell of a job disguising their coverage, as good as anyone in the league. Good corners and safeties. You’ve got to be on your game to move the ball and score on those guys."

Game Balls

Offense: Nobody.

Defense: Lavonte David had 11 tackles.

Special teams: Nobody.


Quarterback: It's finally happened. Tom Brady looked like a sixth-round draft choice. Grade: F-.

Offensive line: The Saints thrashed the Bucs all night. Grade: F-.

Receivers: Chris Godwin was on his way to a good game when he was hurt, but the backups looked like free agents. Grade: C.

Defensive line: Shaq Barreett had no tackles and no assists. Not enough pressure on Hill. Grade: C.

Linebackers: A lot of tackles. Grade: B.

Secondary: Lost during a couple of deep throws, but they did a nice job on Alvin Kamara. Grade: C.

Kicking: Yuck. Grade: F-.

Most Single-Season Reception (Bucs)

1.              Keyshawn Johnson (2001)                                   106

2.              Chris Godwin (2021)                                           98

3.              Mike Evans (2016)                                               96

4t.             Mark Carrier (1989)                                              86

4t.             Mike Evans (2018)                                               86

4t.             Chris Godwin (2019)                                            86

Most Disappointing

  1. Shaq Barrett -- shut out by replacement tackles.

2. Tom Brady -- Let the pass rush affect him.

3. Rob Gronkowski -- Just two catches on 11 targets.

4. Tristan Wirfs -- Normally a rock. This time, he was a pebble.

5 Ryan Succop -- He could have avoided a shutout.

5 More Thoughts

  1. If you're wondering where Bruce Arians draws the line, he'd play Butch. He wouldn't play Sundance.

2. One of the most disappointing things about Sunday night is that we thought that only Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were standing in the way of Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson becoming big-timers. That's evidently not the case.

3. The main difference between the Saints and the Bucs? Toughness.

4. There is nothing like a shutout to make you want to re-read birth certificates, is there?

5. Playing what's left of Cam Newton twice and Zach Wilson once should give a defense confidence. On the other hand, is anyone else nervous?

Previous post:

Next post: