Looking back on the Bucs’ win over the Cardinals

by Gary Shelton on December 27, 2022

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Let's face it. For most of the game (and month), Tom Brady has been brutal. But the dozens of posts on a fan website who called for him to get benched in favor of Kyle Trask, who has never thrown an NFL pass, or Blaine Gabbert, who has thrown too many, should never be allowed to watch another game. What other elite quarterback in the league is benched, people?

2. The problem isn't that the Bucs run the ball on first down. The problem is that they run it poorly on first down.

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3. So does this mean Trace McSorley is banned from the Island of Misfit Quarterbacks who have beaten the Bucs?

4. The Bucs have now won more games (four) with a fourth-quarter comeback than without one (three).

5. I'm not asking if he should have or not, but did Todd Bowles save his job Sunday night? It's going to be hard to fire a coach with four years to go on his contract.


(From Todd Bowles' Day-After Press Conference)

(On what the message to the team is heading into this week’s must-win game against Carolina): “We know the importance of the game – that doesn’t need to be harped on. It’s really about detailing our work, detailing ourselves and making sure we go into Sunday with no stone unturned mentally and make sure they get as physically well as they can to be ready to play the Panthers.”

(On if there was any thought on attempting a play-action pass when the offense was stuffed on three straight carries): “There was a thought, but you’d like to think you can get one yard. You don’t really need the play-action all the time to get a yard. There were two third-and-twos we went for by a pass and did not get as well. Then, we didn’t get a fourth-and-one on the play before, but we’ve got to be able to get one yard. We’re letting one guy go here and there on the stunt and they’re catching us in the backfield. We’ve got to be better than that.”

(On how much interaction he has with Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich on gamedays): “Byron calls the plays. If I see something and we have to talk about something, I’ll talk about it, but you don’t interrupt a guy that’s a play caller – you let him call plays. He has a job, everyone on this staff has a job to do and you let them do it. We have interactions on things and situations that we want to do and I’m on the offensive headset all the time when they’re play-calling, so the interaction between us on the sideline is fine. As far as seeing Rachaad [White] more, I think ‘Lenny’ (Leonard Fournette) was fine, riding with the hot-hand – but if we feel like he’s tired and we have to give him a blow or two, you put the other guy in just like if Rachaad is hot, you don’t put ‘Lenny’ in just as much, so it balances out, but we don’t get into how many plays one guy plays or the other guy plays or production. Who’s on the field is there and we go with that.”

(On the severity of Tristan Wirfs’ injury and if it’s concerning given how thin the tackle position is right now): “Hopefully Donovan [Smith] returns. Tristan [Wirfs] reaggravated [his previous ankle injury] towards the end of the game – I think somebody fell on the back of it. Again, we’ll get the reports later when he comes in and see how it is, but anytime you lose one, and then you have one out, and then you may lose another one, it’s concerning.”

(On how RB Leonard Fournette has adjusted to a two-back system and how he played last night): "Lenny is a true pro. He understood it, he knows Rachaad [White] is up and coming. He knows he has a lot to offer as well. It really doesn’t matter who starts for us between the two, it’s about who gets hot during the game and then who makes the plays. So, he’s a team player and we’re happy he is.”

Game Balls

Offense: I think Leonard Fournette has had an awful year, but expect for one series when he got no blocking, Fournette was solid Sunday night with 162 total yards.

Defense: He didn't have the most tackles, but Anthony Nelson had two of the game's biggest plays, including a sack-fumble of McSorley.

Special teams: Ryan Succop hit four field goals. Where else was your offense?


Quarterback: This season Tom Brady has made you do one thing he never dud before: He's made you notice his age. Grade: C.

Running back: Fournette was solid, but can someone make an inch when it counts? Grade: C+.

Offensive line: I think your neighbor Ned might start next week. Grade: F.

Receiver: The Bucs looked slow and out of Brady's reach. Grade: C-.

Special teams: Succop is here for accuracy more than range. Grade: A.

Power Rankings

  1. Kansas City

2. Philadelphia

3. San Francisco

4. Bufffalo

5. Dallas

16. Tampa Bay

Bottom Five

32. Houston

31. Denver

30. Chicago

29. Arizona

28. Indianapolis

NFL Statistics

Passing Yards Tom Brady 3

Rushing Yards Leonard Fournette 35

Receptions Chris Godwin 8

Tackles Devin White 21

Lavonte David 23

Field Goals Ryan Succop 5

Punting Jake Camarda 5

5 More Thoughts

  1. Food for thought: For his career, Brady has a 97.0 quarterback rating. The last three weeks, it's 77.08. Now compare that to the 86.9 that Jameis Winston had as a Buc.

2. Does it occur to anyone else that Kyle Rudolph is making $2 million this year?

3. I think USF may finish second in the NFC South.

4. When Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had his lone assist Sunday night, why didn't they call time out to give him the ball. He tied on the tackle chart with Cade Otton and Ko Kieft.

5. Maybe Trask could move to offensive tackle.

Title Bay

Bucs' division winners

2021 12-4

2007 9-7

2005 11-5

2002 12-4

``1999 11-5

1981 9-7

1979 10-6

-- Note: When the Bucs won their 2021 Super Bowl, they did not win their division.

All-Time Career Wins

Rank         Player                                                                Wins

1.              Tom Brady                                                         250

2.              Adam Vinatieri                                                    221

3.              George Blanda                                                    209

4.              Gary Anderson                                                    201

5.              Jerry Rice                                                           194

5 More Thoughts

1, If J.J. Watt spends any more time in the Tampa Bay backfield, he's going to need a running back's number.

2. The Bucs aren't exactly arguing that they should have had more Pro Bowlers, are they?

3. For those fans who scream they want a tough coach who demands excellence, which NFL coach is currently berating his players? Asking for a friend.

4. If your MVP is your placekicker, and your Rookie of the Year is your punter, it doesn't exactly scream excellence, does it?

5. Has Logan Hall mastered invisibility?

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