Looking back on the Bucs’ win over Carolina

by Gary Shelton on December 28, 2021

in general

5 Thoughts

  1. Antonio Brown can catch it, but he doesn't get it. His post-game press conference where he jumped the media for "creating the drama" was the height of silliness. The media didn't sell him a fake vaccination card. Hey, I don't blame the Bucs for re-evaluating him, or keeping him. But a touch of reality would be welcome.

2. Bucs' fans sure can be silly. Tom Brady has won 22 regular season games in less than two seasons, but in the first quarter of Sunday's game, I saw a fan comment on a post that the Bucs should pull him in favor of Kyle Trask. Really?

3. No one appreciates small accomplishments, but it is the Bucs' first division title since 2007. Not only that but the Bucs have had back-to-back double-digit victory seasons only once before in their history, and only nine times in 46 seasons.

4. Is it just me, or are the Bucs' playoff chances up to the medical staff? There is more gauze than in a season of Grey's Anatomy.

5. If you're rating the Bucs you thought would be better this year, who wins between Ronald Jones, O.J. Howard, Scotty Miller or Tyler Johnson? Discuss.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On Shaq Barrett's knee injury): "He's got a sprained MCL/ACL. It's not severe but he's probably out for the rest of the regular season. Hopefully we'll have him back for the playoffs."

(On the Bucs' wide receivers): "It’s a good room, man. I've marveled at the guys we've had on our practice squad for the last couple years. Jaydon Mickens is playing really well in Jacksonville now and Cyril [Grayson] is one of the hardest working guys we've had. Each and every guy on our practice squad I think has got a chance to be a player someday. The receiver room is good. Hopefully we get Breshad [Perriman] back this week. I'm not sure about Mike [Evans] yet – we’ll wait and see on that one."

(On missed opportunities in the red zone): "Yeah, we dropped one. ‘Gronk’ (Rob Gronkowski) has got to catch that ball. The other one, they had good coverage on that one. There wasn't anything special, we just didn't convert. We didn't play very well in the red zone [and] inside the five."

(On if the Buccaneers will end up as a deeper team in the playoffs if they're injured players come back.): "I don't think there's any doubt. The same thing with our secondary – all those guys have played. Pierre [Desir] started a couple games, played a bunch, and he was inactive this week. So, as we get guys back, we've built some great depth through the injuries. Hopefully we'll get Mike [Evans] back and ‘BP’ (Breshad Perriman) back and see how the receiver corps builds back up. Hopefully, knock on wood, we don't lose anybody else."

(On what gave him the confidence that he could trust WR Cyril Grayson): "Just watching him practice every single day. Like I said, nobody works harder. He's putting on the other team's show. He does a hell of a job. I've got all the confidence in the world in him because I know he will block."

Game Balls

Offense: Controversies aside, Brown showed up as the last guy Brady can trust.

Defense: Jerome Whitehead tied for the lead in tackles. He also had an interception and a pass defensed.

Special teams: Nice, solid job by returner Kenjon Barner, who returned five punts for 44 yards.


Quarterback: Give Tom Brady credit for playing a clean game despite new weapons. Grade: B+.

Running backs: Ronald Jones averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, but he ran hard on his 20 attempts. Vaughn changed opinions with his 55-yarder. Grade: B+.

Offensive line: No sacks and five yards a carry. Grade: A.

Receivers: The Bucs need more players open. Grade: B+.

Defensive line: The Bucs had a total of seven sacks and controlled the Panthers' running game. Grade: B+.

Secondary: The opponent didn't score a touchdown for the second straight game.Grade: B.

Kicking: Succop was accurate.Grade: B+.

Unsung Hero: Tie between Cyril Grayson and defensive lineman William Gholston, who had 2 1/2 sacks.

Division Titles -- Bucs








Ranking the '22 Non-Conference Opponents

  1. Kansas City

2. Dallas

3. L.A. Rams

4. Arizona

5. Cincinnati

Ranking the Injuries

  1. Chris Godwin

2. Shaq Barrett

3. Mike Evans

4. Lavonte David

5. Leonard Fournette

6. Jason Pierre-Paul

7. Antonio Winfield

NFL Stats

Passing yards Tom Brady 1

Rushing yards Leonard Fournette 11

Receptions Chris Godwin 4

Tackles Devin White 12

Sacks Shaq Barrett 10

Most 100-Yard Receiving Days

(Since 2010)

1.              Julio Jones (TEN)                                                59

2.              Antonio Brown (TB)                                           46

3t.             DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)                                        37

3t.             Calvin Johnson (Retired)                                      37

5.              Brandon Marshall (Retired)                                   36

Most Wins, Bucs' Season

Regular Season Playoffs

2002 12 3

2020 11 4

1999 11 1

2021 11 --

2005 11 0

Bucs coaches' Wins

Regular Season Playoffs

Jon Gruden 57 3

Tony Dungy 55 2

John McKay 44 1

Bruce Arians 29 4

Sam Wyche 23 0

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