Under new leadership: Bucs should beat Jets

by Gary Shelton on January 1, 2022

in general

Arians will miss Jets' game./(Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Considering all the fans offering free advice, how important is a coach during an NFL game?

Let's face it. Most of the heavy work is done during the week. The game plans, the meetings and the practices take up a majority of the week. Is a head coach vital then? You bet.

But if a coach's importance on game week is underrated, his presence on the sideline is overrated. He makes the rare play suggestion. He gets to throw the flag during a challenge. He decides when to call a time out, and if

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a team goes for it on fourth down. He gets to be witty in the post-game interviews. Except for that, he's the guy jawing at the official. Face it: most of the game-day work is done by the coordinators and the quarterback.

So how much will Bruce Arians' absence from the sideline affect the Tampa Bay Bucs as thy go against a weak New York Jets team Sunday?

Most of the time, the head coach of a successful football team is to be the voice of reason, the guy to steer emotions, to orchestrate the plan for victory. But with the Bucs, it's always been unclear whether Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich or quarterback Tom Brady are stirring the drink for the offense

Today, you can add interim coach Harold Goodwin to the mix.

Goodwin got a burst of good news this week when receiver Mike Evans returned to practice. Antonio Brown is limping, but at least Brady will have two of his primary receivers.

Defensively, the Bucs will be without Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. But the Bucs, who haven't give-up up a touchdown in their last two games, should be able to handle the Jets.

A caution, however. The Bucs have played down to competition at times this year.

If they can avoid that, the Bucs should win.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 30, New York 17.

In other NFL games:

Kansas City 27, Cincinnati 14.

Green Bay 34, Minnesota 20.

Dallas 29, Arizona 20.

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