Now I don't know how many of you were able to watch the game in it's entirety yesterday. Hopefully you were able to tear yourself away sometime in the third quarter before it got too ugly. For the first time this season I turned the game off. I literally could not watch another second of that "contest".
Now, as I said going into the game, I didn't expect us to win, but after the previous two week's performances, I was expecting us to be competitive. After all, this is a Saints team that nearly lost to the Rams last week. Surely our beloved Buccaneers could make them work hard for a victory. Derailing New Orleans' undefeated season would be akin to the Super Bowl at this point in my mind.
This theory was even further ensconced in my head once I learned that the elusive Reggie Bush would be sitting this one out. As the game began I settled in with my wings, my beer, and my stromboli (yep, I was rolling like that yesterday) and I watched with enthused awe as the Bucs drove the ball 95 yards for the touchdown. The drive was surprising in that it featured more than two running plays. I was even further amazed when the ball hit Michael Clayton's hands and stayed there. Clearly, today was our day.
As we all know at this point, it only went downhill from there as the Saints proceeded to score 38 unanswered points on the beleaguered Bucs' D. We couldn't run, we couldn't pass (to our team at least). We never even got back within field goal range. It was complete domination, and it was embarassing. We couldn't stop the run, we couldn't stop the pass. Marques Colston looked like the pro bowler he is, but I was more than a little disappointed that we made journeyman Mike Bell look like Walter Payton in his heyday.
Now, I hate to be the guy that emanates pessimism, but in this case I feel an almost civic responsibility to be him. We are not good. We do not have "a lot to build upon" as many of the eternal optimists are saying. As Buc Wild pointed out last week, the perceived dominance of our offensive line is an illusion. Many say that we are talented and deep at the running back position, but our "three headed rushing attack" has only accumulated 749 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season. To put that in perspective Adrian Peterson (in an off year) has 999 yards and eleven TDs. The collection of cast-offs and late round draft picks that comprise our defense will most likely undergo a complete overhaul in the offseason, and if it doesn't, the people that are in positions of power need to be relieved of said responsibility.
The Saints are good, but are they that good? As I said above, St. Louis, which until yesterday I considered to be an inferior team to us, gave New Orleans a good run for their money last week. How bad are the 2009 Buccaneers? Can enough of these problems be fixed in the offseason to make us competitive again? Should I acclimate myself to the idea of my favorite football team being perennial cellar dwellars for the next few seasons. Am I expected to be patient as we slowly build this team from scratch? I don't know much, but I do know one thing..... This sucks.