Perhaps its just me. I think I'd rather see the Buccaneers lose games Raheem style than what we saw on Sunday. I mean, to have that swagger, that belief that the Bucs will finally notch win number one only to see them go down again.
Man, that's just hard to take. The Bucs didn't commit any turnovers. The offense put up 24 points. Glennon played well against one of the better defenses in the league. The defense was bending but not breaking. The Seahawks were turning the ball over and giving the Bucs every opportunity to win the game.
This was probably as good as the Bucs could play. Yet it still ended up in the loss column.
Here's some things we learned.
1. Even leading 21-0 isn't enough. This team has lost every way imaginable. Blowing that big of a lead is a first. If you can't win after leading 21-0 - how are you going to win? Oddly, I can't think of how the Bucs lost this game. Half-time adjustments? I guess so. The Bucs stuck with their gameplan on the ground and continued their bend but don't break defense. Golden Tate's huge punt return certainly hurt. The Seahawks just seemed to come to life at half-time. I don't think it was some huge adjustment from Pete Carroll and his staff - I think Seattle just started to realize that if they don't get their act together and start playing some football - this winless team was going to embarrass them in their own house.
Of course, the fact is the Bucs took another second half siesta. The gutsy, throw the kitchen sink-at-em offense we saw in the first half became a bit more conservative in the second half. Despite Glennon playing well, the Bucs were determined not to let him "blow it".
He didn't. But the Bucs still managed only a field goal in the second half. One more score could have done it. One more field goal drive or touchdown could have made it too far for the Seahawks to come back.
Yet the Bucs were content with sitting on the lead and allowing a defense that has blown four fourth quarter leads this season stand on its own.
2. I don't think Schiano gets fired today. Yes, blowing a 21-point illustrates that no matter the situation, the Buccaneers cannot win under this coaching staff. But I think Schiano changed a bit this week. He was looser at the press conferences and his team - who has played tightly wound all season - played loose and had fun until the fourth quarter when the weight of a potential victory put pressure on their backs. I think we need to see if this "New Schiano" is going to have a positive effect going forward or if it was just a one week diversion just to see if it would work.
At 0-8, firing Schiano now doesn't help. Let's see where this goes. Maybe along the way he and his staff will finally learn how to make in game adjustments.
I'm not saying the Bucs shouldn't fire Schiano and his staff. They should and they will. Just not now. Not yet. By having his team ready to play in a game they had no business being in, I think he deserves at least one more week.
3. How about Mike James? The kid never had a 100 yd rushing game at the University of Miami but comes in and does his best Marshawn Lynch impersonation. The Bucs had their own version of Beastmode running on Sunday and only fatigue slowed him down (it certainly wasn't the Seattle Seahawks). Facing eight and nine man fronts, James pounded out 158 yds on 28 carries. It gave the Bucs the balance they've lacked all season on offense.
Further, it gave the Buccaneers' offensive line some much needed confidence.
4. Speaking of the offensive line - one of the best performances of the season by the big uglies. They dominated an excellent Seattle front four for the majority of the ball game, opening lanes and giving Glennon plenty of time to throw. Seattle finished with 3 sacks but one was a missed assignment on a blitz, the other two were really coverage sacks. Against a top notch pass rushing defense like the Seahawks, that's pretty darn impressive.
If the Bucs offensive line can play well the rest of the way, the Bucs will have a chance to win a few games.
5. I'll admit it. For about a minute, Mike Glennon made me think the Bucs no longer need a quarterback. The rookie was terrific in the first half and if Tiquan Underwood's hands of stone could catch anything - the Bucs would have had 28 points on the board.
Glennon moved around the pocket well, delivered the football accurately and showed amazing poise for a rookie in that type of environment. Do the Buccaneers have their quarterback?
Well, Glennon had his opportunity to stake his claim on the final drive of regulation. He was moving the team but on 3rd and 7 at midfield he scrambled and for some inexplicable reason tried to cut toward the sideline instead of plowing forward for a first down. I don't know if he was thinking of trying to get out of bounds to conserve clock or what - but the first down was all that mattered at that point.
He was tackled in bounds and short of the line to gain. The Bucs punted and to overtime we went.
Glennon was given a second chance with the first series in overtime. Could he drive the Bucs down the field for the game winning touchdown or at least a leading FG? Three and out.
Now, its tough to put that on the shoulders of a rookie quarterback in the most hostile of environments in the NFL. But if you're going to be - THE GUY - these are your moments to shine.
Freeman made those moments count - that why he was here for five years. He lived off 2010 for at least two more seasons.
Glennon has potential - but he still hasn't swayed me into thinking he's better than Mariotta or Teddy Bridgewater at this point.
6. How exactly do you sack Russell Wilson? He's five-foot-nothing, so if you go to what you would believe is chest high, you're hitting him high. If you lower your strike zone, you're hitting his knees and get the flag for diving low at a QB. Add to that he's Speedy Gonzalez, zipping and zapping his way away from pressure. How do you sack him?
7. I haven't had an opportunity to review the tape of the game yet but was it not helmet-to-helmet on Glennon's last scramble? It sure looked like it to me. Mike Pereira apparently tweeted that they can hit high if the guy is a runner.
The hit on Glennon was perfectly legal -- he is a runner— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 4, 2013
Oh really? So you're telling me that LaVonte David can get a personal foul for a light shove on a QB on the sideline but there's no personal foul for a helmet shot if the QB is a runner?
Bullspit. Had his name been Manning or Brady - a yellow hanky would have flied and Dashon Goldson would beg to differ.
8. Containment. Containment. Containment. We talked about it all week and again the Bucs failed to get to their marks. if you're not a good containment team - why are we running these stupid stunts against mobile QBs that never seem to work?
Steve White was right. Bill Sheridan and Schiano are idiots when it comes to defense in the NFL. I include Schiano in there because I don't believe Sheridan does this alone. I once believed that - but we all know Schiano has is fingers in all the pies.
9. I have to say, its been awhile since I've been proud of the Bucs. Beating the living snot out of the Seahawks in the first half put the first smile on my face this season. Of course, that smiled turned into a frown as the Bucs returned to being the Yucks. Still, for that brief moment - the Bucs showed what could have been this season.
Sure, Seattle probably took this team lightly and the Bucs weren't seeing the Seahawks' best fastball. But Tampa Bay showed that it has enough talent to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the conference.
We're not that far away, folks.
10. Probably the best news of the day, the Bucs (for now) own the top pick in the NFL draft. Your move, Jacksonville.