For me, this is the game that I have circled on my calendar. This is the Bucs game I am looking forward to most this season. No offence to our big time division rivalries that I love to watch, or any of our other formiddable opponents, but I don't think I've ever looked forward to a game like this in a while. I see it as a chance for our Bucs to claim redemption, as a chance to right the wrongs that have faulted the Bucs in this current era.
Just picture it, Week 15, the Bucs coming down the final stretch with two feet still in the races for the Wildcard and NFC South. This game will show if we've finally exorcised our demons. All those late season collapses, all that withering against strong opponents, it has to end here, we have to at least put up a fight if we wanna take the step up and join the men of the NFL.
I have already put so much meaning in my mind to this game because I feel we have a score to settle with the 49ers. Flashback to the painful 2011 season, and it was the 49ers that ripped us open, exposing our glaring weaknesses. After heading to Candlestick in 2010 and shutting out the 49ers 21-0, the entire Bucs team came up limp in this week 5 Matchup. That game was absolutely traumatizing. The 49ers dominated every facet of this game, winning 48-3. In my opinion, a win was not the only thing the 49ers took that Sunday. Heading into 2011, I had high expectations for the Bucs, coming off an exciting 2010 season, it seemed like this year was the year everything was going to click, and after knocking off the imcumbent division Champion Falcons 2 weeks prior and making a triumphant return to Monday Night Football just 6 days earlier, I thought this was going to be a stomp. It was early in the season, and frankly, no one could have seen yet the powerhouse the 49ers were going to become, evolving into the NFL's stingiest defense, with an efficient offense chugging along, eventually falling a Kyle Williams' fumble short of a Super Bowl appearance and then heading to one this year. If you ask me, that was supposed to be us, but the 49ers took that, and ran with it.
Fast forward two years and I've held some bitterness towards them since then, I absolutely hate Jim Harbaugh and I think Colin Kaepernick (despite his impressive playoff performances) is a tad overrate. This December 15th matchup, and this season on a whole is a chance for the Bucs to right their wrongs, to prove that we have evolved as a team, and have come a long way since then.
Anyone else share these sentiments? And what game are you looking forward to the most in 2013?