Ah, my Bucs seeming to always letting me down lately, a winning season one year with signs of a bright future then a terrible season sending Bucs fans into a red rage. The Bucs look like true "Paper Champions" this season with all the pieces seeming to be in place. Last season it seemed like it was easy to push all the blame to our inconsistent quarterback Josh Freeman, But was it all his fault as everyone makes it out to be? Lets take a look at the numbers deeper to see.
Obviously Freeman was inconsistent lets get that out of the way with, certain games such as the Cowboys, Eagles, Saints and Rams games could easily be blamed on Freeman having mixed results and just failing to score. Those are three games only though, what about the six other losses whose fault were those? Freeman? I don't think so.
Games like the Giants, The First Saints Game, the Redskins, and maybe even the Eagles again, were not Freeman's fault. The general public loves to blame the quarterback, its a love hate position, with the most ups and downs of any position. Josh set us up to win each of those games I just listed. First the Giants, I remember this game well, going into the fourth quarter up 27-16 and easily fending off the Giants our defense showed its true colors allowing Eli Manning to storm back and score twenty-five points and win the game. How was this Freeman's fault? He performed well leading the team to thirty-four points, but the defense couldn't stop the Giants plain and simple. The Saints game. Sure you can blame it on Free, for not making that game winning drive. (not his fault). But he had Tampa with the Saints until our defense fell apart allowing twenty-one points in the second quarter along making a Freeman comeback necessary. Eventually not being able to hold off the Saints any longer the Saints won. The 'Skins? Same deal. Freeman put us into position to win, eventually the 'Skins drove down field an won on a game winning field goal, same as the Eagles scoring a game winning touchdown on our defense. Last time i checked Freeman doesn't play defense. That's four losses on the defense.
What does all this rambling have to do with this season? Let me tell you. Taking into account all the games our defense lost us we could have gone 11-5. This season that may be possible. With a revamped secondary, and the same offense Tampa could out do expectations. Now thinking this way I know our defense isn't perfect, but they will hold off more offenses than last season, allowing Free to win us games. With a year of experience under Schiano and our completely new offense the Bucs should play even better. Putting Tampa into a dark-horse contender status. No one has Tampa better than 9-7 and that is good. A true underdog could come out of no where to take the NFC South. Maybe it is the Bucs season. All these signs say maybe. You tell me.