Obviously, after the defeat to the Patriots today, there is a lot of chatter about change with the team. Should the Bucs start Glennon next week or after the bye? Should we be looking to replace Schiano? Is Dom on the hot seat? Basically, should we throw in the towel and make the changes now, so we can move forward and start working towards next year.
While I do understand the thought process and the negativity of being 0-3, there are a few things to consider before we go down that path. First off, we should be looking at the records of NFC teams and see just how "out of it" we are. Let's start with the winning teams.
Yep, that's it. 5 teams above .500. What does that tell us? Well, that means that 11 teams in the NFC are 1-2 or 0-3. That means the Bucs are actually only 1 game out of the playoff picture at this point. I know the odds of making the playoffs when starting 0-3 are astronomical, but this isn't exactly a typical year when the entire conference isn't faring well. All I heard before the season was how tough the NFC was, how we'd need a 10-6 or 11-5 record to just make the playoffs in the tough NFC. Yet, only 5 teams have winning records, which means the AFC is actually dominating the NFC to this point.
The next thing to look at (because it will be necessary for playoff tie-breakers) is record against NFC opponents. Well, the Bucs have lost one game to the Saints so we're 0-1. But it's not like the rest of the NFC teams that are sub-500 are beating NFC teams either. The 1-2 Falcons are 1-1 in the NFC. The Super Bowl 49ers are 1-1 in the NFC. The mighty Packers are 1-1 in the NFC. Almost all of them... the Vikes, Skins, Giants, Rams all have NFC losses. So we're not really out of the tie-break battle either. With a game against the Cardinals next week, a win and we're right into the thick of things in both record and tie-breaks.
So, the question becomes do we make a change now in hopes of winning a few games and getting back into it? Or is the best scenario to stand pat and sink or swim with the guys we have? I know it's easy to get frustrated at two close losses and a blowout, but all 3 teams we've played so far have winning records. We've been close in two of those (I've heard we were essentially 6 yards from being 2-0). I also know it's much easier if the team is winning "definitively", because then there is no second-guessing. I'm not big on "what-if's", so I'm not gonna go into the "what if" we won those first two.... we didn't. But where we are now is still not as far as some people want to make it seem from where we want to be.
So, what do you think? Do we ride it out with Schiano and/or Freeman? Do we make the change now, for better or worse? Do we "Tank for Teddy"? I'm not so willing to throw in the towel just yet, I think we can still win games. Are there things we need to improve? Sure, but I'd rather see the team working to improve those things than to completely shift to something new and hope they can start off on fire. We can improve the offense, we can improve the defense, and the coaching/play-call can definitely improve as well. But a win next week, and a bye week to work on improvement could send us into the latter part of the season in a better position to make a run.