These are the kind of games that are a gut check for you as a fan. When you're sitting there watching the team that you love just get eviscerated at home it's okay to question why you keep doing this to yourself. All I can tell you true believer is that these hard, terrible times will make the good times that will come all the more sweeter.
I know things seem bad right now. It seems as if it will never get better but it will. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But one day this team will be something we can all be proud of.
But not today. Today we have to dissect one of the most humilating home defeats in franchise history (and if you've been following this franchise since the early 80's as I have, that's saying a lot).
What did we learn about our bumbling band of Buccaroonies - if anything?
1. Last week, you guys lashed out a bit at me for saying the Bucs were a bad football team. You said I was being too negative, that they were getting better and coming together. There was talent there. Welp, the Defense rests. (and the pastel footwipes from the tropics' defense apparently decided to rest the entire ball game).
2. The Bucs managed to do something no team in NFL history had ever done. No team had ever had a 38 point deficit at half-time on their home field. None. Zip. Nada. In the 94 years of the league, no one had ever been this bad at home. Nope, not even the winless expansion Bucs.
3.Another thing the Expansion Bucs didn't do? Tampa Bay has never trailed by 28 points at the end of the first quarter in franchise history. Think back, old time Buc fans of all those hopeless teams of Leeman Bennett and Ray Perkins. Back to the days when Trent Dilfer was tossing pick-six's like they were Halloween candies. To McKay telling reporters he was in favor the offense's execution. 39 years of Buccaneer football, most of it horrifyingly bad. It's never been this bad. Wow. Let that sink in for a second.
4. Lovie was asked if the Bucs were going to change their scheme over the bye week. His response?
"Absolutely not. I’ll stop you right there. Absolutely not. We’re not changing our scheme. I’ve been doing this scheme every year I’ve been in the league. I believe in it. We’re not coaching it and we’re not playing it as well as we need to. Zero chance we change our scheme."
I've been one who has agreed with Lovie. It's not the scheme, its the players ability to learn it. How quickly can they acclimate into this difficult scheme to run? Apparently not very quickly. I know the scheme is something Lovie believes in and as we've said many times, it took a defense with two hall of famers half a season before they had it figured out.
But folks. You'd think you'd begin to see signs of it getting better. You'd think that there would be some light at the end of the tunnel. A good quarter or half or hell, one decent defensive game that makes you go, okay, I think they're starting to get it. They're not. They're clueless out there and it's unacceptable.
None of Raheem's defenses, with a significantly less talent pool, were this bad. Schiano started EJ Biggers, Leonard Johnson and Lequan somebody...and they weren't this bad.
165 points surrendered in a four game stretch is the worst in Tampa Bay history. The WORST. A good coach adapts his scheme to his personnel. They don't try to stick a square peg into a round hole. If a good coach has a difficult scheme to teach, they simplify it. Make it easier for the players to digest.
Whatever is happening, it's not working. A defense with Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Alterraun Verner shouldn't look like this week in and week out. Dashon Goldson was a Pro Bowl player in San Francisco. Mark Barron was a first round pick. Clinton McDonald was a Super Bowl champion in Seattle. Michael Johnson was the highest rated defensive end in the free agent class and played for a perrenial playoff team.
It shouldn't be this bad. Something must change or Lovie's stubborness will get him the Chudzinski treatment: one-and-done.
5. The defense's troubles are deorderant for how bad the offense played yesterday as well. Yes, the Bucs put 17 points on the board, Glennon threw for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns and 83 QB rating. But anyone who watched that game knows the Ravens had stopped caring at that point. They knew this ball game was won by the end of the first quarter and they pretty much put it on cruise control the rest of the way. With 7:18 left in the first half, the Ravens owned a 38-0 lead and had outgained Tampa Bay 313-25 in total yardage.
The offensive line was downright offensive. I felt for Glennon as the Girraffe was under seige for the entire game. It's a testament to his toughness he survived the game. Sacked 5 times, hit 15 times. Pressured all day. The Ravens didn't even care about the Bucs running game (which they stuffed on the way to abusing Glennon).
Anthony Collins was brought in to replace an aging Donald Penn. Collins was horrible, just horrible. Demar Dotson, the steadiest of the Bucs offensive linemen, was terrible as well, making Elvis Dumervil look like Lawrence Taylor. Logan Mankins ole'd more times than a matador.
Victory starts upfront and frankly the Ravens owned both lines of scrimmage.
6. Glennon is still half a quarterback. Last season, Mike Glennon would begin games on fire. He had 102.7 QB rating, completed 65% of his passes for 1554 yds, 15 touchdowns and just 2 ints. In the second half of games in 2013, he was abysmal, completing only 53.4% of his passes with 6 touchdowns, 7 ints and a 63.7 QB rating.
This season, it's flipped. In the first half of games, Glennon is only completing 46.4% of his passes, averaging 5.3 yds a pass, with 2 TDs and 2 Ints and a 60.0 QB Rating. In the second half, he's completing 64% of his passes, averaging 8 yds a pass with 5 TDs and 1 int. His QB rating is 103.2.
If the kid ever figures out how to put together two good halves of football he might be dangerous.
7. It was the least of the Bucs concerns on Sunday but one that can be quickly rectified. Michael Koenen needs to be on the unemployment line during this bye week. A free agent punter can come in and average a league worst 41.4 yards a punt. Hell, let Patrick Murray handle punting duties. He can't be much worse and he did both at Fordham.
8. I expected the Bucs offense to be a work in progress (it always is). The defense though...Lovie's defense. Tony Dungy and Monte's defense. The Defense that made them change the name to TAMPA TWO. With two players ready made for this defense in McCoy and David. I am stunned at its collapse. This team ranked 17th in Schiano's defense. They are dead last in the NFL this year. Setting records in futility. I did not expect that. I don't think Lovie did, either. I think he thought he had all the parts here ready to make it work. That's why they spent the entire 2014 draft on offense.
How many times did we say, "The defense will be just find - top ten even - it's the offense we're worried about."?
The defense is worse than the offense. That's something that just shocks me.
9. I think we learned the bye week is favored by 10 points over the Bucs. I know, an old bad joke - just like this team. I'd hate to be a Glazer today (check that, I'd LOVE to be a Glazer today, crying into my martini while on a yacht in the Mediterranean). Anyway, look at the money they've spent on this football team. The gobs of dollars that went to Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins, Dashon Goldson, Revis and so many others. I think the boys desperately want to win, to rebuild this fanbase. I just think they don't know how. They hoped Lovie would come in, stablize a horrible situation and give some credibility to the organization. They hoped to recapture the old days, some of that Dungy magic when everyone loved the Buccaneers. They thought with the money they spent, the talent that was already on the roster that Lovie could come in, make some tweaks and oui la, instant relevancy.
Lovie made changes, alright. Over 100 transactions since arriving. Make no mistake, this is his football team.
"1-5 says we’re not a good football team, and we’re not a good football team," he told reporters in his post game.
No, you're not. The coaching isn't so hot, either. As the immortal Emmitt Smith would say, "You got BLOWED out." Again.
10. I'll just leave this right here.
Have a great bye week, Bucs fans.