That was horrific. No excuses, no justifications. Absolutely, unequivocally pathetic. The NFL’s number one offense was completely shut down while the 31st ranked defense made Mitchell Trubisky have the best game of his career - past or future. No way Trubisky ever plays this well again. Ever.
After starting 2-0 the Bucs have lost their last two by a combined score of 78-37. At the end of the day, it’s inexcusable. It’s indefensible. It’s sickening.
Let’s pick six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Mike Smith Has To Go - Some may view this as an overreaction, but look at the track record. One of the NFL’s worst defenses under Smith in 2017 and so far through 2018, there is no justification in keeping Smith around. Even if promoting Brentson Buckner in an interim role proves that he isn’t the guy, the defense can’t possibly get any worse under his leadership. This defense has far too much talent on it to play this poorly - and when you allow Trubisky to throw six touchdown passes in one game after he had nine in his career thus far, it’s time to go. Koetter has to know this, but may be protecting his bestie by deflecting blame away with his oh so clever postgame quote; “We should fire every person that was on that field today, starting with me. That was horrific.” I understand the Buccaneers are missing Vernon Hargreaves, Chris Conte, Jordan Whitehead, they lost Carlton Davis during the game. The secondary is young, yes. But that performance was bush league. The last time the Bucs fired a coordinator in season was 2009 when OC Jeff Jagodzinski was fired following the preseason leading to Greg Olson’s promotion and DC Jim Bates was fired in November, allowing then head coach Raheem Morris to take over play calling. Time for it to happen again. Absolutely indefensible.
2.) Jason Pierre-Paul Is So Good - No one seemed to be talking about it, but for a brief moment JPP was tied with Khalil Mack for the NFL lead in sacks. He has been an absolute force on the defensive line and in the locker room. He said he took this loss personally and we saw him getting on the rest of the defense’s butts on the sidelines. Just have to hope he doesn’t lose that fire. The Bucs need it.
3.) Encouraging Signs From Ronald Jones - RoJo got a lot of second half work and the signs are positive. It looked like there were some opportunities where he was just a fraction of a second away from breaking off a big play. He finished with ten carries for 29 yards, but only took one hit for a loss where Ali Marpet was beat badly off the snap. It had to be a confidence building afternoon for Jones and his future role with the team. Gotta work on that pass catching, though...
4.) Winston Looked Rusty, But Solid - Some of the timing was off and he looked indecisive at times, but overall Jameis Winston looked pretty good given the circumstances. He did throw two interceptions, but on the first one his arm was hit by Mack, leaving the pass fluttering and easy pickings. On the second, he appeared to just leave it short on a poor pass. Winston had a lot more time in the pocket than Fitzpatrick did, but the Bears were dropping seven into coverage leaving little to no open passing windows. It was the right move to get Winston some live game reps as he will need that under his belt before taking the snaps in Atlanta following the bye.
5.) Bye Week Comes At Perfect Time - A lot of people hate the early bye, but for the Bucs this is the perfect time. Start off on fire just to crumble the last two weeks, the Bucs need this week to regroup before taking on division rival Atlanta. Whatever that regrouping consists of - defensive changes/adjustments, practice for Winston to get that timing down again, whatever. This could spiral out of control as we’ve seen in years past if they don’t reevaluate and make the necessary changes.
6.) Get Healthy - Missing Beau Allen and Jordan Whitehead hurt. Losing O.J. Howard and Carlton Davis in the game didn’t help. Bucs need to get healthy so they can get back to form. The defensive line and secondary injury bug is making things far more difficult for this team to compete. Can’t keep losing key pieces and expect to win games.
Six Numbers To Consider
19 - Number of times the Bucs have given up 400+ yards under Mike Smith; 4-15 in those games
12 - Teams since the merger to give up 139+ points in the first four games. None of the other eleven made the postseason
40 - Percentage of Mitchell Trubisky’s career touchdowns thrown on Sunday vs. Bucs
69 - Years since a Bears’ QB had six touchdown passes in a game
80 - Winston’s completion percentage
3 - Weeks until the Bucs play at home
Six Ways To Get Through The Bye Week
1.) Enjoy a family outing on Sunday without the stresses of watching Mike Smith’s defense
2.) MLB PLAYOFFS!!
3.) Enjoy the start of the NHL season
4.) Read the thank you letter from your liver that you aren’t subjecting yourself to something that made you want/need to drink. Heavily.
5.) Take a deep breath and realize that the first two weeks of the season is far more indicative of this team’s talent than the last two weeks. It’s gonna be okay.
Six Song Monday Playlist
Here are the six songs to fully encapsulate the 48-10 loss
1.) “Sunday Bloody Sunday” - U2 (Pretty self explanatory)
2.) “Return Of The Mack” - Mark Morrison (Marking the return of Jameis Winston)
3.) “Party Up” - DMX (Ya’ll gon’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here...)
4.) “Numb” - Linkin Park (How most Bucs fans feel about Mike Smith’s defense...)
5.) “Three Little Birds” - Bob Marley (‘Cuz every little things gonna be alright)
6.) “Good Times, Bad Times” - Led Zepplin (No matter how I try I find my way to do the same old jam, Good times, bad times you know I had my share)
Six Super Bowl Bets
**Results from Sunday Night Football not complete at time of writing**
1.) Los Angeles Rams - Going undefeated. Change my mind.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs - Offense overcomes any and all defensive shortcomings
3.) Jacksonville Jaguars - Dominant defenses win championships
4.) New England Patriots - That lull wasn’t going to last forever. Sony Michel is the truth
5.) New Orleans Saints - Week one loss, since then have found a way to get it done
16.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Have to get the defensive side of the ball figured out. NOW.