The difference in this one was simple: the Dallas Cowboys won the turnover battle 2-0 and scored fourteen points off the turnovers. In the end, the Buccaneers lost by seven.
The math is so easy, you don’t even have to deal with common core nonsense.
It was the game of missed opportunities, mistakes, play clocks, and ineptitude.
In yet another maddening chapter to the Koetter saga, it appears this book is coming to an end. Let’s pick six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) No Excuse For The Delay Of Game Penalties. It’s not just on one guy. Yes, it is on Jameis Winston to be aware of the situation and if the play clock is winding down, call a timeout and avoid the penalty. However - and we see it across the NFL every single week by 31 other head coaches - if the quarterback doesn’t see that the clock is winding down, the head coach is the last line of defense. It’s on him to get that timeout called. But not Koetter. Oh no. You won’t see him sprint to an official and yell for time. In fact, he did the exact opposite on 4th-and-1 from the two yard line. In his post game presser, Koetter said; “I did think about a timeout and I saw the clock. We were gonna throw it anyway. I just didn’t know about using the timeout and sometimes being back further gives you more route options anyway, so. I also thought we were gonna get the ball snapped.” So let me get this straight - you opted to take a penalty to move you back five yards to give you more route options? How’d that work out? Oh yeah...Winston had no one open and he scrambled for five yards and two feet - a foot short of the line to gain. Great idea, Dirk.
2.) This Offensive Line Needs Mittens In Their Stocking. Enough with the damn penalties! The highest paid center in the NFL also leads that league in holding penalties. Benenoch is still awful - and a flag magnet. The only lineman worth a crap is Ali Marpet. Donovan Smith literally walked towards Winston after Randy Gregory beat him around the edge, sacking Winston and forcing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. It’s pathetic. Downright pathetic. I don’t know if there’s an offensive line coach out there that could teach these guys common sense or to block without getting penalized. Then again, I don’t think there’s anyone out there that could possibly be worse than George Warhop.
3.) Brent Grimes Is More Useless Than Warhop. This guy. We’re supposed to praise him and talk about how great and how smart he is (at least according to Miko) but he’s been the worst player on this defense all season long and it’s not even close. Grimes legitimately high-fived Zeke as Zeke got to the edge and turned up field for a thirteen yard gain. He gave Gallup a five yard cushion IN THE END ZONE, allowing a touchdown. I have seen some awful players come through this team, but Grimes’ play this season rivals Chris Baker for laziest, most inept, and easily the biggest “I’m only here for the paycheck” level of carelessness in recent memory. One more week until he’s gone.
4.) Please Re-sign Humphries. Adam Humphries was the Bucs top - and most consistent - receiver on Sunday. Time and time again he proves his worth and why he will be sought after in the open market. The Bucs have to find a way to keep him in town to team up with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin moving forward. If they don’t, the receiving corps will go from a strength to a weakness.
5.) Vita Vea Coming Into His Own. Vea had a big time sack on a key third down and was consistently generating pressure on Dak Prescott. He’s gotten better week by week, appearing to finally be caught up after missing the entire off-season and the beginning of the regular season. I’ve said it before - once Vea gets used to the NFL game, he can be a game wrecker. His strength and agility is a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen and we’re seeing the beginning of that. Really excited to see how he does with a full training camp and off-season under his belt headed into 2019.
6.) Fire Everybody. Nothing new here. Just tired of the stupidity and frustrations. Fire everyone. (Okay, not literally everyone...but you get the idea.)
Six Numbers To Consider
10 - Receptions by Adam Humphries, tying his career high for a single game
6 - Mike Evans’ all-time rank for receiving yards in a player’s first five seasons (5,983). He passed Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday (5,975 yards)
9 - Penalties by the Buccaneers on Sunday
12 - Consecutive road losses for Jameis Winston
9:35 - Time of a Buccaneers drive - their longest of the season - and it resulted in zero points
6 - Bucs current draft position
Power Ranking Christmas Movies
It’s Christmas Eve, so enough doom and gloom - let’s have some fun! In the spirit of Christmas, let’s dive in to some classics and see how they stack up. (Feel free to power rank your favorites in the comment section!)
6.) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) - Yes, this is the claymation one with Yukon Cornelius, Hermey the dentist, and the amazing Burl Ives. Say what you will about it being outdated or whatever, but before the world of DVR or on demand viewing, we used to set our schedule around the night this came on to CBS. Definitely an all timer.
5.) Home Alone (1990) - Another one that people will debate whether it was or wasn’t a Christmas movie (and no, “Die Hard” will not appear on this list) but this is for sure a Christmas movie. The entire premise is that the family leaves a child behind ON CHRISTMAS. Also, for a movie on the cusp of its 30th anniversary, it totally holds up. My kids have recently become introduced to it and find it hysterical. Kevin McCallister’s wise cracks and booby traps know no generation.
4.) The Santa Clause (1994) - Although the trilogy as a whole is great, this is by far the best. Scott Calvin finding himself becoming a character he didn’t believe existed and watching his son fight to make him believe is a must watch every year. Tim Allen was the perfect choice (despite the role being offered to Bill Murray and Chevy Chase first) and he is my favorite Santa Claus in any movie.
3.) Elf (2003) - Will Ferrell can be, well, a bit much. However, this has somehow become a “new classic” at Christmas time. Buddy the Elf is a funny character that honestly captures the innocence of a child who just doesn’t know any better. Heck, even my mom loves this movie and if she loves something that has Will Ferrell in it you know it’s good. Also, anything with James Caan is a heater.
2.) Scrooged (1988) - This is higher in my rankings than it will be on many others, but hey - it’s my column! Scrooged is my all time favorite. For as long back as I remember wrapping the gifts I was giving instead of my parents doing it, I would trap myself in the basement and throw this gem into the VCR (kids, ask your parents what that is). Easily my favorite rendition of “A Christmas Carol” and Bill Murray crushes it. And no, it doesn’t matter that I’ve seen it hundreds of times, I still bust out laughing every time the ghost of Christmas present hits ol’ Frank in the face with a toaster.
1.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) - Bet you thought I’d go with “A Christmas Story” didn’t you? Nope. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it didn’t make the cut. Chevy Chase encapsulates that guy that loves Christmas and everything about it, dreaming up the perfect celebration where both sides of the family come together. It never works out the way you plan though, huh? In fact, they all lose it to the point the in-laws try to leave. Not on Clark’s watch! Oh no! When Santa fits himself down that chimney, he was bound to find the jolliest bunch of —-holes this side of the nuthouse! (Where’s the Tylenol?)
Power Ranking Christmas Songs
Let’s keep the party going! (Again, ‘tis the season - and any more Buccaneers talk is bound to be negative at this point)
6.) Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis: This is my personal favorite rendition, but replace the singer with whoever you want. Sleigh Ride is a great song. I’m partial to this because, like most of our favorite things at Christmas time, this one goes back to my childhood. Riding with my mom in the mini van from store to store listening to Mathis’ Christmas album, this was my favorite song on the cassette (again kids, ask your parents what that is).
5.) You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft: A classic song from a classic cartoon. It doesn’t matter how many millions of times I’ve heard it, I still get the verses mixed up - but it doesn’t make me love it any less. And be honest - we all get a little Grinch-y at times this time of year.
4.) Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms: You can replace the artist, but the simple truth is this - Jingle Bell Rock is way better than Jingle Bells. It’s a fun little twist on an old favorite and it blows that old favorite out of the water.
3.) Carol Of The Bells - Trans-Siberian Orchestra: TSO crushes it no matter the song, but this is easily their most popular and for good reason. Everyone cranks up the volume the minute it comes on. And don’t even pretend you don’t become a steering wheel drummer when you listen in your car.
2.) It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Andy Williams: He’s not wrong. Christmas is the time of year where everyone is just a little nicer to everyone else. You smile at strangers, send them well wishes. You’re a little more courteous, more joyful. Something about the season brings out the best in everyone. It’s not the presents, the meals - it’s a feeling. A state of mind. That’s truly what makes this season the best.
1.) Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Yeah, yeah. Those that know me know Bruce is my guy. However, long before my dad told me he was taking me to Springsteen concert strictly because “I need to see him” and long before I was actually a fan of his, this was my favorite Christmas song. Not the song so much, but this version of the song. It rocks. Mighty Max on drums, Clarence Clemons with that incredible saxophone rift - it’s perfect. It’s not truly Christmas until I blow out one of my car speakers or my earbuds listening to this one.
Six Super Bowl Bets
As always, compiled before the completion of the Sunday night game
1.) Los Angeles Rams - Despite a tough few weeks, I still believe their talent will carry them through
2.) New Orleans Saints - Definitely the Rams’ biggest competition
3.) Kansas City Chiefs - Mahomes is awesome. Andy Reid, though...
4.) Los Angeles Chargers - Rough showing Saturday night, but they are still dangerous
5.) Indianapolis Colts - Call me crazy, but if this team gets in the playoffs they are doing to do damage.
28.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rebuilding on an Olympics schedule - every four years