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Yarcho’s Pick Six: Buccaneers Keep Hope Alive

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The Bucs string together two in a row. With the Colts up next, their playoff hopes aren’t gone yet

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is...different. For the first time this season we’re talking about the Buccaneers winning back-to-back games. With a dominant defensive performance in the first half and opening a 25 point lead by halftime, the Buccaneers did enough to leave Jacksonville with a 28-11 win and put themselves in second place in the NFC South.

The story of the day was not just the defense, but rookie Devin White having the best performance of his career thus far. More on that later.

Still some problems to clean up, but another overall solid performance from the Buccaneers as they now prepare to play their second AFC South team in a row with the Colts coming to town Sunday.

Let’s pick six.

Six Topics Suitable For Conversation

1.) Where has this Perriman been? Breshad Perriman decided to have himself a day, finishing as the team’s leading receiver. With five receptions on six targets for 87 yards. Jameis Winston made some really nice passes to Perriman who actually caught them this time around whereas in past games he’s been a liability. Though Mike Evans had a team high eleven targets, he finished with only four receptions for 53 yards. One of those targets was a deep ball that would’ve gone for a touchdown but Evans was interfered with. Another was ruled incomplete because after Evans made an incredible leaping catch, he couldn’t get his foot down thanks to A.J. Bouye’s leg being in the way. Not a bad game, just some unfortunate events led to Evans’ poor stats.

2.) Devin White is a stud and I want to see apologies from everyone that trashed the pick. THIS is why Devin White was the pick for the Bucs. This is why he was always going to be the pick for the Bucs. His impact is next level. White finished the game with a team high seven tackles as well as his first career interception, a fumble recovery, and his first career touchdown. Oh, he also had a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. This guy is an absolute monster and is going to be every bit as impactful as Lavonte David from now until the end of time. He was worth that top five pick. Without question.

3.) Byron, please, learn how to call a game with a lead. This started to be reminiscent of the Bucs’ loss to New York earlier in the season. Big halftime lead, slowly slipping away thanks in large part to the offense turtle-ing into their shell. How many times is Leftwich going to call two runs up the middle, a pass on third down, and then punt? It got so painfully predictable that it allowed the Jaguars to climb right back in it, at one point cutting the lead to 25-11 and having first and goal from the one yard line. The running game wasn’t working. Peyton Barber had some decent carries, but Ronald Jones was relegated to the bench after missing a blitz pickup. You have Chris Godwin and Mike Evans at your disposal, and Godwin’s running after making a catch is art. Pure art. Like, put a picture of him up in the Louvre art. Yet, they stuck with Peyton Barber. Don’t get me wrong, I like Barber, but you have to change it up a little. We’ve seen NFL teams make some impressive comebacks and once you lose that momentum, it’s hard to turn it on again. I don’t care if you’re up five or twenty-five, you don’t go into “run out the clock” mode midway through the third quarter.

4.) This Secondary. It’s really turning things around in recent weeks. The loss of Jamel Dean hurt as the Bucs turned to Ryan Smith - which is always a disaster - but Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting had great games once again. In fact, Murphy-Bunting may have saved the game as he came away with an interception in the end zone to thwart a Jaguars scoring chance and keep the fourteen point lead in the fourth quarter. Hopefully Dean returns soon because the young Bucs in the secondary are starting to gel, starting to trust one another and the result has been a good one.

5.) Jameis Winston did enough. Not a stellar performance by any means, but Winston did what he needed to do to get the win. The stat sheet will show mediocrity - 21/33 for 268 yards and no touchdowns - but Winston kept drives alive and didn’t make any boneheaded mistakes. He had one turnover which was a result of him evading one sack only to be hit from behind by an unblocked Andrew Wingard (looking at you, Donovan Smith). He made smart decisions, threw some pinpoint accurate passes, and kept the chains moving. Barber was the beneficiary with two rushing touchdowns, but Winston played the way he needs to for this team to succeed. No hero ball, just smart football.

6.) Playoffs aren’t out of the question, yet. It may take a bit of a miracle, but the Bucs are doing their part. They have an outside chance at making the postseason (if they get lots of help) as long as they keep winning. With the Colts and Lions on the horizon, the Bucs could be on the verge of a run, here.

Six Numbers To Consider

2.5 - Sacks needed by Shaq Barrett to set the single season franchise record for sacks in a season (Warren Sapp holds the record with 16.5 set back in 2000)

4 - Times Devin White has led the team in tackles since returning from his knee injury (seven games)

42 - Games it had been since the Bucs shut out an opponent in the first half. Bucs led 25-0 at halftime

74 - Receptions by Godwin this season, third most in team history through twelve games

7 - Jameis Winston’s all-time rank for passing yards through five seasons (18,287 with four games left. Peyton Manning holds the record with 20,618)

87 - Receiving yards by Breshad Perriman, a career high

So, What’s The Scenario

So, not exactly a list of six, but here is what Bucs fans need to cheer for moving forward;

First, Buccaneers have to win out.

Next, the Seahawks have to win tonight.

In week 14, the Vikings have to lose to the Lions. At home. Not likely, but it needs to happen.

In week 15, it would be helpful if the Vikings lost to the Chargers, but they can win that game as long as;

- The Seahawks don’t win in weeks 14, 15, and 16. That’s the kicker. Seattle has to lose one of those three games. Winning all three and losing in week 17 against the 49ers does not help. Not only that, but:

- The Rams have to go 2-2 in their final four. The only part that matters is losing to the Cardinals. They can go 2-1 in any combination against the Cowboys, 49ers, and Seahawks but they have to lose to Arizona.

In week 16, the Vikings have to lose to the Packers at home

And finally, in week 17, the Vikings have to lose to the Bears at home.

Not impossible, but the Bucs are in need of a Christmas miracle for this one.

Six Best Tweets

Six Super Bowl Bets

As always, this is completed ahead of the finish of Sunday night football

1.) New England Patriots - You already know why

2.) Baltimore Ravens - What an epic AFC Championship this could be...

3.) New Orleans Saints - Clear cut favorite in the hotly contested NFC

4.) Green Bay Packers - I don’t know about you, but I’m about sick of them

5.) Seattle Seahawks - Opportunity for a true statement win Monday night

18.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Second in the division, inching their way closer to competence

Six Final Words

How About Another Win Next Week?