The win set the Bucs’ record to 6-7 on the year, and dropped the Colts to the exact same record.
It wasn’t an easy win for Tampa Bay or an easy loss for Indianapolis, and at specific times during the game, I’m sure both sides felt confident about their chances.
This game was and will be compared to a roller coaster, as it was an up and down occasion, with fan emotions following suit. Most of you at this site are familiar with how the ride felt from the Buccaneers side of things. But let’s take a peek into how it looked from the Colts’ side.
WARNING: POTENTIALLY NSFW LANGUAGE IS CONTAINED IN THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS
Fan comments from www.stampedeblue.com
A BOLD STRATEGY...
Pre-game didn’t show too much from Colts fans. But one did present a pretty strong strategy for winning. I think most could agree.
...MAYBE THEY’RE ON TO SOMETHING...
Much to WestCoastColtsFan2018’s pleasure, someone in the Colts’ front office must have seen his strategy, and delivered it to the team because linebacker Darius Leonard made good on part of the strategy by intercepting Jameis Winston’s first pass attempt of the day.
...BUT THEY FORGOT ONE CRUCIAL ELEMENT...
Something WCCF2018 forgot to mention, was the need for points. Fortunately for him, the Colts already strategized scoring as one of their main keys to the game. Marcus Johnson got the scoring started, by hauling in a 46-yard pass from Jacoby Brissett. Meanwhile, Carlton Davis III is still confused as to what happened on the play.
...AND ANOTHER THING...
WCCF2018’s strategy was also missing another possible avenue for creating momentum and getting takeaways: Fumbles. The Colts defense decided to remind him of those, for future consideration. I’m starting to think maybe he didn’t have a very well-rounded strategy, actually.
Rock Ya-Sin contributed to the development of future game plans by knocking the ball lose from Buccaneers running back, Dare Ogunbowale, who was not benched. I’m just saying.
RETURN OF THE KICK
It seems like ages ago, but the Colts used to have one of the most reliable kicking games in the league. With the arrival of a new apprentice, they may be on their way back.
Chase McLaughlin has inspired ‘New Hope’ in what could be for the future of Indianapolis’ long-game.
THE PIRATES STRIKE BACK
Trailing 10-0 early in the game, Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay offense needed to put something together. On a 3rd and 6, Winston found unsung hero, Breshad Perriman for a 31-yard gain, and then hooked up with Cameron Brate for another 13-yards on the next play. Then, to cap it all off, Winston did the hard part himself and shoved the ball over the goal line for the Buccaneers’ first touchdown of the day.
Bucs fans were pleased, Colts fans were - well - less pleased.
LAZY DEFENSES IN TAMPA BAY
The Buccaneers defense must have sensed they’d have to do a lot of heavy lifting later on, because after Winston scored the team’s first touchdown, the defense decided to put him right back on the field after just three plays.
Since he was out there, Winston decided he might as well throw a bomb to Mike Evans who did the rest of the work for a 61-yard touchdown connection.
However, Evans injured his hamstring on the play, and will likely miss at least next weekend’s match-up against the Detroit Lions, if not more.
RETURN OF THE MACK
Yes, it’s an obvious subtitle. No, I’m not ashamed. Yes, the song is now stuck in my head, and I hope it’s in yours too.
In his return to Raymond James Stadium, USF Bulls great Marlon Mack had enough of the Tampa Bay lead, and decided to give it back to his Colts teammates.
THOSE NON-POWER 5 GUYS DON’T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT
As we near college football’s bowl and playoff season, it always seems collegiate allegiances stand out a little more. And Colts linebacker Darius Leonard must have been a little jealous of what his fellow non-Power 5 conference teammate, Marlon Mack, was doing. So he decided to get in on the scoring himself.
Jameis Winston was kind enough to provide Leonard the opportunity. Because it’s always important for Power-5 guys to open doors for the lower levels of collegiate talent.
...the MEAC must be proud.
Before Winston could contribute to the stats of another Colts defender, he first contributed to the stat sheet of one of his most reliable targets. Tight end Cameron Brate caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Winston, bringing the Buccaneers back to within a field goal with very little time left in the first half.
MORE ‘INTERESTING’ COLTS STRATEGIES
On top of, ‘get interceptions and have no penalties’, the Colts’ actual coaching staff decided to show the amateurs how it’s done. First, they got really close to the Tampa Bay end zone. Then, they lined up for a fourth down play with seconds left in the half and a three-point lead.
Upon lining up, quarterback Jacoby Brissett tried mightily to call an illegal timeout while the officials on the field pretended to be distracted by the beautiful Raymond James Stadium scenery. All by design, mind you.
Then, Brissett acted confused and panicked, likely to make players like Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh start laughing. Right as Vea and Suh were laughing at what was happening, Brissett had the ball snapped and did kind of a weird mixed martial arts stumble run, gaining a first down and getting about two yards closer for the field goal they should have just kicked in the first place.
It was fun.
With their team up 27-21, and getting the ball to start the second half, Colts fans were feeling themselves.
WHEN YOUR STARTER CAN’T SCORE, JUST RELY ON STOPPING THEIR BACK-UP
When the Colts opened the second half with a punt, fans of the team resorted to the next best option for continuing to dominate this weekend’s game. Stop Ryan Griffin.
THEY’RE NOT WRONG
Ryan Griffin might be my favorite back-up quarterback of all time. Mainly because the Buccaneers have never actually had to use him. That all changed in Week 14, and it was terrifying. Like ColtsFanatic07 said,
“If Winston is gone and Evans (is) out....No reason not to pull away here in this half.”
And on Indianapolis’ possession following Griffin’s NFL debut, they looked to do just that, as Brissett and Zach Pascal hooked up for a 12-yard touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion.
Bucs fans weren’t happy. Colts fans were waiving their hands in the air like they just didn’t care.
OH, SHANEDOG100....DON’T POKE THE BEAR
Jameis Winston might have a fracture in his right hand, but his left hand is his blogging hand, and he must have seen what Vince’s son had to say. To show Shane just how elementary his defense could really be, Winston decided it was Watson time.
That’s a Sherlock Holmes joke. Because Justin Watson’s last name is Watson. And Sherlock said stuff was elementary all the time. Which means it’s simple. Follow me?
The score made it a 35-28 game, with the Indianapolis Colts still leading, but not comfortable about it.
COLTS DON’T CARE ABOUT MATT GAY, SO THE DEFENSE TAKES THEIR COOKIE
Tampa Bay’s rookie kicker made a 44-yard field goal to make it a 35-31 game, which you would think the victims of Adam Vinatieri’s decline would appreciate. Nope.
So, to get their attention, Devin White decided to slap Nyheim Hines’ football. In response, Hines dropped said ball, and Mike Edwards recovered for Tampa Bay. And then Edwards ran backwards with it. But we won’t mention that.
BUCCANEERS HAVE INTERESTING STRATEGIES TOO
Since the Colts had unveiled some special game plan features, Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers decided to as well.
In this play, Winston threw the ball to Colts defensive back Malik Hooker, who was more than happy to do his part in ensuring this plan worked to perfection.
Then, just a few plays later, Indianapolis’ kicker missed a long field goal and Winston’s offense got the ball at the spot of the kick.
In the end, Tampa Bay got a 23-yard gain from Winston’s pass, and Colts fans were taught a lesson about ignoring the kicking success of the other team. Just like they drew it up.
SILLY COLTS, YOU DON’T HAVE A LEAD, YOU (BRES)HAD THE LEAD
Jameis Winston saw his three interceptions and raised himself five touchdowns. The last one going to Breshad Perriman, who Buccaneers fans might be interested to know, is coveted by other team fan bases.
YOU’LL NEVER LOSE SCORING 35 POINTS. UNLESS YOUR OPPONENT SCORES MORE.
While I agree with ColtsfanND - wonder if he knows Chef Aaron - that a team should never lose when scoring 35 points, I agree more a team shouldn’t lose when they score 38. And fortunately, the NFL and math agree with me more than Chef’s best friend.
The Bucs won, and the Colts lost, and fans of the losing team reacted the way Bucs fans likely would have had their team lost. So really, we’re all just living in one giant Spider Man .gif.
BECAUSE THIS SERIES OF COMMENTS MADE ME LAUGH
I want to share it with you.
This was fun. Let’s do it again. Next week. Hopefully, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Detroit Lions.
Until then, may your Monday be merry and your fan base never boo a 10-2 defending Super Bowl Champion team because you’re losing at halftime.