That was way more stressful than it needed to be. In a game where many - both locally and nationally - believed the Buccaneers were going to blow the Giants out of Met Life Stadium, the Bucs struggled to get anything going on either side of the ball. In the end, it was clutch second half possessions - and stops - that fueled the Bucs’ 25-23 win over the New York Giants.
Let’s not waste any time and dive in to a slightly abbreviated edition of Pick Six!
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Prime Time is not our friend. And that should give some concern to everyone heading into a week nine prime time match-up against the division rival New Orleans Saints. The Bucs have looked pedestrian in both prime time games this season, losing to the Bears on Thursday Night then struggling against the 1-7 Giants on Monday Night. They’ve come out of those at 1-1 but both games should have been double-digit wins. I don’t know what the issue is when this team plays after the sun sets, but they need to figure it out in a hurry. The game against the Saints is an absolute, unquestionable must win. They can’t afford to come out flat or slow. Maybe for now we can say they just don’t play their best when it’s not Sunday?
2.) Antonio Brown set to debut this week. The suspension is over and the Bucs will welcome Antonio Brown this week. Brown has been living with Tom Brady the last week, working out and getting a crash course in the playbook. Mike Evans, after the game, told Lisa Salters that Brown is going to fit “great” with this team and he “hopes he takes some double teams off (me).” You have to hope, big picture, that AB minds his manners, comes in and does his job, and doesn’t become an issue for the team. Short term, you have to hope Brady doesn’t feel the need to force him the ball just to try and get him involved right out of the gate. That could lead to another slow start for the team against a dangerous Saints team.
3.) Antoine Winfield Jr. Just give him the Defensive Rookie of the Year now. I talk about this kid in what seems like every Pick Six because he’s always worth talking about. It was a pass breakup by Winfield that was a combination of perfect timing and perfect positioning to break up the pass on the two point conversion that would have tied the game. He’s just so freaking good.
4.) Quit crying. Look, the Buccaneers are going to keep running the ball. Yes, they’re going to run it on first down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. People really need to quit whining about it every time it happens. More than half the NFL runs on 1st and 10 at a higher percentage than the Bucs. The fact that people were flipping out over handing the ball off in the fourth quarter as the Bucs were trying to drain the clock is mind boggling. Had they thrown three incomplete passes and punted, the same people would’ve been whining about how they should’ve drained more clock. Some folks just aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy...
5.) Hat tip to the Giants. Having not actually watched much of the Giants this year, they have some solid pieces out there. Their record is terrible and they make mistakes, but there are some solid building blocks in place. Darius Slayton has the tools to become one of the top receivers in the league and, although the coaching staff kept pulling him off the field, Wayne Gallman is good running back, I’m not sure why they felt the need to keep going back to Alfred Morris when Gallman was having a really good game. Defensively, they forced two third down sacks of Brady by having incredible down field coverage. This team could be alright a few years down the road.
6.) Sore subject. You so much as mention the word and Buccaneers fans break out in cold sweats and start having panic attacks. That said, a special shout out to the kicker. Ryan Succop has been reliable and very good this season. He hit on all four of his attempts Monday night as well as his one extra point try. Succop hit from 37, 40, 43, and 38 yards in some tough wind and nailed every single one. He’s quietly had a very good season and for as much venom as Bucs fans have spewed at kickers in recent year (mostly deservedly so) I felt Succop earned a hat tip and a shout out for the first half of the season.
Six Numbers To Consider
30 - Career wins by Tom Brady after trailing by 10+ points at any point in the game
22 - Goal-to-go touchdowns by the Buccaneers this year on 22 attempts
30 - Consecutive games where the Bucs scored a first half touchdown. It was the longest active streak in the NFL until they were kept out of the end zone in the first half Monday
93 - Touchdown passes from Brady to Rob Gronkowski, second most of any combination all time
5 - Sacks by Devin White this season - which was the goal he set for himself before the year started
28.0 - Sacks by the Buccaneers this season, second only to the Steelers
Six Best Tweets
Bucs are 6-2 for just the third time in franchise history -- last in 2002, when they won a Super Bowl, and in 1979, when they lost in the conference championship game.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) November 3, 2020
Bucs are now 22 for 22 in goal-to-go situations this season.— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) November 3, 2020
That's 22 touchdowns.
At 6-2, the #Bucs now have a 92% chance to make the playoffs, a 59% chance to win the division, a 23% chance to have a first round bye, and a 13% chance to win the Super Bowl, all according to @FiveThirtyEight.— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 3, 2020
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) Pittsburgh Steelers - I know, I know...but, man - this team is just really, really good.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs - Fall out of the top spot, but can you blame me?
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They win pretty, they win ugly. Just keep winning
4.) Seattle Seahawks - Russell Wilson is an MVP
5.) New Orleans Saints - Missing their top two receivers but keep on winning
6.) Baltimore Ravens - Lamar is struggling, but the team is still this good. If he starts clicking again, watch out...
Six Final Words
Battle For The South Is Coming...