Wow. That’s all you can really say, right? The Buccaneers found themselves in a surprisingly tight race through three quarters - having trailed twice in the first quarter - against the Miami Dolphins. Then, the fourth quarter happened.
The Bucs offense exploded in the final fifteen minutes, scoring three touchdowns in under eight minutes to solidify a 45-17 win, moving them to 4-1 on the season.
Let’s Pick Six on another victory Monday.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Tom Brady still accomplishing new feats. You’d think that someone like Brady would have done all he could do - but, alas, he is still accomplishing things he’s never done before. For the first time in his career, Brady had a game of 400+ yards passing and 5+ touchdowns. Two touchdowns to Antonio Brown, two to Mike Evans, and one to Giovani Bernard. It was likely a deja-vu scenario for Dolphins fans as Brady moved the ball up and down the field with ease - which helped immensely considering the Bucs defense had some trouble through the first three quarters.
2.) It’s time to start worrying about the defense. The Bucs allowed the longest scoring drive of the season for the Dolphins and let them march down the field on their first two possessions for scoring drives. On top of that, they lost Lavonte David to an ankle injury. Now, reports are that x-rays were negative but we heard the same thing about Rob Gronkowski two weeks ago and it turned out he had broken ribs and a punctured lung. Now, with the secondary already struggling and razor thin, the Bucs are possibly losing their captain and one of the best leaders on the team. On a short week, it seems like a long shot that David will play against Philadelphia. Numerous times the pass rush got to Jacoby Brissett but couldn’t finish him off. Yes, they came away with two takeaways and three sacks, but it was hardly a dominant performance against a backup quarterback that was missing his top two wide receivers. Things have to get figured out on the defensive side of the ball. Quickly.
3.) Where was Chris Godwin? I realize the game was well in hand at this point, but following a Jamel Dean interception, the Bucs set up shop in Miami territory. Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Tyler Johnson were the three receivers on the field. Evans would go on to score on the drive, but Godwin didn’t see the field once. There didn’t appear to be an injury of any sort, but it’s somewhat confusing as to why Godwin wasn’t on the field for that last drive.
4.) This is Leonard Fournette’s backfield. Sorry, RoJo. I tried to remain optimistic and hope that things would begin to look like they did in 2020. I guess, in a way, they did - it was just the 2020 Playoff Lenny that we saw rather than the back that nearly rushed for 1,000 yards. Fournette is clearly the better running back on this time right now. He’s also the better pass catcher out of the backfield. He’s doing everything right at the moment and the Bucs apparently noticed. Fournette finished with twelve carries and four receptions while RoJo finished with five carries and one reception. The Bucs have to stick with Fournette at at least a 2-to-1 ratio compared to RoJo, maybe more. He’s simply the better, more efficient runner on this team. Maybe things will change down the line, but there’s no sign of that right now.
5.) Penalties. They were a problem early then had two false starts back-to-back late. Throw in a defensive pass interference by Richard Sherman in the end zone and there was a whole lot of the Bucs shooting themselves in the foot throughout the game. Now, the final numbers weren’t awful (six penalties for 57 yards) but this has to get cleaned up. It’s purely a lack of concentration and focus. Who is going to step up in that locker room and begin holding people accountable? It happened last year following the Bears game and it needs to happen now. I mean, how do you get called for illegal formation on a kick return? It’s inexcusable. Championship teams don’t make those kinds of mistakes.
6.) Short recovery. I already touched on it, but the Buccaneers now face a short week and they’re headed out on the road. With injuries piled up - I didn’t even mention Brady’s thumb injury - and traveling to Philadelphia, the Bucs have to play mistake free football if they don’t want to get caught sleeping by the Eagles. This is a favorable stretch that the Bucs are on for the next month-and-a-half or so and they can’t afford to give away any games that they’re supposed to win. The secondary will have their hands full with a speedy guy like DeVonta Smith as well as big, pass catching tight ends like Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. If Lavonte misses the game, that will make the Bucs even more susceptible to giving up plays to the tight end position. The Bucs need to refocus in a hurry.
Six Numbers To Consider
143 - Games for Antonio Brown to reach 900 receptions, fastest in NFL history
6 - Games with Tom Brady at quarterback where the Bucs went over 44 points. They had six total in their previous 44 seasons.
62 - Yards on the touchdown pass from Brady to AB. It was Brady’s longest touchdown pass and Brown’s longest touchdown reception since 2018
14 - Multi-touchdown games for Mike Evans in his career
9 - Strip-sacks by Shaquil Barrett since joining the Buccaneers in 2019, the most in the NFL over that span
19 - Multi-touchdown games for Antonio Brown, tied with Rob Gronkowski for the most in the NFL since 2010
Six Best Tweets
This old guy is pretty good at football https://t.co/ynw9XuqUKz— Locked On Bucs (@LockedOnBucs) October 10, 2021
Tom Brady: double threat pic.twitter.com/NWY7Z4biSx— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 10, 2021
Chris [YAC-God]win— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) October 10, 2021
So many awesome things on the AB TD— (@ZacOnTheMic) October 10, 2021
Brady is a bad ass, makes the throw takes the hit
Xavien Howard is a top CB, still BURNT
Tyler Johnson cross over to give AB more space for the TD easily
Again a great route by AB and speed kills#GoBucs 17-10 pic.twitter.com/xWXgbJhvrs
Six Best Things To Do In Philadelphia
For those of you taking the trek to the city of brotherly love, here are some things you should check out while you’re there.
1.) Get a cheesesteak (duh) - The cheesesteak wars in Philly boil down to Pat’s vs Geno’s. Now, many may not believe they’re the best of the best, but the two spots are landmarks in the city. Pat’s was founded by brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri in 1930 while Geno’s was opened across the street by Joey Vento in 1966. The two food destinations are still bitter rivals to this day.
2.) Go to the Rocky statue. And while you’re there, put a Tom Brady jersey on it.
3.) Check out Mac’s Tavern. Owned by Rob McElhenny and Kaitlin Olsen of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” Mac’s is sure to be a good time for any fan of the hilarious sitcom.
4.) The Italian Market. It’s meat, cheese, fruits, and baked goods. What’s not to love?!
5.) Swann Memorial Fountain. It’s a tourist attraction for a reason. Something to say “I’ve been there!” when it’s inevitably shown on TV a million more times.
6.) Philadelphia Museum of Art. Art galleries can often be a nice escape to a past world where you can see famous and legendary paintings from historical figures. But let’s be honest - you’d go so you can run up the steps like Rocky did.
Six Super Bowl Bets
(This was completed prior to the end of Sunday Night Football)
1.) Buffalo Bills - They’re scary good - on both sides of the ball
2.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Offense is making up for defensive inefficiencies. Once the defense gets right, they’re the best team in the league
5.) Kansas City Chiefs - Similar problem as the Bucs; great offense, bad defense. Difference is, their defense is far worse
Six Final Words
Please, Just...No More Injuries...Please
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