Talk about the kind of game that takes a few years off your life. After the Buccaneers built up a 24-3 lead at halftime, Tampa saw the Buffalo Bills outscore them 24-3 in the second half to force the game to overtime. However, a pass to Breshad Perriman goes 58-yards to the house for the win as well as Tom Brady’s 700th career touchdown pass (including playoffs).
Let’s Pick Six on the tenth victory Monday of the season.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. The Bucs’ defense was two totally different entities in this game. They got to Josh Allen three times and forced a turnover in the first half while holding the Bills to just three points. In the second half, however, they couldn’t seem to find their way off the field. Even though they held the Bills to 2-of-13 on third downs, they allowed the Bills to convert on 2-of-3 fourth down attempts and allowed scoring drives of 81, 75, 46, and 70 yards. Now, the defense did find a way to step up and force a field goal late and force a three and out to open overtime, but there needs to be more consistency from the defense if they’re going to make a deep playoff run. More of the Jeckyll, less of the Hyde.
2.) Lenny continues to run wild. The Buccaneers may not be able to find a way to keep Leonard Fournette past this season, but they need to do as much as they can in order to bring him back in the building. Fournette continues to be on fire, finishing with 113 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, and a touchdown. That gives Fournette six touchdowns over the last three games as he grows to be more and more part of the offense each and every week. Even though Ronald Jones got a few opportunities and now Gio Bernard is facing an injury, Fournette’s snaps will likely grow in Bernard’s absence. Just keep feeding him.
3.) Penalties. Though this was one of the better games, on paper, for the Bucs when it comes to penalties - four for 24 yards compared to Buffalo’s seven for 65 yards - they had two penalties called on the offensive line that negated Bills penalties. Those Bills penalties would have resulted in first downs for the Bucs and potentially more points. Better, but far from fixed. Four games left to continue to clean it up before the playoffs begin.
4.) Cornerbacks still can’t stick together. Two weeks in a row it appeared that the trio was back. Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Jamel Dean were all out there to start the game together but for the second consecutive week, Dean left the game. Now, the good news is that it wasn’t injury related and he was forced to leave due to an illness. Of course, that opened the door for the return of Richard Sherman who got an interception at the end of the first half. Sherman also came back at the end of the second half as a safety. These corners need to be on the field together to form some cohesiveness over the next four weeks. That was a big key in 2020.
5.) Take care of business... The Buccaneers have a final month of the season facing no one with a record over .500. The Saints (6-7), Jets (3-10), and Panthers twice (5-8) with three of the final four at home where the Buccaneers have won nine in a row dating back to last season. The Bucs have no reason why they can’t run the table and finish the regular season with an incredible eight game win streak. First and foremost, the Buccaneers need to handle their own games before worrying about anything else. But...
6.) ...the rest will take care of itself. The Buccaneers need to have the Packers and Cardinals each lose at least one game, preferably against an NFC opponent. Now, as of this writing, the Packers and Bears game had not finished. Not counting the Bears, the Packers are still going to face the Ravens and Lions on the road while getting the Browns and Vikings at home. As for the Cardinals, they face the Rams at home on Monday night then finish out the season at Dallas and Detroit but get the Colts and Seahawks at home. The Buccaneers need some help to get that one seed and first round bye, but there is a loss or two lurking on both of those schedules that Bucs fans should be rooting for.
Six Numbers To Consider
156 - Chris Godwin’s receptions since Tom Brady joined the Bucs, most of any player
60 - Red zone touchdowns by Tom Brady since joining the Bucs to go with zero red zone interceptions
47 - Yards on Leonard Fournette’s touchdown run, the longest run by the Bucs in 2021 and Fournette’s longest run since joining the team
14 - Receptions needed by Chris Godwin to tie the franchise single season record (Keyshawn Johnson, 106 - 2001)
115 - Yards needed by Mike Evans to reach 1,000 for the eighth straight season
1 - Loss by a Tom Brady team after holding a lead of 21 or more points
Six Best Tweets
A superhuman throws a touchdown pass to another superhuman. Bucs lead 17-3 pic.twitter.com/WJv3n0ymci— Locked On Bucs (@LockedOnBucs) December 12, 2021
That was a close one. Time to decompress pic.twitter.com/hSv72FDiKW— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) December 13, 2021
A wonderful tribute to someone lost too soon;
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) Green Bay Packers - Still look like the team to beat at the rate they’re going
2.) Arizona Cardinals - Bucs fans about to become Rams fans Monday Night
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Four in a row with a chance to win the NFC South against the Saints this week
4.) New England Patriots - I keep telling myself they aren’t this good. I hate that they are
5.) Kansas City Chiefs - On an absolute heater right now - and their defense looks good.
6.) Dallas Cowboys - Tried to blow it against Washington, but they’ll be dangerous in the postseason