It speaks to where the Buccaneers are right now that I’m taking solace from the fact that at least the Saints didn’t hang 40 points on us today. The last time we played them, it was 41-0, so this is a dramatic improvement.
But this was the kind of football that got Tony Dungy fired. Dull, unimaginative offense that tries to do just enough not to lose and hopes the defense will bail it out. Which it damn near did. Some fans will point to that collapse on the final Saints drive, but you can’t expect the defense to keep trotting out after yet another fruitless offensive series and be as fresh as a daisy. The Bucs had a third and 6 with Doug Martin absolutely gouging the Saints defense, and the play was a pitch back two yards. Nothing like making your back have to run eight yards to get six. Hell, why not run play action there? You had your big package in, the Saints were keyed for the run. Go for the throat! Don’t settle for a 4-point lead (which they botched anyway), make it 8!
1-3 is looking like the best we can hope for come the bye week. And the Cardinals aren’t exactly a bunch of pushovers. Going winless into the bye is a very real possibility. One I don’t know if Schiano or Freeman — or both — can survive. Or should.