We were fooling ourselves.
Yes, we saw the Bucs’ problems, but hey, we were only five points away from being 2-0! There was nothing wrong with this team that a victory couldn’t cure! They’d come together when they had to!
They came together for 23-3 loss to New England today. And there were times it didn’t even look that close. We played a good team today, one that wasn’t going to let us and our ineptitude hang around and hold any pretense of winning. The Patriots scored 17 points in the second quarter, and even with the Bucs getting the ball to start the second half and thirty minutes of football left to go, it felt like the game was over.
And it feels like the season is over too. Oh, we might beat Arizona at home next week (although I wonder who’ll be in the stands to see it), but 1-4 going into the bye is not what was expected. I suspect Josh Freeman will start that Arizona game, and if he looks like he has so far, the Bucs will likely use the bye week to get Mike Glennon ready. And Freeman, who at the midpoint of last season was looking at a big contract extension, would be done in Tampa Bay. What’s more maddening than his inconsistency is his seeming ambivalence about it. He’s on the verge of losing his job and he’s still the laid-back dude he’s always been. Where’s the fire? Other than the one this season seems to be going up in, that is.
Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins look like they finally have their quarterback of the future. While defenders talk about Freeman putting the Bucs in a position to win, Ryan Tannehill is just winning. That was a hell of a final drive Tannehill had today. And you could tell his coaches had faith in him, because they went for the touchdown and the win rather than playing for the field goal and the tie. Tannehill rewarded that trust. It’s something I, as a Bucs fan, haven’t seen in a while.
I think Greg Schiano has the rest of this season, especially if he makes the move to Glennon. But he’s 7-12 overall, and 1-8 in his last nine games. I’d say he needs to post a winning record after the bye or he’ll be joining Freeman as an ex-Buc. And GM Mark Dominik might be joining them. He’s more than enough time to build a winner, and the results have been less than ideal. It may be time to pitch everyone in the front office overboard and start anew, Again.