It’s just one game. Although in this case, it’s actually two games, because this is the first time in two years that the Buccaneers have won back-to-back games. But this win felt different.
This wasn’t hanging on for dear life and catching a break late. This wasn’t looking good for a half then falling apart. This was, after a tight first quarter, a completely dominating performance. And if it wasn’t against a team exactly operating at its best, it was still a resounding win in a hostile town that was for so long a chamber of horrors for us.
Honestly, there’s really not a lot to complain about in a 45-17 win. There were still way too many penalties, but the offense consistently overcame them, and still proves to be ruthlessly efficient in converting third downs. Jameis Winston had a sequence where two consecutive passes probably should have been intercepted, but he also threw five touchdown passes and looked completely in command of the offense. The defense gave up one horrible play to Darren Sproles, but other than that, they made Mark Sanchez look even worse than Eagles fans think he is. Really, you’d have to be an awful pessimist to walk out of this game worried about anything.
That said, again, it’s just one game. The Eagles are clearly in turmoil. But 45 points against an NFL team is nothing to sneeze at. And for the first time in forever, this team is relevant. Had we not squandered the Washington game, we’d be 6-4 and possibly sitting in the sixth playoff spot. As it is, before the late games shake out, we’re 5-5 and seventh, and very much a team not to be taken lightly over the next six weeks. We may not be a dominant team, but it definitely feels like some kind of corner has been turned.
And that’s a football season for you. A month ago, all was gloom and despair, and Lovie Smith was a bum. Now we’re sniffing the playoffs, and all is right with the world. It’s enough to make you dizzy. Especially if I’m at the end of December writing about a four-game losing streak.
Damn, I just jinxed it.