— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 12, 2022
Another tough week has come and gone for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A 35-7 loss to Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy and the San Fransisco 49er’s, bring about many questions to the organization that is fresh off a Divisional Championship appearance. The coaching, the defense, and even the G.O.A.T. are facing uncertainty EVEN while holding first place in the NFC South. Let’s take a look at what’s happened to the Bucs.
6 Wins 7 Losses
There is a lot of noise surrounding the record at this point in the season. Before the season I predicted this Bucs team to go 13-4. Injuries early in the season derailed this prediction quickly, with the Bucs missing key components in multiple games early on. The month of October was not friendly to Tampa, as they lost five games straight. This included head scratchers such as losses to the Falcons, Steelers, and Panthers. The depth was exposed as they couldn’t win against inferior opponents.
Some may contribute Tampa’s lack of success to coaching(usually the first to get blamed), however, Bruce Arians is still in the building and there hasn’t been any noticeable changes in coaching, minus some play calling. I believe Byron Leftwich is one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the NFL, but at this point in his coaching career, he is coaching around Tom Brady and the offense has to be definite with no room for change. Todd Bowles defense on the other hand, has seen some regression from last season. Injuries again being the main contributor to that problem. This coaching staff isn’t the problem with the Bucs right now.
With all of the off-field drama, surrounding Tom Brady this season, it is easy to imagine that he isn’t playing his best football. Except, THAT is what drives this team. In the games where they have won, Brady has thrown for at least 250 yards and a touchdown. That’s expected out of one of the best QB’s in the league. However in most of those wins, Brady had to throw over 50 times. The offense right now isn’t sustainable. The o-line can’t protect as needed to get guys the ball and it’s a snowball effect for the rest of the offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady moves on after the season.
While “all seems lost” with this 2022 season, there is one glaring bright spot; Tampa Bay is the front-runner of the NFC South and will probably make the playoffs. In many years of watching the NFL I notice that it is possible for a team to get “hot”, and if this team can catch a spark, it may not be over just yet for the Buccaneers.
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