Yesterday was a real tough day for me personally, and I’m sure throngs of other Bucs fans across the country. 28 days ago, going into week 13’s Monday Night Football Game against the Carolina Panthers, we had a chance to lock up the division, and end up on a collision course with the #1 seed in the NFC. Now, I sit here this morning, and write this article as our beloved team is cleaning out their lockers and figuring out where they’ll play golf for the next 7 months. The hardest part for me, is not just the 4 game losing streak to end the year, but the fact that even up until Week 16, we controlled our own destiny, and subsequently lost to the Chargers and then the pitiful Raiders, AT HOME. We were 6-0 at home going into those two home games. I haven’t ever left Raymond James feeling so betrayed and downtrodden as I did yesterday. It was a rough night with little sleep, lots of thinking, and I’m sure this feeling will not subside for a long time. You follow a team, invest your energy, time, money and emotions into them, and in one foul swoop, its all over.
I will try and give my analysis of yesterday’s game. Also wanted to let you know that this week I will be putting out my Offseason Wish List (tommorow) and then starting Wednesday, I will be giving out season grades to all the units on the team, as well as the coaching staff.
- Jeff Garcia was garbage. This is not a revelation to most people who watch the Bucs, nor is my candid assessment of this little pansy, but the truth still remains, he is not good. He was 17 of 33 yesterday. He should have had two passes picked off, but one of them was ruled a drop by the CB. The irony of it all, is at a few points throughout the game, I asked the guy next to me if it looked like Garcia was throwing the game intentionally. I know this seems ludicrous to most people, but Jon Gruden hurt his little tiny legged feelings at the start of the year, and what better way to stick it to him than pissing away the last game of the year, the one that would get us into the playoffs. I have many beefs with this puny armed, chicken legged asshole, but yesterday he was in special form, showing off all his real weaknesses. I have never witnessed him throw into double coverage more times, only look at his check downs as his first read more times, or just throw crappy passes to wide open players so many times. There was one silver lining to yesterdays game and the end of our season, I have never have to watch this guy in a Bucs uniform again. To quote a line from the only thing that made me smile at all yesterday, one of my all time favorite movies, My Cousin Vinny…”I’m done with this guy.”
- Cadillac Williams’ injury on the field was devastating for the team, and the fans, and a real tragedy in my opinion. He was looking as good as the rookie year Caddy yesterday, if not better. The first TD run he just put the burners on and turned the corner. He made a couple “Madden Cuts” throughout the game that had me and my season ticket partner really ecstatic. On the run that ended our season, and possibly Cadillac’s career, he made two spectacular cuts and then put the jets on to get down the field. Watching the players reaction on the sideline after he was tackled, I knew something terrible had happened. Then came the 15 text messages from my friends watching the game on TV, reiterating what Cadillac was screaming, and CBS was not omitting from their broadcast, “are you fucking kidding me” I normally wouldn’t use that word in this blog, but Caddy was screaming that on the ground and CBS aired it, so I feel almost obligated to quote it. Watching Caddy being helped off the field, my eyes got watery, as well as the guy next to me, as you could just tell by the look on Caddie’s face that he knew he was done. Terrible tragedy, great guy, great player. Just shows how short an NFL career can truly be.
- Our run defense once again failed us. Michael freaking Bush, for real! Dude had 177 yards on 27 carries. It appeared at the game that they could get 5 to 7 yards on any run, any time they wanted it. Disgusting.
- Probably the last game of his Bucs career for Michael Clayton. He had a big catch down the field, but a problem that he has for the last few years crept up today, dropped passes. He is a fine blocker, and probably will rediscover his rookie form at some point in his career, but it probably won’t be with the Buccaneers.
- What in god’s name happened to Josh Bidwell. Bid is normally the rock of our team and one of the consistent things we ever have on the field. The last few weeks he has been horrid, topped off by yesterdays 29.2 average on 5 punts. Another guy who has probably played his last game with the Bucs.
- Sabby Piscatelli had his best game as a Buc, capped off by a big interception when it looked like we were sealing the deal on the sorry ass Raiders. He has been inconsistent at best with Flip out, but he had a solid game yesterday.
- Final point…4th game in a row that we have had a lead at some point in the game and lost. All 4 games. 4th quarter of the NFL season, 0-4. Sad, sad day.