The Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have four wins on the season, and while that is seemingly encouraging on its surface, a closer look reveals that there have not been many encouraging signs along the way as the Buccaneers have accumulated those wins.
Sure, it’s great to see Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy playing like monsters on defense, and there’s no doubt that Vincent Jackson is worth every penny he’s being paid. But winning ugly games with few positives from fringe players are the worst-case scenario for the 2013 Buccaneers.
In other words, winning Sunday’s game against Buffalo the way they did is the worst thing the Bucs could have done.
Stepping back and looking at Sunday’s game, the Buccaneers gained under 170 yards on the 60 plays following Bobby Rainey’s 80-yard touchdown scamper on the second play of the game. And only 90 of those yards came from Mike Glennon, who struggled on the day to throw accurate passes and found the hands of the defense twice while only completing nine throws to his teammates.
The defense was largely impressive, although they often did just enough to allow the Buffalo offense to implode upon itself. The pass rush was phenomenal, and Lavonte David was a superstar. But there were big plays called back due to penalties, and holding calls which put the Bills in hopeless situations.
The result of Sunday’s game had more to do with the ineptitude of the Buffalo offense than the success of any aspect of the Tampa Bay football team. And considering that the win catapults the Buccaneers further up the draft board, away from a top pick and the elite prospect that comes with it, winning an ugly game is the worst thing the Buccaneers could have done.
There are still tons of questions to be answered about this Tampa Bay team. Can they win a game (or even be competitive against a decent team) with their offense? Is Mike Glennon capable of being an above average quarterback? Can the pass rush repeat their efforts from Sunday in the future?
So let’s not be blinded by four wins, and let’s instead seek quality football on both sides of the ball during the remaining three weeks. Win or loss matters very little at this point, because the games are meaningless and many of the opponents are giving up or rolling over at this point in the season. What matters is developing repeatable skills that will lead the team to victories in the future. Sunday’s game did not accomplish that.