TPP Pregame Show: Bucs at Titans
By Josh Hill
NASHVILLE, TENN — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) at Tennessee Titians (5-5)
Location: Nashville, TN
Time: 1:00ET/Noon CT
Announcers: Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jennifer Hale
Weather: Rainy, 59°F
Line: Titans by 3.5
Injury Report: TENNESSEE — LB Barrett Ruud (OUT), DT Karl Klug (QUESTIONABLE), LB Colin McCarthy (QUESTIONABLE), DE Derrick Morgan (QUESTIONABLE), T Micheal Roos (QUESTIONABLE), T David Stewart (QUESTIONABLE), C Eugene Amano (PROBABLE), QB Matt Hasselbeck (PROBABLE), K Rob Bironas (PROBABLE)
TAMPA BAY – DT Gerald McCoy (OUT), , DE Micheal Bennett (DOUBTFUL), S Tanard Jackson (QUESTIONABLE), LB Adam Hayward (QUESTIONABLE), LB Dekoda Watson (QUESTIONABLE), QB Josh Freeman (PROBABLE), DE Albert Haynesworth (PROBABLE), DT Brian Price (PROBABLE), T Jeremy Trueblood (PROBABLE), TE Kellen Winslow (Not Injury related, Expected to Play)
Key Matchup: Bucs vs. Themselves
Last Week: Buccaneers lost to Packers 35-26 , Titans lost to Falcons 23-17
Last Meeting: October 14, 2007 — Buccaneers 13, Titans 10
Series History (Since 2001): Titans lead series 3-1
Last Minute Preview: If you’re holding your breath on the Bucs 2011 season don’t continue to do so. The Bucs are two games under five hundred and will not be making the playoffs if things keep going this way. Tampa must win out and have Detroit lose out, New York lose out and Atlanta to lose out to have any hopes of making the playoffs. But the Bucs have made it simple for us: a loss Sunday to the Tennessee Titans, who are actually in the playoff hunt, would effectively end all realistic hope that is still being clung onto by some that the Bucs will make the 2011 Post-Season party list.
From here on out, it’s lesson learned time and lesson learning time. The Bucs need to realize because they were so young and immature and hadn’t won anything that that hasn’t changed. But that’s not to say they can’t learn from this sophomore slump. They are young, but getting better. They are immature, but they’re starting to realize stupid penalties lose games. They haven’t won anything bu they’re very much capable of doing so. But I was like this in High School: I though I knew everything, thought I could skate by on compliments from teachers and never fully applied myself. It wasn’t until the real world hit that I realized all the smart ass crap I thought I knew was no good anywhere expect fantasy land.
The Bucs are in that spot right now. All their smart ass swagger isn’t winning games and isn’t pleasing anyone, not even in fantasy land. The Bucs still have the remainders of 2011 to play out, even if it is garbage time but that’s the next test. What is garbage time and does it exist? Is this the kind of team that gives up when everything is lost or is it the kind of team that is maturing into a unit that doesn’t accept failure and will use every opportunity it can to get better? The playoffs may be off the table but the future isn’t and Tampa’s playing for it in ways a lot of other losing teams aren’t as fortunate to be able to.