Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
It’s true that the Buccaneers have a slimmer than slim chance of still making the 2012 postseason, but I have more of a chance of scoring with Kate Upton, Kate Middelton and Kate Hudson all at the same time while floating on an inner-tube made of chocolate gold. But while some may still cling to this hope that the postseason might be within grasp, the fact that it isn’t is not something to get down about.
I’ve been saying for weeks that this team does not belong in the postseason, and I wasn’t kidding. The proof is in the film, just go back and watch any of the Buccaneers last five games and you’ll see this is a team that has Tim Tebow Exit written all over it.
Here’s the thing, if this team had made the playoffs this year it would have been on dumb luck and nothing else. Sure, the offense is explosive and can compete with top notch defenses (or so we think), but this defense is not elite — it’s not even mediocre.
Bad would say that this defense is bad. Terrible is laughing at this defense, glad it’s not the Buccaneers defense.
This team would have lucked their way into the playoffs and that’s not how you want to make a Super Bowl run. You want to be in the postseason because you belong there, not because you got there. Tim Tebow and the Broncos got to the playoffs last year but they didn’t belong there, as was evident in their AFC Divisional round loss to the Patriots.
There is a very distinct and important difference between belonging and being and that’s a difference that seems to be lost on the hopeless romantics in Tampa. There is nothing at all wrong with wanting your team to make the playoffs, otherwise what’s the point of rooting for them?
But in rooting for a team to make the playoffs, it has to be realized that it’s all about timing. There is this bizarre comeback some have that it’s all about getting hot. The Giants got hot, the Packers got hot, heck even the Cardinals got hot and all made it to the Super Bowl. However, within that group all teams had a complete feel and more importantly all had elite aspects to their team.
None had a defense that was ranked worst in the NFL. None had a defense that was shredded by subpar quarterbacks and gouged by the good ones.
The time to root for the Buccaneers to make the playoffs is always, but the time for them to belong there is still a year away. This team doesn’t belong in the same sentence as the Texans, Patriots, Packers, Broncos or even the Colts. Could they win a Wild Card game, sure. But would the dream last longer than that, absolutely not.
Now is not the time for the Buccaneers, and that’s alright. Because the moment for the Bucs to belong is not far off and it’s bitter defeat like this that makes winning it all even more sweet.
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