Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) breaks a tackle by New Orleans Saints cornerback Corey White (24) during the third quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
This is it. This is the moment that Buccaneers fans have been waiting for.
No, the team isn’t anywhere near the playoffs.
However, a loss today, or a Titans victory over the Indianapolis Colts will secure the Bucs the number one overall draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
That would go a long way in making this team better. Tampa Bay needs a quarterback, and help all over the offensive line. And with the first pick, they have an opportunity to get tons of value out of it.
They could take the quarterback of their choice with the pick (presumably Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston), they could take a stud offensive lineman, or they could trade down a spot or two and acquire multiple picks and still end up with the guy they truly covet.
But none of that matters right now.
The only way it matters is if the Titans win. Or if the Bucs lose. But I know that if we all had our way, we would want to see our Buccaneers beat the Saints at home and still end up with the first pick.
Still, it might be easier just to lose this thing outright. And I’m not too worried about possibly getting a victory after last week’s offensive showing against Green Bay.
Josh McCown and the offensive could not establish a rhythm, and it killed them in the end. Tampa’s defense was up to the task of pressuring Aaron Rodgers and getting him on the ground, but the offense could put points on the board to capitalize. A dismal three points against a team who has an average-at-best defense, and now we are all looking forward to the end of the Marcus Arroyo experiment as offensive coordinator.
The New Orleans Saints have nothing to play for but pride today, after they were eliminated from playoff contention by the Atlanta Falcons this week. While it is unknown what we can expect from them today, I think the players in Tampa Bay’s locker room really care about getting this victory. They haven’t won at home all season long, and they are underdogs once again today. Generally, most players don’t want to lose to ensure a better draft pick. That’s just their competitive nature.
To the same point, they haven’t tried to lose all season, and look where that has gotten them.
The stage is set for Josh McCown and Marcus Arroyo to put together one more lackluster performance on the way to their exit from Tampa, and earn the team the first selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, where they will hopefully right the ship. As a Buccaneers fan, you never want to see them lose to a rival like the Saints. However, I think victory is out of reach here. No McCoy, no Mason Foster, and maybe no Dashon Goldson either. Drew Brees could have his way today.
But personally, I think I’d be fine with it.
Final Score: New Orleans Saints 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10.