Buccaneers: Give Credit Where Credit is Due in Loss to Dallas
By Zach Sauers
The Buccaneers’ momentum was put to an end last night with a shootout in Dallas. In a night where there were many negatives, both teams deserve credit where it is due.
The five game win streak for the Buccaneers is finally over and although it was not pretty, last night was a learning experience. Rookie head coach Dirk Koetter took his then first place Bucs into face the best team in the NFL in the first place Dallas Cowboys.
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It looked from the start of the prime-time Sunday night match-up that which ever gunslinger played the best would win the game for their team. The results unfortunately favored the opposite of the Bucs… and that is okay.
Now that both the team and the fans have been brought down to reality, there is plenty to build upon. So where to start?
Well first and foremost, let us talk about the trenches. The Cowboys’ offensive line is the best currently in the league, and possibly the best of all-time. The revamped Buc defense was pushed around by the big bullies, and it made the offense of the Cowboys unstoppable.
Whether it was due to Ezekiel Elliot gashing the Bucs for 159 yards with holes big enough to fit an 18 wheeler through, or the fact that the pass rush was invisible… it just was not a favorable match-up for the Bucs.
The time rookie passer Dak Prescott had in the pocket helped him slice the run oriented Buc defense consistently throughout the night. Prescott finished a night 32 for 36 with 279 yards through the air.
As for the offense of the Bucs… where was the offensive line? The Cowboys’ defense may rank first in rush defense, but their pass defense is one of the worst in the league. Jameis Winston was both mentally and physically abused by the likes of former Bucs’ coach and now defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, Rob Marinelli.
Marinelli put his players into a position to succeed, which helped in having Winston alone concede four turnovers. This may be due to the ineffective push by the offensive line, or it may be due to the HORRENDOUS play by a certain backup right tackle. None the less, Winston’s play was inexcusable.
Headbutting a player in the red-zone was immature and it kept points off the board. As the undivided leader and face of this franchise, in no context should he be committing that foul. Winston’s emotion is what every single player on the Bucs need to embody, but just not have it impact the game negatively.
With that being said, the NFL community should give kudos to both of these teams. This first place Cowboys team is the real deal. Their high-powered offense led by two rookies is remarkable. Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan have both truly shown the light to these players.
As for the Bucs… they just lost by six points to the best team in the league. Let us all not forget that the Bucs started the season with the fifth toughest schedule in the league, and were still able to rebound from a 3-5 start to a season.
This past Sunday’s game showed to the world that the Tampa Bay Bucs are relevant again. Not only did the game come down to one drive to decide the game, but it also proved that this franchise is once again on the cusp of greatness. This learning experience for the Bucs on the biggest stage in football will help propel the Bucs in the right direction.
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Have faith in this team, have faith in this quarterback, and have faith in this coach. The Bucs are almost their Buc fans. Now onto New Orleans. Go Bucs.
What do you think Buc fans? Like what I have to say? If so follow me on Twitter and we can talk about anything Bucs. Siege the day.