Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Stats With Context. I spoke about it on the Locked On Bucs podcast this week. There were outlets that took painstaking amounts of time to point out Jameis Winston‘s turnovers compared to games played through his NFL career. However, all stats have context. Take, for example, Winston’s two interceptions against the Lions. He threw a pass intended for DeSean Jackson in the first half. Jackson didn’t make an attempt to come back to the ball and Darius Slay made a great break on the pass to intercept it. It wasn’t a bad pass, it wasn’t forced, it wasn’t a bad decision. It was a great break by a defender when the receiver didn’t try to make a play.
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Second, let’s take a look at Quandre Diggs‘ interception to open the third quarter. O.J. Howard was clearly held on the play, affecting his timing. As a result, Howard was not in position to catch the ball and it was easily picked. To make matters worse, no flag was thrown. If a quarterback is throwing a timing route and that route is disrupted, the play is going to be a disaster. Can Winston help it that Howard was held after the ball was in the air? Nope. But it’s a knock on Winston’s stat sheet when it wasn’t his fault.
All stats have context. They aren’t there to manipulate to further an agenda.
2.) Monday Night Football Will Be Unbearable. This is true for a few reasons. For starters, the Falcons played Thursday night and will have eleven days off to prepare for an offense that isn’t hard to prepare for. Second, the “Hire Gruden” gang are going to be out in full force. Jon Gruden will be inducted into the Ring Of Honor during halftime and the chants will be deafening. You better believe the Glazers will be listening. I’ve made my feelings known on the Gruden stuff so I’ll simply say this – be careful what you wish for.
3.) Is Ian Rapoport’s Report False? Ian Rapoport said on NFL Game Day that Winston and Dirk Koetter aren’t seeing eye to eye and Winston isn’t happy with the offense;
In their post game pressers, both Winston and Koetter denied the report and stated they have each others backs and there are no issues. Rapoport is just like Adam Schefter or Jay Glazer – he isn’t going to report something that he isn’t confident is true. Perhaps Koetter and Winston are just covering for one another to try to minimize speculation. My money would be on the latter. Neither one wants to hurt future opportunities by throwing their coach or quarterback under the bus. At the same time, sources can get things wrong too. Guess we’ll have our answer in about three weeks…
4.) Mike Evans Continues To Be A Non-Factor. What happened? He goes from knocking on the door of the Elite Receivers Club to being completely ignored game after game. Evans did draw a huge pass interference call late in the game that set up the tying score, so at least defenses are still respecting his athleticism and play making ability, it just appears as if the play calling isn’t utilizing him very often. I understand using Evans as a decoy here and there, but it’s as if Evans is used as a decoy more than he’s used as a receiver. You know Mike has to be frustrated at this point. Not sure who is to blame on this one, but Evans deserves better.
5.) Lavonte David Continues To Be An All-Pro Level Player. Rinse. Repeat.
6.) Doug Martin‘s Days Are Numbered. As much as I like Doug Martin and as much as I believe he has performed well beyond his box score (again, stats with context), I believe Koetter has had enough. Martin finished with ten carries for 26 yards, a touchdown, and lost a fumble. As soon as Martin fumbled the ball away to Detroit, he wasn’t heard from again. Peyton Barber took the reigns and finished the game with twelve carries for 58 yards. It seems Koetter is in full evaluate mode and will ride Barber the rest of the year. If that’s the case, the Buccaneers can release Martin after the season with no dead money consequences, allowing them to move on to Barber full time, sign one in free agency, or draft their running back of the future.