It looked as if the Buccaneers were going to give us all a nice early Christmas present. Instead, it was more of the same ol’ same ol’.
Season’s greetings, right? Another lights out performance from Jameis Winston is all for nothing as the Buccaneers found yet another way to blow a fourth quarter lead to lose to the Falcons 22-19. Mike Evans was a standout performer, notching his first 100 yard game against the Panthers. Winston finished 21/27 for 326 yards and a touchdown, but was under duress all game long. He was sacked six times for a loss of 41 yards, nearly seven yards per sack.
Winston also fumbled three times. Two of which were due to the immense pressure, one was a botched quarterback-center exchange. On his third fumble, Winston emerged from the pile with the ball, but possession was awarded to the Panthers resulting in a full emotional meltdown by Winston.
Let’s dive in to a brief, holiday inspired edition of Pick Six!
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
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1.) The Jameis Haters Continue To Be Proven Wrong. This is two weeks in a row where Winston did everything he possibly could to will the Bucs to a win. Once again, he was let down by his teammates. The offensive line was offensive. With DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard out, Winston utilized Mike Evans the way we expected him to all season. Big plays by Chris Godwin and Freddie Martino put the Bucs in great position to score. However, the constant pressure by the Panthers were the Bucs’ undoing all day long.
2.) Don’t Sweat Pat Murray. Two weeks in a row now, Murray has missed clutch fourth quarter field goals. Don’t sweat. Murray is still going to be fine over the long haul and has earned an extension to stay with this team in 2018 any beyond. Chalk it up as yet another thing that went wrong for the Bucs, just as they have all season long.
3.) Grumors Getting Hotter. It’s no longer just local writers talking about Jon Gruden coming to the Buccaneers. Ian Rapoport jumped into the mix with some new information this morning as you can see here;
Remember, Rapoport was also the one to break the news of a Dirk Koetter/Jameis Winston divide, so someone is obviously feeding him some serious information and Rapoport isn’t going to report anything he isn’t 100% certain of. Gruden is calling fellow coaches to build a potential staff and the Bucs are his number one choice. The Glazers have spent too much money to build a team with too much talent to waste it on 4-12 seasons. They’re going to do whatever they can to get this team into contention.
4.) Why Was Doug Martin In The Game? With the way Peyton Barber was running the ball, Koetter decided to go away from him in favor of Doug Martin during the fourth quarter when the Bucs had a chance to ice the game. Martin was getting absolutely nothing going in the run game, gaining only 1.2 yards per carry. And this isn’t a situation where the stats don’t tell the whole story. They tell the exact story of how Martin performed. This is one of the prime reasons people want to run Koetter out of town. The questionable decisions and play calling in crucial moments are a big reason the Bucs are in the position they are.
5.) Oh, Those Self Inflicted Wounds. The Buccaneers just love to shoot themselves in the foot. They finished with twelve penalties for 72 yards, one of which came on 4th-and-3 from the five yard line, allowing the Panthers to run a 4th-and-1 play, gaining a first down and giving themselves more opportunities to win the game. That said, that play is probably the biggest impact Chris Baker has had in a game all season long. These guys just can’t get out of their own way. Who is going to step up and get these guys in shape?
6.) It’s Bowl Season! Start paying attention to these college bowl games. Lots of players will be on display and under some huge spotlights that can turn around and help the Bucs come draft weekend. Most notably, Bradley Chubb. Now, the Buccaneers need some help if they’re going to move up high enough to get him, but he’s definitely becoming the fan favorite target for the draft.
Six Numbers To Consider
100 yard receiving games by Mike Evans, third most in franchise history, tied with Vincent Jackson
Number of 300 yard games by Jameis Winston, tied with Doug Williams for second most in franchise history
Interceptions by Kwon Alexander, fifth most in the NFL by a linebacker since 2015
Chris Godwin’s 70 yard reception Sunday was the second longest by a rookie in Bucs’ history and the second longest reception by any Buccaneer since 2013
Mike Evans has the fifth most receptions in Bucs history with 295
Passing yards needed by Winston in the final game to pass Cam Newton for fifth all-time for a quarterback in their first three seasons
Six Best Tweets
Six Best Christmas Songs
In the spirit of Christmas, here are (in my opinion) the six best Christmas songs to rock out to while you’re opening presents or cooking the Christmas feast!
6.) Run Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry – A fun little rendition to rock to while shopping. Something a little different from traditional carols isn’t a bad thing
5.) Christmas Eve – Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Come on…you know you love it.
4.) Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis – A little old school, but something about Johnny Mathis’ voice really takes this song up a notch
3.) You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft – Who doesn’t love singing along with the nonsensical lyrics written by the legendary Dr. Seuss? “You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich…with arsenic sauce!”
2.) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Burl Ives – Nothing says Christmas quite like the sound of Burl Ives’ voice. And there is no second to Ives’ singing along to the classic claymation edition of Rudolph.
1.) Santa Claus Is Comin To Town – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – There are many, many versions of this classic, but all pale in comparison to The Boss and The Big Man. Now, I’m biased as Springsteen is my favorite artist, but even before I was a big Bruce fan I loved this version the best. With Max Weinberg rocking out the drums and Clarence “Big Man: Clemens on the saxophone, this version is hands down the best. Don’t believe me? Listen below.
Six Best Christmas Movies
6.) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Something about that claymatioin classic screams childhood, magic, and Christmas. Remember back before DVRs and Rudolph was appointment television? Those were the days…
5.) How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Some people aren’t a huge fan of this flick, but Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the best bad guy in Christmas history is something to marvel. With kids in the house, it’s must see.
4.) The Santa Clause Trilogy – No one was better suited to play Santa Claus than Tim Allen. All three movies are terrific and a blast to watch with the whole family. The evolution of Allen’s Claus from disbelief to a legend is truly special.
3.) Scrooged – Bill Murray is amazing. Christmas is amazing. Bill Murray and Christmas is a thing of beauty. From the one liners, to the beating he receives at the hands of the ghost of Christmas present, this movie is the best version of Charles Dickins’ classic.
2.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – We have all experienced the stress of families at Christmas time, getting the screw job from the boss, and we all have a cousin Eddie. It’s a must see at Christmas time.
1.) A Christmas Story – There’s a reason it plays for 24 straight hours from Christmas Eve into Christmas. We’ve all been little Ralphie, begging for that one gift we can’t live without while being rejected at every turn – only to wake up Christmas morning to the most memorable unwrapping of our lives.