Hey Buccaneers: Stack some W’s if you want to “Play it Again”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Facing a bright and shiny new year in 2022, the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers should have only one thing in mind: the next game/win.

Listen to all of the players. While in their hearts, they want to “play it again,” like Rick Blaine in Casablanca, they know there are certain steps they have to take in order to accomplish that task.

With potentially six games to go, it’s time for Tampa to start stacking victories.

If the Buccaneers cannot figure out how to win against the NY Jets and Carolina Panthers (at RayJay), then the simple truth of the matter is they don’t belong in the hunt. In years past, the Bucs often failed to follow through on what looked like rosy seasons by dropping late December games that knocked them out of the hunt and any hopes of sniffing some Lombardi metal. Good luck to those teams. Who can forget the Buc’s dismal years?

In all honesty, the Bucs back then won by a bit of smoke and mirrors deviltry. Coming into the end of the season needing only to win one game, or maybe two, and failing to do so in astounding fashion. It ranks right up there with the Bucs’ ability to make even the worst of rookie QBs play like Joe Montana. Egad. Stumble in either of the next two games, and the Bucs are likely one and done in the playoffs.

The picking doesn’t come much slimmer than the turboplop Jets and the toothless Panthers. And, in the playoffs, they won’t find any patsies. Even in the NFC, the games are loaded with 11-4 teams. These aren’t teams that are going to roll over and let the Buccaneers have their way with them. They will be battles from the get-go.

Take a look at the teams in the NFC’s likely order of progression: North 12-3 Packers, West 11-4 Rams, East 11-4 Cowboys, and South 11-4 Bucs. The undercard includes the 10-5 Cardinals, 8-7 Eagles, 8-7 49ers, and any one of the three 7-8 teams that can win out to be 9-8 (Saints, Falcons, and Vikings).

Granting that all the division champs win their respective play-in games, then it will be all four division champs head-to-head to head-to-head. And, if the standings stay as they are right now, with us at the bottom, we will get the first shot at Rodgers and his fiends.

Of course, we have done pretty well against the Packers recently. We won handily in the regular season last year and then managed to oust them in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau. You can bet the Packers don’t want to make it three in a row and set us up with a legit shot to play it again.

However, our D is playing extremely well, and Rodgers will have company in the backfield all game. Will that create a turnover or two? Who knows really?

In the complimentary game, we pit the Cowboys and the Rams. We knocked off Dallas in the first game of the season, and we did not play well. If we face them again, in round two, they will have a chance at redemption. Exactly the opposite will be true if we see the Rams. We lost to them, again, when we weren’t playing well, and we can bet that the Buccaneers would love to right that indiscretion.

So, following the happy path, that would put us in the SB as NFC Champions. And who would we face? Perhaps a rematch between the GOAT (Tom Brady) and the GOAT-to-be (Patrick Mahomes), or so they say.

There are three prospective teams who could all vie for the SB. Kansas City, Tennessee, and Buffalo. Which team is the scariest? Good money says the Titans. But the Chiefs look like they have gotten their mojo back and could be tough to beat.

The Bills are hard to figure this season, maybe it’s because everyone knows what to expect from them now. But their beatdown over New England last week may be just the juice they need to get the ball rolling.

So, it will all come down to winners and losers, as it always does. as the old guy says, “You pays your money and takes your chances.”

Will the Bucs play it again?

We will all see As Time Goes By.

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