Oh what a difference six days can make.
Last Monday the Buccaneers were handed their first loss of the season, a 14 point humbling by the Eagles on national television. It looked like the Bucs were going to tumble off the mountain they had started to climb after starting 2-0 and the trolls were licking their chops over potentially being validated for doubting the team from the start.
Six days later the Bucs marched into New Orleans and pulled off their second road victory of the season, dominating the Saints 26-9 to gain sole control of the NFC South.
Tampa Bay now heads into its bye week with a 3-1 record and as a first place team. There's no better way to wash the bad taste of a loss out of everyone's mouth than what the Bucs did on Sunday against the Saints. Not everything was perfect, but more than a few guys stepped up ina big way to help further prove that the Bucs are for real and need to have some respect put on their name.
Loser: Lack of Disciple
Things generally went pretty well overall for the Bucs on Sunday, so let's get one of the few negatives out of the way. For as good as the team played and cathartic as beating the Saints felt, the utter lack of discipline nearly threw things off track a number of different times throughout the game.
Penalties killed the Bucs last season, but the dumb mistakes returned en masse on Sunday. Early on the Bucs were getting flagged like we were used to seeing last season, and it threatened to hand momentum over to the Saints right away. Tampa Bay was penalized 11 times for nearly 100 yards, with an early roughing the passer call against Mike Greene extending a Saints scoring drive.
Those mistakes cannot be allowed to continue. It's on Todd Bowles and the staff to coach the errors out of the team, as they won't always get lucky and be able to negate them the way they did on Sunday. The Bucs have some big games against good teams like Detroit and Buffalo on the horizon and can't afford to be this sloppy again.