Die hard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans will direct your attention to the 2010 season as the best Bucs season in the last decade. Most in the media have pointed out however that the season was only as good as its weakest link….the 'miracle wins' that Bucs fans didn't consider when trying to predict the 2011 season record. In 2010, the Bucs won 5 games by the slimmest of margins, and had half of those games gone the other way, we could have been looking at a 7-9 record and a dismissal of former Bucs coach Raheem Morris right then and there.
So if your going to Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda the Bucs in 2010, lets do it to last years squad, and see what we get. Because you see, the Shoulda's in 2010 probably predicted the 10 game losing streak in 2011. So lets take a look at what we can learn about last years team, and how we can take a prediction out of the Bucs 7-9 record.
Three times last season, the Bucs won by 6 points or less. The Bucs only came back in one of those, the other two found the opponents shrinking the winning margin, so the reality is, those games pretty much went the way of the opponents. But on the other side of the coin, Tampa Bay lost 7 games by a touchdown and & conversion or less.
Breaking those down, one game was a full TD and 2 PT conversion (Denver), two games were lost by exactly 7 points, one game by 6 points, and THREE games the Bucs lost by LESS than a Field Goal! Tampa Bay fell to Philadelphia, Washington, and Atlanta by 2 points or less. If you take three of those 7 games, and you turn them around, the Bucs could easilly have gone10-6 last year. Stretch it even farther, and Tampa Bay sits pretty at 12-4, a franchise best record, if they win 5 of those 7 games. Had Tampa Bay managed to win all but one of the games it was still in at the end of the season, Josh Freeman would have been the QB on a franchise best record 13-3 season.
Now you can cry the old "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda…" and you would be right too. But a sway of that degree, from 8th draft pick to NFC 1st Seed throughout the playoffs? That's more than just an imaginary bold prediction for what could happen next year.
Now add to that Revis and company, and there is nothing wrong with geting your head a little lost in the 'Woulda" clouds. …with the "shoulda coulda" people!