Several Bucs sites and writers have proclaimed the 2013 Bucs season finished, and that the playoffs are DONE….over. Well Nick disagrees, third, second, and first person!
To be fair…it may well be over. Statistically, the odds of turning this season around are as bleak as can be , and for all itents and purposes, the Bucs are on the ropes and probably 6 days away from saying the season is truely over, and if the Bucs cant beat the Cardinals this week in a home game at Raymond James stadium, that will provide the last nail in the coffin for the Bucs, and perhaps even Josh Freeman.
The biggest reason they say the season is over is because the numbers show that only one team in recent history has made the playoffs after going 0-3, and thats the 1992 SAN Diego Chargers. They actually went 0-4 before they started to win, and the first four losses were not even close. 3 of the 4 losses were by two scores or more, and the last one was a 27-0 beating before the Chargers won all but one remaining game, a 2 point loss, to make the playoffs.
In 1998 the Buffalo Bills were 0-3, losing three heart braking games by a total of 9 points before going on a 5 game winning streak and finishing 10-6, but Buffalo was not able to make the playoffs with that 10-6 mark because those three losses at the beginning of the year came to 2 afc teams.
The Bucs have lost two of three games to AFC teams, which are NOT included in playoff tiebreakers. As bad as it is, the Bucs are 0-1 in the NFC and in the NFC south.
So what makes me think there is life in a season that could be a week away from the benching of Josh Freeman? Is Derek Demke coming back to One Buc?
The team is improving each week, the Bucs got the penalty bug under control in week 3.
Josh Freeman is impoving, no where NEAR the level to which he needs to improve, but drops by Vincent jackson(2 key drops) and a TD through the fingertips of Tight End Wright could have had a drastic impact change in the outcome of the game.
But Josh threw another ill-advised pass just before the half that was picked off by former Buc Talib that made a 14-3 deficit worse at 17-3. Another loss this week to Arizona could mean the end to Freeman's run as Starting QB without injury.
Defense is still playing good football. Lets get it straight, this is still Tom Brady and Bill Belichik. Those young WRs had three weeks to get up to speed, and it looks like they did just that. look at what drew brees did to the Cardinals, yet the Bucs kept him in line. The pass rush fell off for whatever reason in the second half, but the Bucs added another 3 sacks to bring their total to almost half of last years total, after only week 3!
Just as the WRs for the pats caught on, the Bucs Tight Ends and back up WRs need to do the same. With Crabtree coming back soon, Freeman will have another weapon to use. The return of Nicks at left guard gave Freeman a LOT of time to throw the ball, and Doug Martin is still an effective weapon.
But as many opportunities I can list for the Bucs, the bottom line is this team may not deserve the optimism. And this is the last week they will get it, because after this week..the walls go up around the optimism and realism wil kick in.