It was 20 years ago, 1996 and the Bucs had beaten the Raiders at home, and went out to play the Chargers, who went up 14-0 before you knew it. But unlike the OLD Bucs, these new 1996 Bucs under rookie Head Coach Tony Dungy stayed the course, pounded away with Mike Alstott, picked off passes by John Lynch, and won the game. The Bucs were never the same after this game and have been either winners, or competitive losers until the end of the Gruden Era in 2008.
But then a new losing era had started; make no mistake, it wasn’t as bad as 1983-1996 but it was close! From 2009 to 2015 the Bucs had only one winning season, 2010 going 10-6 but they missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Consider how bad the Bucs have been in this modern era…
- 8 straight years no playoffs
- 13 Straight Years since last playoff win (Super Bowl)
- 5 straight years of finishing in LAST PLACE in NFC South
Most people saw the same old same same old at the beginning this year, but todays fans are a little more shortsighted compared to yesteryears, we live in an instant win or your done era, the days of a coach getting a 5 year plan are GONE! But Dirk Koetter being promoted to coach was one of the best things the Glazers have done. I wasn’t a fan of Firing Lovie Smith because of instability, but it was the right move (just stop throwing it in our face SR!) It kept Jameis Winston on the same program with offense, and that is paying off in dividends right now.
Unlike with the Raheem Era, Jameis Winston is the opposite of then QB Josh Freeman, who was more of an introvert. Jameis is an A type personality that former coach Greg Schiano was looking for. Remember when Jameis was throwing as many Interceptions as touchdowns? Not any more…
Consider this about Jameis Winston:
- No QB in NFL History has had more yardage than Jameis Winston in his first two years in the league with 2x 4000 yard seasons(not Manning (Either), Brees, Brady)
- Winston is 11th with 3100 passing yards, with 4 games left, he’s going to break 4000 yards again.
- Jameis is not passing like crazy, he is 16th in attempts.
- From 8 Picks to 9 TDs, Jameis has 23 TDs and 12 INTs.
Winston’s top receiver Mike Evans is no longer becoming elite, he IS one of the NFL elite WRs:
- Currently no.2 in receiving yardage behind only Julio Jones, ahead of A.Brown, Beckham and Jordy!
- Evans is not doing it with Big Chunks! He’s 9th in 20+ yard plays, and you can’t even find him on 40+ yard plays.
- Evans is Scoring TouchDowns; 10 which is tied with Jordy Nelson, just behind Antonio Brown.
More important is what Jameis Winston is doing to this team; the message of Family has resonated throughout the complex, and players, all players, defense and special teams alike, are emulating the 2nd year pro, coming into One Buc early to do Film Work, and its the extra film work and preparation that is working. Consider what the Buccaneers as a team have done now:
- They are 1 win away from guaranteeing a non losing season
- BUCS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS right now if the season ended today as a WildCard by half game, Tied for 1st place in NFC SOUTH (ATL’s 3-1 div record better than Bucs 2-1)
- Bucs have now won 4 in a row, which has happened about
If Bucs can win Sunday vs New Orleans, 5 wins in a row have only happened 3 times in Franchise History; Bucs have won 4 games in a row a bunch of times, most recently in 2005 to start the season out 4-0, also in 2007, in 2008 to go 9-3, and 2012 winning 4 in a row to go from 2-4 to 6-4, but finished 7-9. But the craziest was the 2002 Super Bowl Season when they won 4 in a row 3 times including the playoffs! The 2nd of those was actually 5 in a row, which contains 4!
Here are the rare 5 in a row wins the Bucs have had, starting in their 4th year of existence to shock the NFL World!
- 1979: 5 in a row to start 5-0, ended up 10-6 and 1-1 in playoffs.
- 1997: Started out 5-0 first year in Pewter, this ended the 14 year losing!
- 1999: Started out 3-4, behind coach Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin set record with 6 Wins in a row to go 9-4, finishing 11-5; 1-1 playoffs.
- 2002: After opening day loss, reeled off 5 wins to go 5-1 before winning 4 in a row later, and 4 in a row from season finale to Super Bowl! 2×4 game win streaks and a 5 streak too!
As the key word in the title, the Bucs are gaining National Attention, the next two games will be broadcast all over the country, the second in two weeks at Dallas Cowboys, has been Flexed by NBC from 1PM to 8:25 Sunday Night National TV Audience. This will be the third national Telecast, the Monday Night Win over Carolina on the road, and the Thursday Night loss to Atlanta which by now the country is used to sharing with us!!