The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may soon be mentioned in the same sentence when talking about teams making the playoffs. I know, it’s a stretch. But some kind of magic may have happened after last week’s victory in Atlanta and playoffs may soon be a reality.
By now, you all have seen the pregame speech from rookie quarterback Jameis Winston which showed him bringing out rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander to help inspire and fire up the team, using Alexander’s unfortunate tragedy to bring the team together. It worked.
Winston had a knack for doing that very thing at Florida State. That has now carried into his professional career and the Bucs are the fortunate team to benefit from it.
Tampa Bay’s third win was not as impressive as it could have been. But the Buccaneers forced turnovers and were making Atlanta look like they should have never hit the field for the majority of the contest. The major reason for that was because of the Winston and Alexander.
However, something else may have happened last Sunday. Something that may finally have triggered heightened performance by another polarizing figure. That figure being defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. In odd fashion, McCoy disrupted the final pass attempt of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan to seal the victory for the Buccaneers in overtime. It was a play, a moment that many have been asking for from McCoy — make some sort of play to close out the game. He did that.
It wasn’t impressive, but that victory should light the spark this team has lacked for years.
It’ll take a total team effort to be successful on Sunday against the New York Giants. There are still many question marks surrounding the team. Many of those questions surround the play of linebacker Lavonte David, the secondary, the defense as a whole, etc. But something feels different. Something special seems to be materializing.
I could be wrong, but players and coaches have carried themselves differently this week. If the Bucs come away with a convincing victory against the Giants, the rest of the league needs to watch out because a Winston-led team can become dangerous once he gets rolling.
Oh, and if they manage to reach .500, there is a chance they will sit one game out of the final spot of the playoffs with eight games left.
That’s right. They would become a team that many suggested they fire a coach to a team many will offer analysis on what they need to do to continue a playoff push.