Sunday, September 14, 2008

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad...

Sigh. The Bucs can't even let me feel good when they win anymore. In a battle between two teams doing everything in their power to lose, the Bucs managed to squeeze out an ugly victory. Every good thing that happened was accompanied by a bad thing to haunt me as I wait for the match-up against the Bears in Week 3... Some examples of this phenomena are:

The Good: Aqib Talib picked up his first interception as a Buc! Good to see the rookie getting into the action so soon. He seems like a good kid and I'm glad to see him contributing.
The Bad: Talib hurt his hamstring and had to sit out much of the end of the game.

The Good: Sabby Piscitelli had his first interception as a Buc! I really like this kid, and it's good to see him contributing now that he's getting a chance to play (after sitting out his rookie year with an injury). The combination of Piscitelli and fellow-second-year-player Tanard Jackson at safety is pretty sweet. The Bucs are solid at safety for the first time since John Lynch was unceremoniously booted, and it's looking like that will be the case for years to come if management doesn't decide to screw around with these two young talents the way they've done with so many other talented players...
The Bad: Sabby Piscitelli (who I often praise for his intelligence after he spent so much time last year studying tape while recovering from injury) made the single most idiotic decision of the game, lobbing a recovered interception forward (which is illegal anyway) at nobody in particular, thus handing the ball back to the Falcons and almost letting them back in the game... I'll chalk it up as a "rookie mistake" since this is only his second game, but I don't want to see that mess again...

The Good: Griese had a statistically decent game and (mostly due to the awesome running game, help on defense, and the crappiness of the Falcons) sort of led the Bucs to victory.
The Bad: "Threw the ball way above the head of a wide open receiver" looks the same on the stat sheet as "Intelligently threw the ball away under pressure to prevent a sack," which is to say that a reasonable passer rating doesn't reflect the many many inexcusable missed connections. If the Bucs wanted to watch their receivers be constantly over-thrown, they would have just kept Bruce Gradkowski. The fumble (which allowed the Falcons to get back in the game) was pretty much all on Griese. Now we have Garcia moping on the sidelines with hurt feelings making sarcastic comments about Gruden and whining to reporters about getting benched, we have Griese with a mediocre/not-so-good performance that somehow ended up in a win, and we have Luke McCown who could actually be the future of this team at QB and (in my opinion) should have started this week if we're really ditching Garcia (and not just giving him an extra week to get healthier). Fantastic. Prolonged QB controversy always ends well, right?

The Good: The running game was solid for the second straight week. Earnest Graham looks amazing (as usual) and Warrick Dunn is a really nice complement to him. I think the idiot announcer during the game actually made a good point noting that Graham's 3 years of practice hitting people as hard as he could while blocking on special teams probably contributed to his punishing running style. You can try to tackle him, but he's going to make you pay for it and he still may not go down. I love this guy, and I love seeing him start the season so well after breaking out last year.
The Bad: Freaking Cadillac... I don't honestly believe Cadillac Williams will be the first player in NFL history to successfully return to play after tearing a patellar tendon, but he hasn't been ruled out for the second half of the year. I also don't necessarily think even a healthy Cadillac (something that's only been seen for about 10 games in his career because he's so fragile) would be better than what Graham is giving the Bucs right now. Cadillac is flashier, but Graham is a better blocker, better receiver, is harder to bring down, and is infinitely more durable. If the Bucs start taking reps away from Graham and Dunn just to work Williams back in, I am not going to be a happy camper. The Cadillac era started strong but was derailed by injuries. It's time to cut our losses and move on with the talent we have.

The Bad with No Good: Galloway is having trouble getting on track (due in part to issues at QB) and left the game with an injury. Not what this offense needs right now... Also, the defense is still giving up too many big running plays. They need to stop over-pursuing and start wrapping up tackles before this gets out of hand...

So, yeah... Go Bucs! Sigh... Good to see them get one for the win column, but this team is a mess right now in a lot of ways, which is made even more frustrating by the fact that there is SO much talent on the roster right now. I'm getting really tired of watching Bruce Allen and his ego try to destroy the team I love. Don't get me wrong, they'll still be winning the Super Bowl this year... it's just going to be a rockier road than I'd initially anticipated...

UPDATE: As a bonus, I've had the theme song from The Facts of Life stuck in my head ever since posting this. Awesome.

2 comments:

Stanley said...

I'm confused...I thought this was a food related blog...but I seem to have been redirected to a Bucs fan site....must be something wrong with my browser...

emmo said...

It only becomes a Bucs fan site once a week... I just need to get this stuff out of my system after the games before it drives me insane.

Plus, I amended the blog description when the season started in hopes of heading off complaints like yours... ;-)