Sunday, September 21, 2008

My (Brief) Apparently-Weekly Bucs Post

I'm not sure my heart is cut out for this stuff. I think I almost had a heart attack during the final (game-tying) Bucs drive in regulation... Huge win for the Bucs to pull out after what looked like certain defeat.

The positives:
  1. Michael Clayton looked solid today for the first time in a long time. It was really nice to see. Antonio Bryant (who last week dropped more balls than he caught) was solid, as well, coming up with some huge plays when we desperately needed them. Maurice Stovall still seems to think the ball has cooties, but Clayton, Bryant, and Hilliard (along with the depth at tight end, including a resurgent Jeramy Stevens) should be enough to get us by until Galloway is back to his usual amazing self.
  2. Barrett Ruud's interception in the end zone was pretty impressive. I love that guy.
  3. Gaines Adams' interception return for an acrobatic touchdown put a smile on my face. Good kid.
  4. The Bucs won.
The negatives:
  1. The run game got shut down pretty early, due in large part to continuing problems with the offensive line. This is not good, as it means laying everything on Griese's shoulders.
  2. The announcers were discussing how many 4th-quarter comebacks Griese has led in his career (this was his 10th). You know how you lead a lot of 4th-quarter comebacks? By putting your team in giant holes earlier in the game. Griese's 2nd and 3rd INTs this game were pretty bad. With about 4 minutes remaining in regulation (when I was fairly certain the Bucs had lost) this had me wondering if we'd be seeing the start of the Luke McCown era next week... (Which would be a mess for a slew of other reasons.) Then Griese pulls out the huge comeback and it looks like we're stuck riding the Griese rollercoaster for a while longer.
  3. Ronde Barber got burned. Badly. Several times. That should never happen and kind of messes with my world view...
  4. I've lost faith in Gruden. I've defended him against detractors for years now, and I've tried to place most of the blame for the shady way the organization treats it vetarans on Bruce Allen (even though I knew in my heart that wasn't really how it was). Benching the best QB on your team after one (mediocre) week over what seems to be off-the-field personal issues is not smart, especially when your backup plan is Brian Effing Griese. If he'd benched Garcia for McCown then I could see it as building for the future, but this? This practically looks like he decided to sabotage the season for reasons I can't begin to fathom.
That's all. Thrilled to get the win, and had a lot of fun watching this crazy game in the wee morning hours. I've been through seasons with QBs like Griese (and with Griese himself, actually) and I realize I just need to get used to the bumpy ride that inevitably awaits as the season continues. It's tough loving this sport, man... But at least I'm not a Seahawks fan. ;-)

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