What is up everybody? It's me your favorite Buccaneers beat writer. I know one of you out there thinks I'm awesome and I'm talking directly to you, Dad, lmao. My dad doesn't read what I write. I send him links and he's like, "Nahhhh, I'm good."
I'm playing my dad's cool. It's just a joke. I'm trying to help you guys lighten up a little. I know things looked bad against the Bears but you know what? It wasn't that bad.
It was pretty bad.
The 2-1 Bucs went into Chicago to take on the 2-1 Bears. The Bears defense led by Khalil Mack was a known beast but quarterback Trubisky was supposed to be bad. He was not. He threw for 6 touchdowns and led the Bears to a 38 point victory: 48-10. Bears running back Tarik Cohen was a freak and had 174 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown. The Bears dominated both sides of the ball.
Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick started the game but was only able to manage 3 points on offense and was benched by halftime. Jameis Winston came out to start the second half and he looked pretty good ... until Mack hit Winston while throwing causing the ball to float in the air and it eventually got intercepted. The Buccaneers managed only one more score on the day and that's what you call a blowout. Buccaneers head coach said at a press conference after the game that everybody on the field deserved to be fired including him.
So what the heck are you talking about Mike?
Hear me out. The Buccaneers played bad. It happens. It wasn't all negative though. Buccaneers rookie running back Ronald Jones Jr finally got into the game. He had been inactive in the previous three games. He had 10 carries for 29 yards. Not great by any stretch of the imagination but he looked like a capable and strong runner in what little I did get to see of him. Rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea also got his first game action after being hurt since the preseason. He is an absolute monster. He was taking on two offensive linemen at once. He looks like he is a real threat already. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson went over 100 yards receiving again - he's averaging over 100 yards a game. Finally, Jameis came in and was able to move the ball immediately. His strength in the pocket is remarkable. He was making plays to avoid the sack that few players in the league can make. He's still only 24.
I see online a lot of people calling for Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith to be fired. That is a terrible idea, honestly. I'm not paid by the Bucs. I'm telling you this as a rational person who watched every play from every game this season - twice. The defense played bad. But that happens sometimes. This team has played 3 of the best offensive teams in the league before the Bears and the Bears are arguably one of the best defensive teams in the league. The Buccaneers went to Chicago on a short week after a shootout with the Steelers on Monday night. Mike Smith's defenses the past two years have been undermanned and that's putting it nicely. Do you know what he was able to do with those defenses? He only directed them to get the 4th most takeaways in the league over the past two years. No small feat. This team is much better than those. Give him a break.
The Bucs got beat down. Big deal. Everybody gets beat bad at some point. These guys will learn from it. We have veteran leaders on this defense like Gerald McCoy and Super Bowl champions like Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen, and Vinny Curry. They will figure it out. Relax and unwind over the bye week and watch some other team play football - not the Bears they're on a bye. Grab a Fitzmagic beer out of the fridge and follow me on twitter @stillnfac or hit me up below in the comments section.
Thanks for reading. I got another game to watch.