The Bucs know how to close

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Not so deep thoughts after the Bucs outlasted the Colts 24-17 Monday night.

1. The Bucs have a knack for these fourth quarter finishes. Tampa took its first lead of the game with under four minutes left on a 35-yard LeGarrette Blount power run to the end zone.  They quickly got the ball back and closed out the game on the ground.

2. The next step for Tampa: Play better during the first three quarters.  They were flat, especially on offense, in the first half. The Bucs are the type of team that keeps it close with any team — good and bad.  Truly good teams know how to win by two scores occasionally.

3. The Colts did a remarkable job considering all their injuries. They were down to one true defensive tackle after Eric Foster and Drake Nevis were injured.  They lost starting rookie left tackle Anthony Castonzo early in the game. Second round pick tackle Ben Ijalana got hurt in the fourth quarter.

4. Curtis Painter showed enough to keep the Colts starting job. He didn’t complete half his passes (13-for-30), but he connected on two long strikes to Pierre Garcon, avoided the big mistake, and moved the ball fairly well at times.  They put up 318 yards despite only having the ball for 21 minutes.  Painter had no answer for the blitz, though.

5. The Colts are giving fans the best of both worlds. They are playing hard at 0-4, but staying in great position in the “Suck for Luck” campaign.

6. Tampa’s young defensive line took the game over in the fourth quarter. 2010 No. 3 pick Gerald McCoy had a big night. Michael Bennett and Adrian Clayborn are both nice young players.

7. Tampa is 3-1, but two of those wins came against 0-4 teams. They need to find more weapons on offense to be a Super Bowl contender, but there’s no denying this group is greater than the sum of its youngry parts.

62 responses to “The Bucs know how to close

  1. We must have been watching different shows. Jaws had me convinced that this was an epic battle between two mythically epic teams, each with larger than life heroes and staffs who created the wisdom of the ages.

  2. Great win for the Bucs. Everyone can talk about the Blount run all they want which was a great play, but Freeman diving on the 3rd and 6 before was the play of the game. Defensive line was great.

    Ron Winter and his crew are terrible and tried to give Indy all the chances in the world. Checkout the difference in penalties between the Bucs and the Colts. Hope the Bucs never have to deal with him as a ref again.

  3. Not that I have anything against Luck, cause I don’t. I just think it’d be funny.

    Oliver Luck is a weasel if I’ve ever seen one, though.

  4. Solid win for the Bucs tonight. If they could have caught a pass in the 1st half, if Benn coulda stayed in bounds on his long TD, If we coulda gotten off the field instead of giving them multiple penalties to extend drives, or somehow managed not to shoot ourselves in the foot all night with stupid would have been a convincing win..

    All that said, this is the youngest team in the lg, and they’re 3-1 with a chance to clean things up and be a strong Contender…

  5. Re: #7

    Figured this one would come up. Ignore the win vs. Atlanta, of course. You guys are still waiting to see how their record plays out. If they are 13-3, you’ll say the Bucs “barely” won so it doesn’t count. If they are 7-9, it will be a win over a losing team.

  6. Hey colts fans, yeah you’re 0-4, but at least you have a stadium to play in after this year!!

  7. My God! I didn’t see the game, but to judge by Painter’s stats, it was another craptastic bit of quarterbacking during a primetime NFL game. I can only assume Freeman played better than that, but I bet NBC and Disney have been delighted to showcase Flacco, Sanchez and Painter the last couple nights, three quarterbacks doing everything they can to refute the rumor going ’round that this is turning a pass-happy league.

  8. To say Painter
    “connected on two long strikes to Pierre Garcon”
    is extremely misleading.

    Garcon took those two passes 146 yards, but
    they were throws of 20 & 5 yards…

    So 25 yards downfield, + Garcon’s studly
    121 yards after catch = 146 yards & 2 TDs

  9. The Bucs are one of those teams that have improved quite a lot over the last couple of years. They are a few key pieces from making a run at that gloriously coveted trophy. Keep an eye on this team good things are coming down the road for Tampa Bay.

  10. How awesome is Andrew Luck gonna look w/a horseshoe on his helmet?!! (he’ll top it off w/a rabbit’s foot hanging from his grill!)…
    Hey, someone could rap a little sumthin’ to this 😉

  11. Time for some payback next Sunday at Candlestick.

    Jimmy H is the new sheriff in town.

  12. That defensive front is ferocious. They beat Matty Ice like a pinata the prior week…that’s a defensive front (along with Detroit) that no one wants any part of come November.

  13. Colts are horrible. But as a professional, u don’t.wanna ” suck for luck” one man won’t fix the volts problems

  14. Dont know why everyone is writing off the Colts in every single game. They are playing hard and played the Steelers close last week too. Big Ben needed a 4th quarter drive in order to win too.

    Oh and the refs in this game were an absolute disgrace. Josh Freeman must have kicked Ron Winter’s dog or something.

  15. “Bucs Know How To Close” in spite of redonkeydonk officiating. Check the replay of Garcon at 8:56 in the second and watch him step out of bounds…

  16. I’ll never be a fan of the colts, but I’ve gotta give them credit for not being quitters, which would be easy given their circumstances.

  17. #BucNation rides on BLOUNTforce….’bout time the rest of the football world took notice.

    By the way, has anyone noticed that the Eagles sit at 1-3 & STILL haven’t won a superbowl??

  18. However, they cannot cover a 10 point spread =/

    Now I will go youngry due to lack of funds

  19. Yeah, but should you really need a big 4th quarter comeback against the Curtis Painter-led Colts at home?

  20. “this group is greater than the sum of its youngry parts”


    “youngry parts”????

    Football writers should never get “cute” with words.

    Those guys write about tennis.

  21. it’s been said, but officiating in this game was horrid. Winters and staff need to learn how to let them play.

    The Bucs are a secondary away from being a really strong club. Talib flashes periodically but most of the time he’s playing the ball too aggressively and misses way too many tackles which puts a lot of pressure on everyone else. With Grimm now out for the season the safety position is easily their weakest link.

  22. That was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen. The worst was the Steelers/Seahawks Super Bowl (which I think we can all agree on). This was a very close second though. There were several terrible blocks on both of Garcon’s TD catches. And what happened right before halftime? Replay showed that both teams had 12 men, which would be offsetting penalties. The half can’t end on a defensive penalty, so shouldn’t they have re-played the down?

  23. I was about getting sick of Gruden talking about the 6’6 240lb Freeman then 2 plays later it was the 6’6 260lb Freeman. Had the game went to OT Freeman would have weighed more than an offensive tackle

  24. Why bring up that they beat two 0-4 teams? They beat the defending NFC #1 seed last week. A team who you can’t stop loving because they have “Matty Ice” and you tend to write about anyone who the rest of the media talks about. And may I add, they dominated both lines of scrimmage during.


    I don’t care if he pulls his bong behind him in a little red wagon while roaming the secondary, get Tanard Jackson back on the field.

  26. I can’t wait for this Sunday’s game between the Bucs and the Niners! The Bucs are good, it’s going to be a good test for my Niners. Here’s to hoping for a good football game between two 3-1 teams.

  27. So here we go again with the Buccaneers Doubters. I personally couldn’t care less what the media and the fans of other teams think.

    After a 10-6 record last year, it was because of a week schedule… right? Isn’t that what everyone said?

    So… Everyone said that this year, the Bucs would be lucky to get 3 or 4 wins due to a harder schedule.

    So, the Colts and the Vikings are winless, so, we’re beating “easy” teams. Well, the Bucs kept it very close against the 4-0 Lions, and could easily be 4-0….

    Did anyone that is doubting the Bucs actually watch the game? The Bucs penalties killed them. They can clean that up, but, the Defense look ferocious last night. Blount was unstoppable, and the entire team looked like they had a chip on their shoulder. The heart that the Bucs show, shows how much they want to win, and honestly, Painter did a very good job last night, and was hitting his throws until the Bucs brought the pressure, and then it was lights out for him.

    Why are there so many doubters? The Bucs have a great QB in Freeman, a veteran OL, great TE’s, superior Wide Outs, an aggressive young Defensive line, very good CB’s, and when they get T. Jackson back for Safety, I don’t see ANY weakness in this team.

    As everyone knows, they are YOUNG, and they will only get better. I am excited about the future of this team. You doubters are watching the beginning of a dynasty.

    Look at the “Dream Team” A bunch of old players, getting paid way too much with a record of 1-3. I think the Bucs were much smarter in the off season in sticking to their guns, and building from within.

    I wanted to add a side note: Everyone gave the Buccaneers an extemely hard time about the only free agent move was going after a kicker…. Have you noticed the average starting position for the opposing team? Bucs were close to worst in the league last year, and this year they are ranked #1. I would say they did an absolute excellent job with that pick up.

  28. RichM,

    “Youngry” is a Raheemism, d-bag …

    The Bucs are 15-8 in their last 23 games. Apparently, however, winning nearly two-thirds of the time isn’t enough for some of you morons.

    In a season where teams have blown more leads that the gang from “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the Bucs have suffocated opponents in back-to-back weeks to finish off games. (And they jammed it down the Vikings throat as time wound down, leaving no hope for a possible comeback.)

    Since the second half of the Minnesota game, Legarrette Blount has been absolutely smashing people, while opponents’ rushing attacks have been stuffed.

    The defensive front is turning nasty before our eyes, and once Freeman and his receiving weapons get rolling, it’s going to be bad news for everyone else.

    Also, Michael Koenen has been worth every cent.

  29. @seahawksfan25

    Ummm…yeah I’d say one man CAN make all the difference. In this case he wears number 18.

  30. Why are there so many doubters? The Bucs have a great QB in Freeman, a veteran OL, great TE’s, superior Wide Outs, an aggressive young Defensive line, very good CB’s, and when they get T. Jackson back for Safety, I don’t see ANY weakness in this team.


    I’m the most die-hard of Bucs fans, but even i can’t raise my level of homer-ism to this point and say that i don’t see ANY weakness on this team.

    Outside of the actual play calling (cause we all know how horrible Olsen has been doing in the first half of games), i see plenty of areas that need strengthening:

    1. With Grimm going out on IR, until Tanard Jackson gets reinstated, safety is definitely a position of weakness. Still, I think i see us going after a safety early in the draft next year.

    2. I would also rank CB high up there on list of things to grab in the draft next year early on. While i trust that our HC (former DB coach) can coach up an ok CB into a serviceable CB, i would much rather see them grab someone who can TRULY take the reigns from Barber in the long run. I like Talib, but considering our division is very pass happy, we need another STRONG CB covering the other side of the field.

    3. RT. did anybody else see Trueblood get repeatedly abused on the line in pass protection? I know Mathis is a beast, but still, that level of execution is unacceptable, when your main goal is to keep #5 healthy. Although he did get a new contract this year, its only for 2 years, so hopefully, 2 years from now, the draft class on Tackles will be pretty strong (makes you wonder if thats why Dom only offered him a 2yr contract)

    4. OG. Zutta has done a very good job on the left side with Penn, but if Faine goes down again, it would be Zutta to take his place and Larsen taking Zutta’s place. that by itself makes the LG situation a little shaky.

    Other than that, an ugly win is still a win and it keeps us tied with the Saints for the Division lead and head to SF next week. i would love to see them come out and start fast (like they did against the falcons) and finish strong (like they do against everyone).

    also, SHOUT OUT to the Bucs front office and staff for actually realizing the importance of the lost art of solid special teams play. So many teams rely on building a high scoring offense and top notch defense (cought*Chargers*cough) and always forget about special teams. you just don’t realize how much it helps out the defense when the opposing team is starting their drive inside the 20 on kickoffs and when you put 5+ seconds of hangtime on a punt. KUDOS to Michael Koenen

  31. @ celly84:

    as I said in my post, safety was week, and Tanard will be reinstated shortly.

    You say we are week at CB? Barber was Defensive Player of the week last week! Talib is a pro-bowler, and I didn’t see where Biggers was beat even one time… will they get someone in the draft next year to replace Barber, probably, however, this year the CB’s look great.

    As for Trueblood last night, I thought he did okay against one of the best pass rushers in the league. How many times was Freeman sacked last night against 2 of the best book ends in the league??? Twice. Only 4 times all season. Blount carried the ball for 127 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. So, how do you say that our G position or any part of our OL is weak?

    So, before you claim to be a Buccaneers fan, or as you put it “the most die-hard of Bucs fans” you may want to do a little research before typing those words like you know what you’re talking about.

    The Buccaneers have put together a very good team, do they have a lot of depth, no, but they don’t have a bunch of old players that will play for a year or two and then retire. Older players get injured more. By the end of the season, they will (as they have been doing) evaluate their weeknesses and build through the draft… Have you noticed that in the last few years?

  32. I see a lot of people discounting the 49ers this week and I think it is unwarranted. This will be a very tough test for both teams, but the Bucs especially.

    Blount is a very good running back, but he will get shut down by the 49ers front. They just can’t be run on right now; McDonald, Justin Smith and Sopoaga are playing at an elite level and have shut down every running back they have faced this year. I think the running game is a non-starter. Couple that with the seeming inability of Bucs’ receivers to get real separation and good, open looks and they might struggle offensively. Despite great play from Carlos Rogers, the 49ers are vulnerable in the secondary. I just don’t see Freeman as being the Quarterback the media seems to want him to be. He is worse than Alexia Smith at checking down for the dinky stuff, which gives the 49ers elite linebackers the opportunity to make some big plays. You beat the 49ers by throwing downfield and I haven’t seen Freeman display that this year in abundance. I think he is overrated.

    The 49ers need to be able to play off the run and get the ball out quickly against the Buc’s strong pass rush. The big question mark on offense right now is the consistency of the O-Line. If they aren’t on their game, it could be a very long afternoon. Additionally, it remains to be seen whether the 49ers stick with the more aggressive offensive scheme we saw in the 2nd half on Sunday or revert to the ultra-conservative, timid offense we have seen for the majority of the season.

    It boils down to this: If the 49ers can play mistake-free football, they can win the game with Defense and Special Teams. If the Bucs can disrupt Alex enough, he WILL throw picks and the game will be a blow out in favor of the Bucs. I think the 49er team we saw against the Eagles in the second half is the real deal. We know they can play Defense, especially up-front. If they can have some consistency and get the ball in the hands of Vernon Davis, I think the 49ers will control the game.

    49ers 23, Bucs 14.

  33. who’s front 7 hasnt looked “elite” against the Iggles this year? The Bucs O-Line is years ahead of the 49ers front 7 and u should be put in timeout for even mentioning Josh Franchise and Alex Smith in the same sentence except to say that the 23 year old Freeman is leaps and bounds better than the 49ers’ bust. Also, the media says nothing about Josh Freeman in comparison to his fellow QB’s in his draft class (Stafford & Sanchez) even tho the 23 year old is obviously better than BSPN’s lovechild Sanchez and works with half the talent @ WR in Stafford.

  34. Jthv83,

    You obviously haven’t watched anything other than Buc’s football this year, so let me enlighten you.

    1. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald are playing at elite levels and are probably the best 3-4 Defensive End combo in the league. Sopoaga is playing very well as well. The 49ers right now have arguably the best 3-4 Defensive front in the game. The Bucs run a different scheme, so it isn’t really apples to apples. Smith and McDonald are good pass rushers, but getting sacks isn’t the primary focus of a 3-4 DE.

    2. Patrick Willis is the best MLB in the league right now and that isn’t really even that debatable. Navarro Bowman has played BETTER than Willis. The Bucs linebacking core isn’t even close, guy. Besides, the proof is in the pudding 49ers are allowing 74 rushing yards per game versus the Bucs 101. Tampa Bay’s vaunted pass rush only has one more sack than the 49ers. 49ers also have more tackles for loss. You lose the argument.

    3. I didn’t use them in the same sentence, I used them in two separate sentences. I cannot argue against your illiteracy. If you think insulting Alex Smith is somehow going to insult any 49er fan, you REALLY don’t pay attention to non-Buc football. I would rather have Freeman any day, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is overrated. He has been mentioned as a top-10 Quarterback at times and he isn’t anything more than a middling QB. He might get better, but his stats speak for themselves. He isn’t elite. If he is your franchise, then you really need to start worrying.

    49ers are going to win this Sunday. I don’t buy what Bucs fans are selling, at all.

  35. I find it hysterical that ihatesocal chastises a Bucs fan for not watching 49ers football and then uses stats to illustrate why Freeman is overrated/middling.

    Stats are for losers, I suppose Tony Romo is a better QB cause of his often gaudy numbers? Give me an f’n break.

    Here’s a stat for you ihatesocal, in less than two years as a starter Josh Freeman has 9 4th quarter game-winning drives and 6 comeback wins. The dude is only 23 and is simply nails; that’s why people are talking about him in elite terms. The stats will come when he gets another year or two under his belt and gets some more weapons to play with (top picks in past two drafts are all defenders.) So yes he is a franchise QB, when your team has never had one its easy to know when you do.

    And just to educate you some more, Freeman wasn’t throwing downfield cause the Colts were running 2 deep zone the entire game and the Bucs just took the 6-7 yard curl underneath the MLB who dropped into zone all game. Nothing wrong with that. If you want to go man to man, the ball will be thrown downfield. I’ll take our WRs over 49er defensive backs any day of the week.

    And really 74 yards vs. 101 rushing yards per game doesn’t mean jack squat. Michael Turner will tell you how much fun it is to run against the Bucs.

    I welcome Alex Smith and the 49ers to get aggressive, the Bucs will make them pay.

  36. Just to echo some previous comments, worst officiated game I’ve seen in a long time.

    Ron Winter and some of his fellow septuagenarians on that crew need to be forced into retirement.

  37. My illiteracy?

    Ha – you go off in a diatribe about your front 7 and then conpare the Bucs LB’s as if in my post I just once mentioned them? Perhaps you should slow down your fingers to catch up with reality bud.

    All in all, I cant hate on a 49ers fan who has had only crap to cheer for since we kicked his ass in the 2002 playoffs just after ending Steve Young’s career in the late 90’s.

    Come Sunday, he’ll see we arent an NFC West chump squad or the crap in the trenches Iggles.

    We are the Youngry, best team in the DOMINANT NFC South.

    Patrick Willis is a stud tho 🙂

  38. Umm…bucs fans need to wake up. You barely beat a team that was starting its 3rd string LT by the 4th quarter, a backup that most people here in Indy wanted to cut before the Manning debacle, a backup guard, several DTs out, and a doofus DC that played base Tampa 2 all night leaving the middle open for Freeman. And you’re crowing about being 3-1? wooo….not to mention Manning. He plays, YOU lose by 21 points. This team is built around him, and it’s obvious…Painter is decent but no world beater, and Garcon drops tons of balls, then makes up for it with insane plays like he had Monday night.

  39. Backup QB I meant…funny how everyone here in Indy just loves Painter now, when he was hated and people wanted him cut before Manning had the 2nd surgery…back to TB. You were a dropped Colts INT from LOSING to a Manningless Colts team. But a win’s a win…I guess

  40. @CMGWW: If Payton was playing, they would have played differently.

    Bucs are 3-1, so yes, I am happy about that. Just because your team is 0-4, you don’t have to come in here and make unfounded, misinformed comments.

  41. So no one was chastising the Steelers for squeaking by the Colts the week before…but hey, that’s the vaunted Steelers, right?

    This Colts team has a lot of fight in them. They don’t want to “Suck for Luck”. Add to that a bit of biased officiating (yes, I know, they’re supposedly impartial – then why is it every time Ron Winters calls a Bucs game the Bucs penalties are twice the opponents – I’m just sayin’) and you have what we had on Monday Night.

    As for ihatesocal, yes, I agree with you. The Niners are a well coached, underrated ball club. With this being a short week and the Bucs have to go cross-country, I’m extremely worried about this game.

    With that said, don’t you dare dis Josh Freeman. I know you guys haven’t seen a real quarterback since the 1990’s but Freeman is without question the real deal.

    Not only is he money in the fourth quarter he is the unquestioned leader of the ball club.

    If your team had a quarterback half as talented as Freeman you’d be a Super Bowl contender.

    This 23 year old quarterback has won 6 of his last 8 starts with the youngest team in the NFL that’s getting better around him.

    They’ve got some questions they need to answer (like wtf is up with the secondary – they’ve been dreadful this year).

    They’ll keep winning ugly and that’s fine. When they do get it all figured out – look out NFL.

    I’ll leave you with this ihatesocal. Your team better be up by at least two touchdowns with 5 minutes left in the game. If not, Josh is gonna get ya.

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