Holy Swashbucklers, Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have an Offense
Somewhere in the shadows of our feeble offensive past, the right arm of Steve DeBerg is numb, the hands of Alvin Harper are tingling and the legs of Mark Carrier are throbbing at the thought of running this offense.
We are but 11 years removed from the Tony Dungy era, though we are light years away from the offenses he deployed through offensive coordinators Mike Shula, Les Steckel and Clyde Christensen.
"Dungy Ball," this is not.
It's crazy to think and even crazier to know that never in the team's 36-year history has it had the scoring capabilities that we are seeing today.
With last night's 36-17 win over the Vikings, the Bucs scored 28 or more points for the third consecutive game and fourth time this season. Better yet, they are on pace to score 421 points this season, which would handily beat their franchise record of 388 points.
Josh Freeman, the franchise quarterback seemingly no one wanted a few weeks ago, is on pace to throw for more than 4,100 yards and 32 touchdowns—both would be team records.
Vincent Jackson is on pace for 1,430 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. You guessed it, both would be team records.
Doug Martin's current clip would have him finishing with 1,242 rushing yards, which would be the fourth-highest single season total in team history—as a rookie no less.
Don't get me wrong, I am not naive enough to realize that necessity has dictated a lot of what has happened offensively this season. The defense has been porous at times, forcing the offense to open it up and score points as a matter of survival.
That doesn't mean what the Bucs have going on isn't something special. Especially when you consider how bad we've seen our defense play in the past.
After all, Richard Williamson and Sam Wyche—who went a combined 27-56 in their time as head coach here—weren't exactly trotting out the Steel Curtain every Sunday during their respective eras.
And don't even get me started on Leeman Bennett.
My point is, sure this defense has allowed some big plays and surrendered more than its fair share of points this season. But around here, we're no stranger to spotty defense and questionable schemes.
But this whole 'score-a-bunch-of-points' thing is very new to us. And the truth is, I kinda like it.
And I'm guessing you do, as well.
Through Week 8 ,who is your Team Offensive MVP?
Consider this: The Bucs have only had a receiver eclipse 1,000-plus yards 12 times in their history. They could have two wideouts do that this season.
Can Freeman and the offense maintain their torrid pace? Only time will tell. The combination of Jackson and Mike Williams has proven to be tough for defenses to slow down, let alone stop altogether.
Injuries are, of course, the great unknown in football. They can occur anytime and anywhere. But for now, I hope fans are beginning to sense how special this Freeman-Jackson-Williams-Martin offense can be.
We may not be the "Greatest Show on Turf," but it's shaping up to be the greatest offense we've ever seen in Tampa Bay.
And that sounds like a boatload of fun.
Are you on board?
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