Bucs-Patriots: Bucs Are Free Fallin'

JC De La TorreAnalyst IIIOctober 26, 2009

So I gave it a day to collect my thoughts on another Buccaneers debacle - now the entire world (or at least England) knows how bad this team is after the 35-7 drubbing by the New England Patriots.

Come now. Could their have been any other result? Truth be told, the Buccaneers were beaten by New England before boarding the plane to Old England but you've got to give these young guys credit for playing hard.

I think that popping sound you heard was Josh Johnson's bubble. He pretty much rushed in the Josh Freeman era with a putrid first half performance that all but ended any thought of a huge Buccaneer upset.

Johnson's costume for Halloween may be Jake Delhomme's No. 17 in Carolina Blue, because Josh the Fifth made one heck of an imitation of the Panthers' turnover machine.

Three picks, the first of which occurred on the initial drive of the game and gave the Patriots their first defensive touchdown since 2007, before finally giving way to Josh the First midway through the fourth quarter.

The Josh Johnson experiment was fun while it lasted, but let's face it. Johnson will never be much more than a backup QB in the NFL, just as Raheem said.

Now is the time for Tampa Bay to see what it has in their First Round draft pick.

For what it's worth, Freeman drilled two strikes, got sacked twice (thanks overrated Bucs O-line), fumbled once, and misfired on two other throws to finished the day an uninspiring 2-4 for 16 yards.

In a lost season, it's better for Freeman to get the yips out now with no real pressure on him to perform rather than at the start of next season when the Bucs (hopefully) will be trying to reestablish themselves from this tragedy.

For Buc fans, there's been a lot of talk on the airwaves and in cyberspace that Freeman will be a bust. How that can be determined after limited action in preseason and two series in the regular season is beyond me but hey, I guess the fans know better than the coaches and players, right?

Er, any way, if you're a Bucs fan and reading this article then come close to the screen.

You need to get behind your quarterback. He holds the fate of the franchise in his hands.  Whether you hated the pick in April or believe in your heart that he will be a bust, you need to support the kid.

For better or worse, he's your quarterback. If he fails, it's going to set the franchise back three or four years. So if you truly love this team do your best in supporting the coronation of King Josh the First.

Back to the game, on the brighter side for Tampa Bay, despite giving up 28 points the defense wasn't all bad.

The Patriots, coming off a 59 point game and 619 yards of total offense against the Titans, were held to just 28 offensive points and 414 yards of offense.

Tom Brady tossed three scores, but matched his season total for interceptions with two, one in the red zone—where Brady has one of the highest QB ratings in the league.

The Bucs were actually getting a decent sustained pressure on Brady, although the wily veteran always seemed to get the ball out of his hand just in the nick of time. Stylez White and Jimmy Wilkerson combined for the only sack of the game on Brady.

Both expect to be fined for daring to touch the future Hall of Famer.

They also did a darn good job containing the running game.

Sammie Stroughter continues to force the question to forefront - other than the millions of dollars the Glazers are paying him - why the heck is Michael Clayton starting instead of Stroughter? The world may never know.

Still, trying to speak positively after seeing the team get pummelled by four touchdowns is a bit like polishing excrement.

It's kinda pointless, isn't it?

It's apropos the Buccaneers are bringing Bucco Bruce back from the dead for their next game, two weeks from Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. They're playing like the creamsicle Bucs of old in those bright orange unis.

Zero and seven is the worst start for Tampa Bay since 1985 (when they started 0-9). That's Leeman Bennett level of suckitude, folks. The Bucs 11 game losing streak is now the second longest in franchise history. The longest? The 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers expansion squad that began 0-26.

Yes, kids. The same 1976 squad that went winless. Gulp. The same 1976 squad that the Glazers searched long and hard to find the correct replica jersey. Double gulp.

Joel and Bryan are learning a hard lesson that you don't anger the Football Gods by being cheap and bringing back cursed uniforms.

The Bucs have the bye week to get Freeman ready for the Packers and hopefully practice some of the plays that they'll be using in the ballgame .

Then again, 2009 is pretty much a 16 game preseason for 2010 so does it even matter?



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