A few hours ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers 20-7 in Charlotte. Not many people expected this from the Buccaneers who are currently in "rebuilding mode." Granted, they played the atrocious Cleveland Browns at home before a pathetic crowd of 47,000. On a side note, Tampa Bay was the only team that suffered a blackout during week one. Since Tampa is a bandwagon town for the most part, hopefully the Pittsburgh game will be sold out next Sunday.
Most football experts and analysts wrote the Bucs off as the worst or one of the worst teams in the NFL. Their reasons were somewhat understandable as Tampa has an inexperienced quarterback in Josh Freeman, who threw 18 interceptions in 10 games last season. These pundits also said the team was too young and was not talented enough. In other words, they believed they had a lack of playmakers. To be honest, after hearing all the negativity I was starting to believe Tampa was on its way to another 3-13 season.
Although the Buccaneers are not the flashiest team or the most talented, they have learned how to win games with the weapons they have. These include guys such as Freeman, Kellen Winslow, Cadillac Williams, Aqib Talib, Barrett Ruud, Gerald McCoy, and Ronde Barber among others. In order to win, they must keep the score low because the offense does not have the ability to score 35 points or more. That is how those first games were won.
Josh Freeman is arguably the most integral part of this team. This will be his breakout year as he has shown he will do whatever it takes to win the game. He does not care about throwing for 400 yards and has no need to do so. His concern is getting the victory. In two games, he has thrown four touchdowns and has only allowed one interception. He also has 77 yards on the ground.
These next three weeks will be tough for Tampa as they will take on Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and New Orleans. In order for them to stay in contention for a possible playoff run, they need to win at least one of those three. Good luck with that.