Bucs Press Conferance

Which Buccaneers Will Make the Playoffs?

TAMPA, Fla. – The Bucs edged closer to the playoffs Sunday with what turned out to be a rousing win at Atlanta.

Now it’s just a matter of which team shows up in early January.

Will it be the world-beaters who overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit against the Falcons to win 31-27, or will it be the gravediggers who dug that hole in the first place? Will it be the bunch whose second-half performance has smelling the postseason, or will it be the bunch who stuck up the stadium in the first half?

Sooner rather than later, the Bucs will have to choose. Are they done with lethargic starts, finally, or is this the pattern that will doom any playoff run? Head coach Bruce Arians seemed to hint as much after a second-half that took the breath away, as Brady dazzled with more than 300 yards passing and the defense stood its ground for the win, all topped by controversial signee Antonio Brown’s first touchdown as a Buc for the game-winner with six minutes left.

Fine. Dandy. But Arians knows the deal.

Bruce Arians 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coash Bruce Arians Press Conference

“That’s what we’re capable of,” Arians said. “That’s the way we should be playing. My comment to the team after the game was, ‘If we can play 30 minutes like that, why the hell can’t we play 60?”

Why the hell?

“We really haven’t put it all together all year,”” Bucs tight end Cameron Brate said.

You don’t need Brate’s Harvard degree to know that.

It is as plain as day – doomsday.

This team isn’t going anywhere unless it gets its head out of its butt at the start of games. And this team knows it.

“I don’t think we’ll win too many playoff games spotting teams 17 points,” Brate said.

The Bucs dug their share of holes against the Chiefs and Rams and could never get out of them.

That’s what their immediate future if they don’t play a full game.

Understand, it edy, it was a fine win, a grand comeback, orchestrated by a quarterback who has made a Hall of Fame career out of them. But this wasn’t Super Bowl LI, when Brady led the Patriots from 28-3 down to beat Atlanta his fifth championship ring. This is a bad Falcons team that needed to be badly beaten. The Bucs only got it half right. They had just 60 yards in the first half, including a whopping seven on the ground. Hurry Back, RoJo.

Then came the second half, from. Brady to Mike Evans (110 yards) to Chris Godwin (one TD) to Leonard Fournette (two TDS). The defense, after sleepwalking the first half and letting the Falcons come right down and score after the Bucs finally got on the board in the third quarter locked it down, led by Devin White (three sacks) and Antoine Winfield’s huge batted ball to keep the Falcons out o0f the end zone. Stars everywhere.

“It was great poise by everybody,” T. Brady said.

That Brown caught the winning points worked for everybody. His arrival was a problem, still is for some of us given his checkered past. And there was talk that he was gumming up the Bucs offense, one weapon to many, one known to pop off at that. The Bucs were asking for trouble.

But there was AB, on his knees after his score, thanking God, he said. Sure, why not. I’ll buy it. Good for him. Good for the Bucs. The Super Bowl dream, at home, breathed again. Only one thing left.

“We’re going to have to figure out a way to play our best for 60 minutes instead of 30,” Brady said.

Why the hell?

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