Bucs 25 Giants 23

Nobody ever really knows anything in the NFL.

Jim Rome
November 03, 2020 - 9:25 am
Tom Brady

USA Today

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After Tampa Bay cracked Green Bay and Las Vegas, it seemed like everyone was ready to just hand them the Super Bowl trophy. Shut it down. Let’s go home. Tommy got over on Billy; just give him ring number 7. And do it now. Do it right now! 

I mean, why even bother playing the rest of the games? The Bucs were winning, Tom Brady looked really good, Gronk was getting loose, and it was over. They’re hosting the Super Bowl in February, everyone knows it, or at least is acting like they know it, so what the hell, let’s just ship the trophy there right now.  

And then came last night. And all that noise came to a screeching halt. The ultimate record scratch. Here’s the good news for everyone riding on the Bucs Bandwagon: they won and they’re 6-2.

Here’s the bad news: they won 25-23 and they were playing the New York Giants. Pretty hard to make an argument that these guys are Super Bowl bound, much less already won it, but when they struggled to put away a horrible, one win Giants team.

Before I continue, let me make something clear: I’m not saying Tampa Bay is bad. They’re not. They’re good. Maybe even very good. They have a ton of talent and they’re well coached. And sure, despite last night, they may still figure in this thing in the end. 

But last night did happen. And last night does matter. And if they’re anywhere near as good as their honks are making them out to be, they can’t be a picked-up flag away from going to overtime with the embarrassing, one win, New York Giants.  

And don’t come in here Bucs’ honks with some bullcrap about how hard the Giants play, in an attempt to hype your team even more. Great, now we’re hyping teams for playing hard. Regardless of the outcome. Perfect. If that’s go ahead and give the Bucs their Lombardi trophy right now.  And the giants their participation ribbons. C’mon with that. Great. The Giants played hard, but let’s be clear about who and what they are. They are not a scrappy team. They are not a group figuring out how to win. They are the worst team in the NFC. Fact. Not an exaggeration. A fact.

Let me spell it out even more for you.  They lost to the Dallas Cowboys. They are two points away from being 0-8. They are in the fourth straight year of being objectively horrible.

And this is the team Tampa Bay was losing to. This is the team that Tampa Bay needed help from the officials to beat last night.

I don’t want to go on too long about just how bad the Giants are…I mean, I could. I just don’t want to. And yes, I’ll get to their quarterback in a minute…but if you’re looking for me to say something positive about the Giants, I can do that. I know you Giants fans are beaten the hell down, so I’ll throw you a bone. Here it is. There was an Alfred Morris sighting last night. Alfred Freaking Morris. And It was great.

Granted, I had to make sure it was the SAME Alfred Morris: theee Alfred Morris: but when I able to confirm it, I loved it. Because I love Alfred Morris. I’ve always enjoyed talking to him. There was nothing better than Alfred Morris ripping off a 1600 yard season back in 2012 and then leaving the stadium and driving off in his legendary Mazda 626 aka Bentley.

Problem is….while he drove a Mazda 626 back in the day, now he plays for one.  The Giants are a Mazda 626, not a Bentley.  

And if you’re the Super Bowl favorite that some folks want to make the Bucs out to be, you can’t be getting beaten off the line by a Mazda 626. 

You have to do a helluva better than spending most of the night night looking up at the Giants. I know teams are going to have bad games. There are going to be times where you just don’t have your best bleep.

But there’s not having your A-game and then there’s being on the verge of losing to the one-win Giants. There’s not having a great game and then there’s needing to get help from the officials at the end of the game to get over. 

Because for most of the night, nothing about the Bucs looked like a Super Bowl team. Here’s a quick summary of the Bucs offense in the first half:

Field goal
Fumble
Punt
Punt
Field goal 

That’s it. That’s the offense of the vaunted Super Bowl favorites against the New York Giants. And it’s not just that Brady was getting hit or that they weren't clicking or that they were having a hard time finishing drives and putting points on the board.

They were getting manhandled by the 1-win Giants. Punched in the face. Repeatedly. By the one win Giants. 

And that’s not me talking, that’s Lavonte David talking: “I can’t lie. They hit us in the mouth in the first half. We got into halftime, talked things out, made some adjustments, got an earful. We came out in the second half and took it to heart, and we were able to get ourselves back into the game.”

Nothing but respect for David, both as a player and a leader. And he’s right. They did get punched in the mouth in the first half and they turned it around in the second half.

The offense finally started moving the ball. Brady hooked up with Gronk for a touchdown.

And then after another Daniel Jones turnover, and yes, that turnover machine is getting his own take, Brady connected with Mike Evans for another score

But if you were looking for a Super Bowl favorite to show up last night in primetime, that never happened. That was a good team struggling against a struggling team.

That was a good team that was a play away from going into overtime with a bad team.

There are a couple ways to look at that play. You can say it was a bang-bang play and it’s not PI. Or you can argue that Antoine Winfield Jr arrived early and interfered with Dion Lewis as he tried to make the catch.

Maybe a flag shouldn’t be thrown there. But if it is, I’m not sure how you pick it up and just say that nothing happened. Excuse me! My bad!

Is the official who threw the flag suddenly saying that he shouldn’t have thrown the flag? Is he suddenly saying that Winfield didn’t arrive early? I mean what the hell is that. Did you just change your mind: did your dudes change your mind for you. Why are you throwing that flag if you don’t know?

I know this… if that flag doesn’t get picked up, there’s a chance the Bucs aren’t beating the Giants. There’s a chance they’re going to overtime against the New York Giants. In a game they were favored by nearly two touchdowns.  

They figured out a way to win, and credit to them for that, but maybe we can pump the breaks on the Buccaneers parade route. Because nothing about that game or that win, says super bowl. 

Just admit it – nobody ever really knows anything in the NFL. That’s always been true, but never more so than this year.

I’m not looking for the Bucs to apologize for that win. You should never apologize for a win. But everyone who was already chiseling Tampa Bay onto the Lombardi, should.