The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off another dramatic victory yesterday, which means a lot. If you don’t think so, ask head coach Raheem Morris who said in the post-game press conference that the Bucs were “the best team in the NFC.” He reaffirmed that statement in yesterday’s press conference. When a reporter mentioned that the stats don’t particularly match that statement, Morris rebuffed him by saying that “stats are for losers.” Didn’t the Bucs almost lose to the St. Louis Rams (see 1-15 in 2009) yesterday? Didn’t they lose their games this season by a combined score of 69-19?
Don’t get me wrong, Sunday’s victory over the St. Louis Rams was huge and meaningful. So in the spirit of lofty proclamations I’ve made a few of my own.
- Josh Freeman will make the Pro Bowl.- This is not super far-fetched. Freeman has thrown for 1,255 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a quarterback ranking of 82.8, which makes him the 21st highest ranked quarterback in the NFL. Sure, those are average numbers but when Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick all drop out of the Pro Bowl, Freeman will be ready.
- LaGarette Blount will be the NFL Rookie of the Year- Don’t let his offseason troubles fool you. Blount had first round pick buzz going into his final season at Oregon. The talent and size are there. He was able to showcase it Sunday with an 11-carry, 72-yard performance against the St. Louis Rams. If Morris makes him the feature back now, Blount could blossom. The only problem, Blount would only have 10 weeks to overtake rookies like Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh.
- The Bucs will win the next four games in row- Far-fetched? Sure, but follow me. The Bucs will have a solid chance to beat the struggling Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and the San Fransisco 49′ers on November 21. They should beat the Carolina Panthers at home on November 14th. This leaves the November 7th meeting with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have played well all season but they have hardly dominated. If the Bucs can get consistent play on both lines, they have a shot.
- The Bucs/Falcons match-up on December 5th in Tampa will be for the NFC South Division title- As of today, this proclamation is 100 percent realistic. Both teams have two losses on the season. If they can continue to play well over the next few weeks and stay ahead of New Orleans, that game will be huge and . . . a sellout. Yay!! I don’t have to go to the stadium to see the game (just kidding!)
- Former Bucs tight end Jerramy Stevens has played his last snap this season.- Oh wait, that’s not so outlandish. You mean there’s not a market for under-performing tight ends with multiple run-ins with the law?