2005-09-12

Who's drinking the kool-aid?

Call me Ebenezer Scrooge. Or the Grinch that stole Opening Weekend (which is basically the same as Christmas).

But I'm not jumping on the Buc's playoff bandwagon.

Sure they had an impressive win on the road against a team that was a darkhorse pick for the Super Bowl. The defense made the plays we have come to expect and Cadillac Williams ran for the fifth most yards by a rookie quarterback opening weekend. Even rookie Alex Smith got in on the act by catching two touchdown passes.

I still think the Bucs will go 7-9 and nothing I saw on Sunday convinced me of any different. The passing game looked common place and Michael Clayton was noticeably rusty.

More importantly (because he is the future of this offense) Cadillac averaged only 2.96 yards a carry before he broke off that 71 yard run for a touchdown. Cadillac looked better than Michael Pittman has in the past, and once the o-line improves its play Cadillac will be a force to be reckoned with. But for right now he can not carry the offense.

Some people look at the win against the Vikings and they are ready to anoint the Bucs as a playoff team. Log on to any Bucs message board and you will find fans proudly proclaiming that the Bucs are back.

It's week one. It's too early to tell how well any teams are going to do. Two years ago the Patriots were goose-egged by the Bills, and everybody in the media started writing off the Pats. The Pats won the Super Bowl at the end of that season.

That same season the Bucs destroyed the Eagles in a Monday night game at the newly opened Lincoln Financial Field in Philly. As we all know, the Bucs missed the playoffs that year, while the Eagles made it to the NFC Championship Game.

I don't think the Bucs can make it to the playoffs, even in a weak NFC. I will be the fan cheering the loudest in the local sports bar if the Bucs prove me wrong. I will gladly eat crow if the Bucs make it to the playoffs. I just don't think that will happen.

The o-line is still too much of a question mark. Anthony Davis, an undrafted second year player, is starting at left tackle. Dan Buenning, a rookie, started at right guard. This line is young and many of the guys are not used to playing with each other.

Next week the Bucs play a really tough Buffalo defense that many people still don't know about. The Bills had the eighth ranked defense last season, and forced Texans quarterback David Carr to turn the ball over four times on Sunday. Carr was also limited to just 70 passing yards.

If the Bucs offense plays like it did against the Vikings, Tampa Bay will lose the game. Michael Clayton needs to make plays for the offense, which means he can't drop any more balls. Griese needs to make smarter throws and avoid costly turnovers against a Bill's defense that led the NFL in takeaways (39) last season.

If the Bucs win the next Sunday's game, then we will here more playoff talk and deservedly so. If the Bucs have a winning record after their first five games then Tampa Bay will start talking about the playoffs.

But it's still only week one, and the Bucs have not proven anything except they can beat an overrated Vikings.

1 comment:

Minnesota Vikings Fan said...

Carnell Williams looks like the real deal. Though the Vikes mostly contained him, I really liked his hard-running style. It looks like he's gonna be a good back.

You'll find out in the next few games, but you also might have gotten a deal with Hovan. When Hovan was at his best with us was when he could explode amazingly fast off the line and disrupt the backfield. He did that in 2001 and 2002 but not the last two years. He looked like he was exploding off the line on Sunday; if he consistently does that, you've got yourself a good, fast nose tackle.

Great blog!