Gameday: Bucs @ Saints

My Sticks preview can be found here.

A quick reminder, the Bucs game has been moved to the late afternoon (4:15) start time.

As of 1:45 I have still seen no definitive word on if Jeff Garcia is starting or not. He did practice on Friday but since the practice was closed to the media there is no word on how many reps he received if at all. If Garcia can not go Luke McCown will get the start.


The Bucs must have made winning ugly their new philosophy because there was no reason the score had to be so close. The Bucs had 466 total yards to the Saints measly 246, and if not for a few extremely bone-headed plays by Luke McCown this game would have been a blow out. But in the end and most importantly the Bucs get out of New Orleans three and a half games up in the division (since the Bucs would own any head-to-head tie breaker).

+ great play calling by Gruden, especially on the last drive
+ outstanding job by the defense limiting the Saints offense, which has proven weak against the Tampa Two
+ Earnest Graham will another quiet but impressive performance, 106 yards & 1 TD
+ w/ an exception or 2 good to see the Bucs playing aggressive to the point of getting in the Saints faces after plays
+ Joey Galloway again making plays en route to 159 yards
+ it looks like Gaines Adams is finally getting comfortable, 4 tackles and a sack
+ promising performance by Luke McCown in relief of Garcia, 313 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
+ 10 different receivers all caught balls today
+ nice catch by Stevens at the end to win the game

- McCown's game management: gave New Orleans a safety, a TD and failed to manage the clock at the end of the 2nd quarter
- Michael Clayton w/ a late personal foul which erased an impressive run by Graham


T.K. said...

NFL.com is reporting that Garcia will be the emergency QB today with McCown getting the start.


At least it's not Gradkowski.

Ski said...

thanks man, it could get ugly today

T.K. said...

I'm stoked. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that McCown would have played so great. He starts 15-of-15 and aside from the two brainfarts he made after being chased from the pocket - you know Gruden will be on him about learning to throw the ball away - he was everything we needed. Why was Gradkowski the backup all this time? There's no way in a million years he would have hit Galloway on that 50-yard straight bomb in the first half.

We're sitting pretty. One more win and one more Carolina loss and the division is ours. All of the remaining games from here should be wins (though I can see Houston giving us a fight). If only Green Bay's schedule was tougher...

(BTW, I'm not going to blame McCown for the INT just yet. It's certainly possible Galloway ran the wrong pattern.)

Ski said...

Gruden did the same last year, playing Gradkowski over a more talented Rattay. I'm not sure why Gruden gives Gradkowski so much playing time (blackmail?) but yesterday should be all the proof Gruden needs that Grads is at best a 3rd quarterback.

And I think it's fair to blame Luke for the INT. He should have done a better job of recognizing the blitz on the play and audiblying out of it, or at the very least making sure Galloway was aware the ball would be coming his way very quickly. Gruden did a great job of putting Luke in a position to be successful but Luke's questionable decision making guarantees Jeff Garcia is still the man at quarterback (although it's comforting to know we have an above average backup).