Calling for Glennon already, Buc fans?
Through the first three weeks of the season, it would be fair to say that Tampa has struggled mightily to close out games and generate points.
It would also be fair to point out that most of the blame rests on the shoulders of QB Josh Freeman, who is averaging less than 50 percent on his completions and has an overall lack of confidence in the pocket.
Add that to inconsistencies of the offensive line and the plethora of penalties, and Tampa Bay appears to be a team that is playing for next year, not this year.
However, while most analysts will harp on those points constantly, taking a closer look at the pirates in pewter indicates there is indeed hope for Tampa to salvage their season. Here are three reasons why:
1. While last year was last year, it can still be a good inducator - In the previous season, Tampa had a similar (though not as bad) struggle to score points, as two of their first three games they scored 16 points or fewer, which matches the pedestrian 13 points a game that they are currently averaging.
However, after the bye week (Week 5, same as this year), they managed to average an astounding 34 points from Week 6 to week 11, while being rated as the number one offense at one point during that stretch.
Keep in mind this is almost the exact same offense as last year, and if Schiano can make the bye week adjustments that he did a season ago, than we could be looking at a whole different football team.
2. The defense has played excellent - Holding Tom Brady to 23 points and Drew Brees to 16 is no easy task, but that's exactly what this Buccaneers defense has been able to do. They have not only created pressure up front, but their coverage has gone from worst in the league last year to one of the best this year. This is the type of defense that can win you games, and it will help lift the burdan off of the offense as the season continues.
3. It's only Week 3 - While statistics will show that 0-3 means virtually no playoff hopes, we still have to realize that there's a lot of football to be played. The NFL famously stands for "Not For Long", and today's Raiders can be tomorrow's Falcons.
What I'm getting at is that a turnaround is almost guaranteed for at least a few teams in that losing slump. And with the way that the Bucs have (for the most part) kept things competitive, I'm willing to bet that they will be one of those few teams.