WOW. I, like many Buccaneers fans, had a real bad feeling about this game. Arrowhead is as tough as any place to play, yet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers somehow went in and defeated a first place Chiefs team to move to .500 on the season.
It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was often frustrating. The Buccaneers moved the ball up and down the field as easily as they have all season long, yet were forced to settle for three Roberto Aguayo field goals in the red zone. However, behind the leg of Aguayo and another solid defensive effort, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came away with a 19-17 upset of the Kansas City Chiefs to move to 5-5 on the season.
As with any game, you don’t want to get too high after a win or too low after a loss, but it’s difficult to not be excited about what we’ve been seeing from this team over the last few weeks. The defense is looking more sound – not great, but definitely much improved – and the offense seems to be running far more efficiently with Doug Martin back on the field and Jameis Winston involving Cecil Shorts more in the passing game. In addition to that, Russell Shepard returned and certainly had an impact in the game, making some big third down catches and providing yet another weapon for Winston.
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So, with all that in mind, it’s time to Pick Six on another victory Monday!
Six Topics Suitable For Discussion
1.) Is this the signature win we’ve been waiting for? The Buccaneers, thus far, have not had an overly impressive win. By that I mean their wins have not come against opponents that were truly better. You could argue the Falcons in week one, but after Atlanta hit their stride, they handled Tampa Bay quite easily in the second go round. The Bucs also had wins over the Bears, Panthers, and 49ers. No teams that are really striking fear in the hearts of anyone. This Chiefs team was 7-2, at home – where they hadn’t lost a regular season home game since week five of last season – and they led the NFL in turnover differential. The Buccaneers moved the ball without any problems, only punting twice, one of which was with :22 seconds remaining and the goal was just to protect the ball and run the clock down. The Chiefs have the 13th ranked pass defense, yet Jameis Winston converted 11 of 16 third downs. You can’t emphasize enough what a huge win this was for the Buccaneers as they have desperately sought out that pivotal, tide turning win. A big step in the right direction.
2.) Don’t kid yourself, this team still desperately needs talent. Although the passing game looks better, the Buccaneers need legitimate threats outside of Mike Evans and Doug Martin. They still lack speed in every aspect and a team loaded with undrafted free agents aren’t going to win the Super Bowl any time soon. Defensively, despite the recent improvement, the Buccaneers still need another corner or two as well as a complete overhaul at safety. Far from a finished product, but they’re starting to put things together as a team. However, can you imagine what Jameis Winston could do with a speed receiver?
3.) Lavonte David: Come on, dude… I’ve avoided going after Lavonte. I still believe he is one of the most talented players on this team as well as one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL. Unfortunately, he is playing the worst football of his life right now. He was trucked and run over by Spencer Ware and isn’t flying to the ball the way we’ve become accustomed to seeing him do. Now, Mike Smith‘s defense features the middle linebacker more than the weak side linebacker, but there are plays to be made and Lavonte is M.I.A. way more often than he needs to be. Whatever the problem is, Lavonte and the Bucs need to figure it out. He’s a dynamic player that can impact a game at any moment…when he shows up.
4.) Chris Conte? Two weeks in a row? In the third quarter, the Chiefs moved into the red zone and were on the verge of scoring. Alex Smith had his passed tipped and Chris Conte intercepted it in the end zone, running it back 55 yards to midfield. This would eventually set up the Buccaneers’ lone touchdown, which would prove to be the winning score. For as much as I get on Conte’s case for his boneheaded mistakes, blown coverages, and missed tackles, he has stepped up in a huge situation and made game changing plays two weeks in a row. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s solidifying a starting job for next season or anything, but it’s certainly nice to see him make those plays in the secondary after we’ve watched that same group blow plays left and right all year long. If he keeps this up, he might find his way out of most Bucs fans’ doghouses the rest of the year.
5.) Thanks, Chiefs fans! I know the chop and chanting is your thing at home, but you guys forgot something; Jameis Winston went to Florida State. On those big third down plays -again, the Bucs converted 11 of 16 – the fans in Arrowhead got real loud. They’d do their chant and chop their hands in that famous tomahawk motion that is exactly like…? That’s right. Exactly like FSU does. Winston told the media afterwards that the Chiefs fans made him feel at home, and comfortable on those plays because it was like playing in front of Seminole fans. Might want to rethink that approach when Jameis comes back to town in 2024.
6.) Has Roberto Aguayo gotten things together upstairs? Since the Buccaneers came off the bye, Aguayo has missed only one field goal and one extra point. Not only that, but it isn’t like he’s just barely kicking the ball inside the upright either. Aguayo has been kicking these things right dead center just about every time. His motion looks far more fluid and he appears to have restored some confidence. Now, I’m still holding my breath every time he’s out there, but I’m not nearly as worried as I was earlier this year. And to see Berto go four-for-four on field goals and one-for-one on extra points on a day where the NFL record for most extra points in one week was set, well that felt pretty darn good. Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal, Stephen Gostkowski and Stephen Haushka missed extra points. Aguayo? Perfecto!
Six Numbers To Consider
10 – Consecutive home wins by Kansas City heading into yesterday’s game
+1 – Buccaneers’ turnover differential against Chiefs, who have the best differential in the NFL.
5 – Consecutive wins for Bucs over the Chiefs
42- Winston touchdown passes, eighth most through first two seasons in NFL history…with six games to go
2 – Consecutive weeks a Buccaneer got his first career touchdown catch. Last week was Freddie Martino, in the win over Kansas City it was Alan Cross
6 – Years since the last Bucs victory over Seahawks
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Now, admittedly, it’s my favorite holiday. It’s my favorite meal combined with my favorite hobbies – football and napping. We at the Pewter Plank wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Nov 20, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Chris Conte (23) returns an interception against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports
6.) Online Shopping while dinner is in the oven. Being a veteran of the food service industry, there are many Thanksgivings I or my wife worked, putting a damper on things. Same goes for those that have to work in retail, especially now that stores open Thanksgiving day. We all want to scoop up those great deals for the holidays, but isn’t it more fun to do it with the smell of turkey in the air, in your pajamas, on your couch, with football on TV? We’re going to go ahead and say yes on that one.
5.) Backyard football!! Many of you love the tradition of playing some two hand touch in the backyard with brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, parents, kids, neighbors before you sit down and gorge yourself silly. For many who are visiting home from college, it’s a great chance to catch up with friends from high school and have a little fun. Ultimately, it’s about enjoying those you hod dear, making great memories, and – of course – bragging rights for Thanksgiving 2017.
4.) The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now, admittedly, the parade is not my thing, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. The kids love to watch the balloons of their favorite cartoon characters and see the music performances. Not to mention, for most, it’s their first glimpse of Santa Claus. Too many people love the tradition of watching the parade during breakfast for it not to make the list.
3.) Family Game Time. If you’re anything like us, and many of you surely are, after dinner, a nap, and some digestion, you bust out the games. It can be the whole family, it can be divided up with kids playing games and grown ups playing games, it can even be a Wii bowling tournament, but games will be played! This is always a highlight for families as it seems so rare to have nights like that at home anymore. With everyone constantly on the move with work or errands or kids going to this practice, that game, this recital, that rehearsal, it’s an amazing thing to bust out a board game and have nothing to stress about. Just kick back, relax, and enjoy the laughter.
2.) FOOTBALL! All day long, football. The tradition of knowing the Lions and Cowboys will be on, the addition of a prime time game. Thanksgiving and football are truly synonymous with one another. And although the NBA has attempted to kidnap Christmas, it will never be the way the NFL and turkey day are just part of the tradition. Doesn’t matter if you’re a football fan or not, chances are the games are on, anyway. It’s just how Thanksgiving was meant to be.
1.) The feast and the family. Whatever your traditions are; whether it’s turkey or ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, rolls, biscuits, wine, beer, paper plates, fine china, all of it. There is something that every single person looks forward to on that day because there is someone in their family that can make that dish better than anyone else in the world. It’s the meal that triggers childhood memories, creates memories for your little ones, and gives us the opportunity to see family members we haven’t seen in far too long. The days of leftovers that we all enjoy so much. It’s the comfort of being surrounded by those you love, being thankful for all you have, and enjoying a wonderful meal. Trying to sneak a bite and having mom or grandma smack that grabby hand of yours because you’re going to wait until it’s all ready.
Enjoy it, everyone. Most of all, be thankful for it.
*BONUS SIX* Power Ranking Thanksgiving Food
6.) Rolls – Yeah, bread is filling and may take away from enjoying some of the other goodies, but there’s few things better than hot rolls right out of the oven.
5.) Mashed Potatoes – A little low? Maybe. However, we have mashed potatoes all year round. Not too much you can do to make them any more special for a holiday.
4.) Stuffing/Dressing – Yes, there is a slight difference, but not much. If done right, it could be the highlight of the meal.
3.) Sweet Potato Casserole – My personal favorite and again, if done right it can be the highlight of the meal. Don’t come at me with yams or regular mashed sweet potatoes. It’s gotta be the casserole. The brown sugar and pecan crust on top. Can’t wait…
2.) Dessert – I’ll encompass all desserts together. Pumpkin pie, although traditional, isn’t a universally loved way to finish off the meal. Whether it’s pumpkin pie or you go pecan pie, apple pie, caramel apple pie, bread pudding, something chocolate…whatever it is, dessert is awesome.
1.) Turkey – Say what you will, but it’s the headliner. The centerpiece. The aroma that fills the house. It’s called “Turkey Day” for a reason. Dark meat, light meat, with or without gravy. Want a leg? Want the skin? It’s all great. And the leftover turkey sandwiches for days? The best. That late afternoon or late night snack, throwing some turkey on one of those dinner rolls for a little Thanksgiving slider? Perfection.
Six Super Bowl Picks
1.) New England Patriots – *sigh*
2.) Dallas Cowboys – *double sigh*
3.) Seattle Seahawks – They struggled early on, but they’re putting it together. And that defense…
4.) Oakland Raiders – Sole possession of first and a legitimate threat in the AFC
5.) Denver Broncos – As long as that defense is still this good, they’re a contender
20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – One game back of the division and coming off their biggest win of the year. A win over Seattle would say a lot about where this team is heading.