The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not be the best team in the NFC as proclaimed by head coach Raheem Morris in Sunday's post-game press conference but they definitely are one of the most surprising and intriguing stories of the young NFL season.
Led by wise-beyond-his-years quarterback Josh Freeman the Buccaneers have well exceeded expectations and bested their last seasons win total in only the seasons seventh week. Freeman continues to mature and his development should mean that the Bucs will only continue to improve, and let's be honest there is plenty of room for improvement; The Buccaneers rank next to last in rushing defense, middle of the pack in total defense, and well below average in total offense. But as Morris would like us to know, stats are for losers and wins are what matters.
The next chapter in this improbable Buccaneer season takes the pirate ship out west to Arizona for a clash with the NFC West contender Cardinals, who following the retirement of Kurt Warner and loss of Anquan Boldin had their own share of low expectations to deal with.
The Cardinals started off with a thump, unable to stop anyone or put up many points but recent victories over the Oakland Raiders and super bowl champions New Orleans Saints gave new life to a struggling team before a loss on the road to the Seattle Seahawks.
No matter the opponent, west coast road trips are a difficult task for any team and it will be interesting to see how this young Buccaneer club responds to this test. This team has already proven it can win on the road with victories in Carolina and Cinncinatti but the west coast can prove to be a different animal for players.
SBNation will have full coverage of this upcoming match up all week long, so keep it here for the latest on the Buccaneers.