Coming into the season it was hard to read a preseason preview piece without someone picking the Buccaneers to win it all. They were getting masses of praise from every major network, their own fluff pieces on ESPN, and a full spread with a cover shot on Sports Illustrated. Of course the Bucs didn't let anyone down and today moved to a sparkling 2-0 just like everyone predicted.... Wait, what?â†µ
That scenario could not be farther from the truth. In fact, almost unanimously, the Buccaneers were picked to be the worst team in football. Peter King of Sports Illustrated predicted our hometown team would win only two games all season. ESPN and NFL Network talking heads all took the Bucs to be last in the NFC south. Local media and talk radio almost forgot the season was starting as most of the airwaves were dominated with Rays talk and Blackout rumblings. The Bucs were an afterthought, destined for 3-13.â†µ
Don't look now, but these Buccaneers are undefeated.â†µ
These same Bucs that two weeks ago could not sell out their home opener. These Bucs that spent no money on talent, and cut all their best players. These Bucs that had a coach that couldn’t win and a GM that was over his head.â†µ
Yes, it is still those Bucs. But it is those Bucs that scrapped out a win in the rain in week 1 when no one was watching. It was those Bucs that today made a statement to the NFC South that they are not last year’s Bucs. It's these Bucs that have a very real shot at 3-0 as the Steelers come to town next week down to their third string quarterback in what should be a raucous sold out Raymond James Stadium.â†µ
The offense is suddenly potent. The Defense is suddenly dominant. After an offseason of lamenting the front office, the players are suddenly talented. Where there was negativity and disinterest, there is suddenly hope and immense optimism.â†µ
They may very well be the same Bucs that everyone thought. Hell, they might still finish 2-14. But today these Tampa Bay Buccaneers are undefeated, and for that we should celebrate. Look out world, these Bucs are going to be good a lot quicker than anyone expected.