Wed. Feb 28th, 2024
Tampa Bay Bucs v Indianapolis Colts
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Chef Mayfield will have sweet revenge on the menu this week.

Next up, the Carolina Panthers. The Tampa Bay Bucs will finally be playing a team that’s in more turmoil than they are. Fresh off firing their head coach (in his first season with the team), Carolina comes to Tampa Bay. Chef’s Mayfield’s former club is a one win franchise, whose one win ironically came against a good Houston Texans team. The chef’s current club has taken an optimistic 3-1 start and turned it into a downtrodden 4-7 run.

Tampa Bay, as a franchise, is at a tipping point. The Bucs’ fans have seen enough of the team’s head coach and there’s a growing frustration toward some of the franchise’s highest paid players. Despite the lack of faith, from most who follow the team, the Bucs are still alive in the race for the NFC South. The Bucs are 4-7 (sounds bad) but the leaders of the NFC South are the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints at 5-6. The Bucs are in great position, in terms of their upcoming schedule. Tampa has four divisional games to go (including this week against Carolina) which could turn out to be crucial for tiebreakers. The problem facing the Bucs is that, while they essentially control their own destiny, a lot of those faces Tampa Bay fans have gotten tired of seeing underachieve each Sunday, are the ones who control it.

The Bucs are amidst a relatively large collapse and there’s enough blame to go around. Last Sunday, Tampa’s defense took a tough shot to their pride.

Tampa Bay Bucs v Indianapolis Colts
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts, led by Gardner Minshew, scored a startling 27 points. The Colts backup quarterback did throw an interception, but he also put Devin White on a poster and had 251 yards passing. Not only did Indianapolis out gain the Bucs through the air, the Colts’ offense also ran for 155 yards.

It wasn’t that long ago, the Bucs’ defense was a staple of football Sundays. Todd Bowles and Jason Licht built this team with the defense as its engine. Right now that engine is sputtering and leaking fluids. Considering the opponent, the Bucs’ defense should play a better game than they have lately. Still, that can’t be relied upon, Tampa’s offense and the chef will need to show up for work Sunday.

NFL: Tampa Bay Bucs at Indianapolis Colts
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield will be battling against a former employer. Carolina was not the quarterback’s longest tenured stop, but it is still a team that did decide to place him on the bench and then move on. A chip is not foreign to Baker Mayfield’s shoulder and Bucs’ fans may witness that chip this week.

Either way, the pressure to win will be felt team-wide. Tampa Bay has an assortment of players and coaches with their backs to the wall, who are a few good or bad performances away from altering their NFL future/legacy.

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By admin