Friday, February 12, 2010

Choking The Life Out Of The Zombie Talking Point

This evening I had a pretty spirited debate with a Buccaneer fan over on the joebucsfan site about the direction of the Bucs. In the course of this back and forth this particular fan repeated the now familiar tripe about the Bucs not REALLY improving all that much in the last 6 games because they were just playing teams that "didn't have anything to play for". Well I left a comment about that which on reflection probably deserves its own post so here it goes.

Not sure how you think I am cherry picking over the last six games, but since this talking point won’t die let me break it down for you and everybody else.

The Bucs played two playoff teams out of the last six games and played one team twice that ended up with a winning record. When the Bucs played the Falcons the first time, the Panthers, and the Jets, all three were still trying to get into the playoffs. When we played the Saints they were angling for a number 1 seeding. So thats 4 out of the 6 games where the teams all DID have something to play for. The second game with the Falcons they were trying to do something that had never been done in their franchises history. Back to back winning seasons. So that makes 5 out of 6 games. Now the Seahawks sucked ass most of the year so yeah I guess you can write that one off, but I watched the game and I didn’t see them lay down for us. Hell they were WINNING at half time.

As for improvement, understand that I didn’t say we became the Steel Curtain or the Purple People Eaters. I said we improved. And as Jay Z said recently, men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

In the last 6 games we got 7 picks, 11 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. Our opponents scoring average went down substantially to around 18 pts per for those 6 games. We held the superbowl champs to 17 points which is the same as what the Cowboys held them to the week prior.

Again, still not the old Ravens defense, but how can you look at that evidence and still not admit that they improved in a major way? I understand that there are some folks who are in the media in this area who have tried to poo poo the improvement but mostly thats because nobody ever challenged them on the substance of their argument. If somebody did challenge them most of them would fall on their face.

I root for the Bucs on Sunday from my heart but I blog about them from my head. It is what it is.

I am smart enough to realize that some Bucs fans have already heard this so many times that they won't be dissuaded about it, but at least if they read this post they won't be able to say that nobody ever told them the truth.

Real talk.