So, that was some kind of street fight, eh?
In some ways, it was classic Buc Ball: A somewhat-stingy defense doing its best to keep it close, while a struggling offense came up short time after time when opportunities presented themselves to take advantage of a turnover or–heaven forbid–snatch back the lead and maybe even (:: gasp! ::) the win.
Offensively, the Cowboys really didn’t play that great, but it was still enough to beat a meandering Tampa pirate ship. Defense-wise, Dallas did a commendable job stuffing the Bucs running attack, and managed to put quarterback Josh Freeman on the turf four times. After Tampa jumped to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Freeman and the Bucs offense couldn’t grab any gears, racking up 166 total yards on the day. While Tampa’s D held the Cowboys to under 40 yards rushing and managed to sack QB Tony Romo twice, Romo still managed to roll up 260 passing yards.
With both defenses keeping things honest, it came down to field position and field goal kicking, a battle Dallas won. Bucs turnovers provided the Cowboys with opportunities to sprinkle a few extra points onto their thin lead, or else their defense stalled Tampa drives all afternoon. “3 and out,” long ago established as a dog-eared chapter in the Bucs’ playbook, got a workout today. Somewhere, you just know some poor assistant is putting those little donut reinforcers on the binder holes for those pages.
The Greg Schiano era in Tampa is off to something of a lackluster start, but you know what? I was expecting things to be rocky, considering the absolute embarrassment that was last season, and was prepared to be understanding and even forgiving as the “rebuilding” process got underway.
However, and I say this to you guys as a fan going back to Day 1–longer than anyone on your current player roster has been alive–this business with charging the opposing team’s “victory formation” after the game’s been decided and the other offense is taking a knee? Bullshit, plain and simple. It’s unprofessional, and makes you look like a bunch of petulant whiny dicks coached by a petulant whiny dick. You had 59 minutes and 30 seconds to impress us with your defensive prowess, and you blew it. The game’s over and you got beat, so take your defeat like men, shake hands, and go figure out what to unfuck before next week’s game.
(Edit: I know there’s no rule against doing what Tampa did, but as they’re on record for whining whenever an opposing team has opted to try and run up the score after securing the win, they don’t get to have it both ways. Either accept your opponent’s gracious victory over you, or shut your holes when they decide to break it off in your ass one last time before the gun goes off.)
The loss drops Tampa to 1-2. New Orleans also got beat today (thank you, Chiefs!), but Atlanta thumped San Diego pretty good. Oh, and Carolina? The Giants tore them new assholes back on Thursday. The Falcons are 3-0, all by themselves at the top of the NFC South, with Tampa and Carolina tied for second. The Saints, for reasons surpassing understanding, are 0-3. Didn’t see that one coming. Next up? The Bucs host the Washington Redskins down in Tampa. I have no idea how the heck that one’s gonna shake out.