All-righty, then. That’s how you come back from a bye week.
The Bucs and the Chiefs came into today’s contest at 1-3 and 1-4, respectively, setting up a “Battle of the Blahs” between two teams definitely heading somewhere other than the right direction as the season hit the quarter-mile mark. Tampa at least had the “advantage” of coming off their bye week, which (hopefully) provided them with an extra week to reflect on those first four games, and…with luck…find some way of preventing their season from dropping into freefall.
Now, it was the Chiefs, of course, but a win’s a win, by golly. That it was a decisive win doesn’t hurt, either. Still, as I said earlier, I’m not ready to buy Super Bowl tickets just yet.
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman had one of his best days in a long time, passing for nearly 330 yards and three TDs. He also tossed an interception that was pretty cringeworthy, but after a somewhat choppy first half, Freeman came out swinging in the third quarter, and wasted no time lighting up Kansas City for a quick score. It was pretty much Tampa’s game to give away from that point on.
The Bucs defense was on fire most of the day, too, making life miserable for Chiefs backup quarterback Brady Quinn, including an utterly insane circus catch by ageless veteran cornerback Ronde Barber, who promptly took the ball 78 yards the other way for a touchdown.
One downside to the day: Bucs kicker Connor Barth snapped a streak of 25 consecutive field goals, after missing an attempt from 55 yards out. That the damned thing hit the upright before bouncing away was salt in the wound. He started a new streak a bit later, though.
Tampa improves to 2-3 following the win, four games behind the Atlanta Falcons who went to 6-0 and remain high atop the NFC South division. The Panthers and Saints, both on their bye weeks today, remain at 1-4. Next up, the Bucs host New Orleans, and any division game is important. I wouldn’t mind seeing Freeman continue what he started, but keep wondering if the Saints are just -> <- this close to figuring out they’re better than their record says they are. Could be an interesting game.
For now, though? I’ll take my wins where I can find ‘em.