The early round of games Sunday afternoon was highlighted by thrilling finishes. The close finishes will always demand our immediate attention, but in the long run, the Buccaneers’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons was one of the most important games of the day.
With their win, the Falcons are trying to get themselves back into playoff contention. At 2-4, there’s still a lot of work to do, but making the playoffs isn’t completely out of the question.
On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no hope remaining of making the postseason. The 0-6 team has dealt with more than its fair share of turmoil so far this season, and unfortunately those troubles will only get worse before things get better.
The reason for the Bucs’ worsening condition revolves around embattled head coach Greg Schiano. Aside from being accused of leaking confidential information to teammates about former quarterback Josh Freeman.
In addition to the off-field issues, the Buccaneers have regressed from a season ago. Instead of making a push back to relevance, the Buccaneers are the same undisciplined group they were a season ago. Unlike last season’s version of the Bucs, this year’s team isn’t competitive, and at 0-6, it looks more like an issue of “when” Schiano will be dismissed, not “if” he’s fired.
Most head coaches, with rare exceptions, are able to make it through their final season before being fired, but the Bucs’ schedule isn’t favorable for that to be the case for Schiano. With the Panthers, Seahawks and Dolphins up next, there’s no end in sight to the Buccaneers’ current woes.
If and when Schiano is dismissed, and I believe that’ll be later this season, players remaining on the team will begin interviewing to keep their current jobs. The Buccaneers appear to be a team about to hit the reset button, and with little full-blown stars on the team, there will be plenty of new faces joining the team in the offseason meaning many more players will be cut or traded following the conclusion of the season.