The Jon Gruden Era Also Began With A Loss That Was Hard To Swallow
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their 2019 season opener to the San Fransisco 49ers by a score of 31-17. Bruce Arians was hired as a fan favorite back in January, and so was Jon Gruden back in January of 2002. The circumstances were way different coming off of the 2001 season after hiring Gruden as the Bucs were coming off of three consecutive playoff appearances and one NFC Championship back in 1999. The Bucs recently have not been to the playoffs since losing to the New York Giants back in January of 2008, and the Giants were the eventual world champions as they would eventually upset the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The Buccaneers started the Jon Gruden era with a 26-20 overtime loss to NFC South rival, the New Orleans Saints due to a fumbled punt in the endzone that led to a pick-six. The next week, the Buccaneers traveled to Baltimore to take on the Baltimore Ravens and they would shutout the Ravens 25-0. The Bucs, however, started off the Bruce Arians era with typical mistakes that we have been used to in recent years such as penalties and lousy play on the Offensive Line that led to bad Quarterback play from Jameis Winston. The Buccaneers have a chance to redeem themselves on Thursday night at Carolina. The Panthers lost their opener Sunday at home against the Rams but the Panthers will have winning their first game of the season on their minds.
I’m not sure if the Bruce Arians first season will have the ending that Jon Gruden had by winning Super Bowl XXXVII, but I am expecting some progress this season. The Bucs will compete in the NFC South for sure, but we have to give Bruce Arians and his staff time. Question is, are we tired of waiting? The Buccaneers will have to fix their problems on the Offensive Line before they expect any improvement from Jameis Winston or whoever their Quarterback is for the future, but they have the receivers for their offense to be explosive. Personally, if the Buccaneers want to have a more secure running game, they need to give Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale more carries.
Going into the Carolina game Thursday night, if the Buccaneers expect a chance to win they should take my advice on the running game, Offensive Line, and Quarterback play. The Buccaneers Defense looks like it’s back and that was the silver lining on Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, and I expect the Defense ready to play on Thursday night.
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