As Fan Interference with Justin Pawlowski and Jim Lighthall try to find a silver-lining to a tumultuous Bucs season, hopes of a high draft pick fill the air.
With the draft order still fluctuating after each game that is played, the Buccaneers are still in contention for the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. To ensure that their draft pick remains within the top few picks, the Bucs will have to lose some more games during the final quarter of the season.
After much debate during their show today, here are some of the keys to the Bucs avoiding victory against the Bills on Sunday:
1. Ensure an Early Deficit: An early deficit for the Buccaneers would ensure that the sparse crowd at Raymond James Stadium starts to turn on the Bucs early. With the Bucs being thoroughly outplayed in the 2nd half of games for a majority of this season, an early deficit would just about guarantee a defeat to the Bills.
2. Do Not Protect Your Home Turf: Often times, teams take pride in defending their home stadium. If the Bucs are going to lose against the Bills, they need to avoid feeling this sense of pride.
3. Maximize Distractions: The Bucs have dealt with their fair share of distractions this season, and while most of those distractions were earlier in the season, the Bucs need to find a way to resurrect some of those distractions (Freeman, MRSA, Toes on the Line) to affect them on Sunday.
4. Run as Many Defensive Line Stunts as Possible: As my buddy Gil Arcia of thebaycave.com pointed out, the stunting of the Bucs defensive line was a huge detriment to the Bucs last Sunday against the Panthers. The Bucs must duplicate this on Sunday to ensure a loss and stay in contention for a top draft pick. My suggestion is to not only stunt the defensive line, but also incorporate the linebackers and safeties into even more stunts. Also, on a few plays, I suggest running the most unique of stunts and have Revis and Banks completely switch sides of the field in the middle of the play.
5. Take It Multiple Plays at a Time: We’ve all heard the old cliché of “taking it one play at a time,” but what would happen if a team ignored this and hoped to focus on multiple plays at a time. As a former athlete, I do know that focusing on the play at hand is a great way to continue to focus throughout a long game, so losing focus will ensure mistakes that could be the difference in a game.
6. Play as If There is Something To Play For: When the Bucs have played in close games that had meaning this season, they have found ways to lose. The Bucs have failed to deal with pressure when it was at its highest. If they truly believe that this game against the Bills has some meaning to it, they should find a way to lose it just like they have lost every other game of meaning this season.
7. Play Not to Lose: The Bucs and Greg Schiano should have no problem with this.