When I first started watching hockey so many years ago, the Capitals were playing Philadelphia in a playoff series. Of course, those Flyers couldn’t skate, but they sure could goon it up. Down 0-2 in a best of five series, Flyers initiated a line fight. It didn’t matter. Capitals dominated the game. Flyers fan started a chant, in honor of then-head coach Bob McCammon:
BOB MUST GO! BOB MUST GO! BOB MUST GO!
Now we have Lovie Smith.
You know I’m a Raiders fan. You know after breaking out to a 30-3 lead against San Diego, Raiders didn’t know what to do. The Chargers got back into the game at the very end, scoring a TD to get within eight. The Raiders recovered an onside kick, and covered it to end the game.
The Buccaneers weren’t so lucky. They led 24-0 but ended up crumbling in a 31-30 loss to the Washington Deadskins. You know, the Deadskins, the worst team in football; the same team that has a career backup starting because the head coach is an idiot. In this blog’s opinion, and the opinion of Bucs Nation, the entire weight of the failure falls on Lovie Smith:
Still, that doesn’t excuse the overall passive approach to the game — one that could have cost the Bucs a win against the Jaguars, as well, where a similar defensive collapse almost negated a largely dominant offensive performance. Today, it was more than just “almost.”
It was amazing to watch the Bucs collapse so thoroughly. A team that starts off a game so aggressively, so physical just stops playing. Not only that, something happened during that game between the officials and the Buccaneers. Don’t know what, but they surely pissed the officials off midway through quarter 2. Afterwards, whether a tricky tack foul, or a blatant personal foul, the officials were there to call it. Meanwhile, the Redskins dismal offensive line engaged in blatant holding themselves but it was ignored. Sorry naive sports fans, officials really do hear what you say.
Anyway, the Bucs made that career backup look like a superstar. Kirk Cousins passed for four touchdowns, no picks (he did have a fumble returned for a touchdown). Do you know how many games Kirk Cousins had not thrown a pick in, before yesterday? NONE. Washington’s glorified backup was getting booed off the field in the 2nd quarter. By the end, he was cheered like he was the second coming of Terry Bradshaw. Sure. Tell you what, this is the first and last time you’ll see a Wilbon tweet on BSP:
The real source of BSP’s derision is Lovie Smith. Lovie Smith is the kind of head coach you don’t want because his team defenses are totally vanilla. It’s an old scheme. Cover 2 was figured out a long time ago. His ridiculous prevent defense the Bucs played at the game’s end could have held up in the 70’s but not in modern football. They either didn’t generate pressure, got called for personal fouls or just gave up huge plays downfield to receivers easily getting out of bounds. On offense, he showed the same conservative tendencies, like avoid trying to score before a half, run the ball only and never take a chance, even when you’re having a lot of success. The Redskins never really stopped them, the Bucs just ended up stopping themselves.
Smith can’t win home games. He can’t beat division rivals. The Buccaneers are playing the Falcons this weekend, in a stadium where they lost to them by 42 points last year. Another performance like this and we’ll see an in-season firing. This kind of ineptitude can’t be accepted or else it will show fans management doesn’t care. Smith can’t pretend it’s a coordinator’s fault. He is the defensive coordinator, the play caller. The game has passed Smith by, hell it passed him by in Chicago. Time to become a TV color commentator.