Originally written on Chicks in the Huddle  |  Last updated 11/20/14
This past Sunday, the 6-4 Buccaneers faced the 9-1 Falcons. For the Bucs, it was the opportunity to prove themselves as legitimate playoff contenders after a string of wins against less impressive foes. However, and no need for a spoiler alert here, the Bucs lost 24-23. Going in, I’d figured that a close game would be something of a moral victory. That the progress made to nearly defeat the best in league just a year removed from a 4-12 season would be enough. Turns out, it’s not true. The Bucs played like a team that was equal to the Falcons.  And though they competed until the very last second against a top-tier team, and though last year’s Bucs would never have been in this position, they still lost. They are 6-5. They are hanging onto playoff hopes by an ever-narrower limb. Turns out, moral victories are for losers. But, hey, though the game was not a moral victory, there were a few little victories this game and this season. And in the spirit of the Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to take a moment to give thanks for these little victories: I am thankful for Ronde Barber. For forcing the lone interception of the game against Matt Ryan and running it back to the Atlanta 31 yard line. (Sure, the Buc offense could only muster a field goal in the ensuing drive, but we’re being positive here.) For learning new tricks at Safety, even though he is an old dog (to the tune of 37 years). For being the player with the longest current record of active starts. And, finally, for not being Tiki. I am thankful for trick plays. Toward the end of the second quarter, receiver Mike Williams threw a beautiful, 28-yard spiral to Vincent Jackson, landing the Bucs on Atlanta’s 3-yard-line. (Sure, the Bucs could only muster a field goal in the ensuing drive, but we’re being positive here. Oh wait…)  The wide smiles on both receivers’ faces after the play showed that they were having a blast. I am thankful for Doug Martin. This week, the Dougernaut only managed 50 yards on 21 carries. Oh yeah, and two touchdowns. Ugh, such a disappointment. But Buc love is unconditional, so I am thankful for Martin even in this bleak dry spell. I am thankful for Tiquan Underwood’s flat-top. Enough said. I am thankful for Greg Schiano’s accent. Have you watched one of Schiano’s press conferences on Buccaneers.com the day after a game? I would recommend it. Not that he says much–the days of the chatty Raheem conference are long gone–but he speaks with a slight Jersey accent that makes him sound like your tough but fair uncle. I find it comforting. What? Don’t judge me. I am thankful for E.J. Biggers. I probably won’t have much opportunity to say this again, but Biggers had his first ever forced fumble this weekend. (Sure, the Bucs could only muster a field goal in the ensuing drive, but we’re being positive here.  And also, ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!) And with the addition of rookies Leonard Johnson and Lequan Lewis to the cornerback corps, the Falcons didn’t seem to be targeting Biggers’ receiver every play. So, basically, Biggers had both a very good, and a very not bad game. And I thank him for that. I am thankful for six really happy weekends this year. So far. Here’s to six more!
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.