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

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

WATCH: Kenny Smith pushes Shaq into a Christmas tree

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

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.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

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.