Originally written November 20, 2012 on The Bay Cave:
There are still six games remaining in the 2012 NFL season but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already turning doubters into believers. This past offseason, which was arguably one of the best the Bucs have had in history, has proven to pay off just 10 games into the season. But let’s step back for a moment. The new coaching staff, free agent acquisitions, and draft picks the team made have all had an instrumental part in their recent success. How they will do moving forward is difficult to predict. However, the foundation is there to have success in the future and in the remaining six games of the season. The attitude was immediately different during mini-camps and training camps. Heck, it was different from the moment Greg Schiano first met with players alongside Butch Davis at One Buc Place. Those who didn’t bought in to the plan, are no longer here. And those that did, are apart of something special. After a rough 1-3 start, the Bucs find themselves at 6-4 and mentioned in the playoff hunt. A 5-1 record since the bye week have also made Tampa Bay the hottest team in the NFL right now, mainly for their offensive success. Josh Freeman, who was largely criticized for the start he had this season, has been impressive with 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions since the bye week. He has also posted a passer rating of 105.8 (94.6 for the year). Rookie running back Doug Martin has 1,000 yards on the year, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He leads the league in total yards from scrimmage with 1,319 yards. Wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have been successful as well. Jackson leads the league in average yards per reception with 20.5 while Williams is fourth with 17.6. Now while the defense has struggled against the pass, they make up for it by holding opponents to an average of 81.8 yards per game, best in the NFL. They also lead the league in forcing their opponents into 87 negative yardage plays, 59 of those are negative yardage runs. A couple outlets are starting to buy into this team as well as displayed in their power rankings. Both ESPN and Pro Football Zone have the Bucs cracking the top 10 in their week 12 power rankings. Tampa Bay isn’t worried about where they rank now though. They are treating each game as a one game season. The Bucs have won four straight since starting 2-4 after losing 10 straight games last season after starting 4-2. Will they be able to reverse last seasons record? Probably getting ahead of ourselves. But a simple warning to the remaining six teams on the Bucs schedule: These are not the 2011 Buccaneers. Atlanta is first up. (Photo Credit: AP) The post Warning: The 2012 Buccaneers are for real appeared first on The Bay Cave.
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