The Buccaneers played another hot-and-cold game to wrap up the 2018 season on Sunday O. J. Howard Jersey
, blowing a 17-0 lead on their way to a 34-32 home loss to the Falcons. Jameis Winston played a very good game, while Mike Evans and Chris Godwin had huge days to wrap up their solid seasons. The defense started strong, but couldn’t hold it together in the second half. However, none of what happened on the field at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday really mattered in the grand scheme of things. The same goes for the other NFC South game happening at the Superdome.Not long after the game ended, the Bucs announced the firing of head coach Dirk Koetter. On Monday, the Falcons announced staff firings of their own, though head coach Dan Quinn is still around. As for the other two teams, Sunday’s game didn’t impact much. The Saints still have home-field advantage in the playoffs, and there don’t seem to be any changes coming for the Panthers.With all of that said, let’s take a look at the game action itself from week 17 in the division. New Orleans Saints (13-3)With home-field advantage already locked up, the Saints rested Drew Brees and others for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. The result was a 33-14 home loss that dropped the division winners to 13-3. Teddy Bridgewater got the start for New Orleans, but it was all Carolina early. Even without Cam Newton, the Panthers took a 30-0 lead into the fourth quarter. Overall, the Saints didn’t have time to mount any sort of comeback. They were outgained 374-294 in the loss, turned the ball over once on offense and failed to force a turnover on defense.Bridgewater finished the day 14-of-22 for 118 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted in his first start since January of 2016. Dwayne Washington got a chance to shine at running back for New Orleans, picking up 108 yards on 11 carries. The quiet day for the Saints’ passing game meant the team’s leading receiver was rookie Tre’Quan Smith (three catches for 30 yards and a score). Up Next: First-round bye in NFC playoffs... Will host the lower-seeded winner from the Wild Card Round in the Divisional Round on Jan. 12 or Jan. 13.Atlanta Falcons (7-9)The Falcons ended their disappointing season on a positive note, beating the Bucs 34-32 on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Things were looking rough early for Atlanta, with Tampa Bay taking a 17-0 lead late in the second quarter. Matt Ryan and the offense had nothing going for most of the first half, but a 75-yard drive that took only 26 seconds got the Falcons on the board before the break. From there, it was all Falcons for a while. What turned out to be a 31-3 run had Atlanta up 31-20 in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay scored two straight touchdowns to go up 32-31 with 5:10 to go, but a perfectly-executed drive ended in a game-winning field goal by Matt Bryant. The Falcons put up 489 yards of offense in the win.Ryan finished his day with 378 yards and two touchdown passes (to one interception) on 31-of-44 passing. He also caught a touchdown pass from Mohamed Sanu to add to his big day. Sanu had seven catches and 90 yards of his own Demar Dotson Jersey
, while Julio Jones led the way for Atlanta receivers with nine catches for 138 yards and a score. Damontae Kazee came up with his seventh interception of the year in the win.Carolina Panthers (7-9)The Panthers, even without Cam Newton, finished their year with a 33-14 road win over the Saints. Rookie Kyle Allen replaced Newton under center, quickly getting things going in his first start with a one-yard touchdown run at the 10:04 mark in the first quarter. He later threw for two touchdowns as Carolina took a 30-0 lead into the fourth quarter. The Saints outscored the Panthers 14-3 in the final quarter, but it obviously wasn’t enough. Allen and the offense didn’t turn the ball over, while the defense forced one turnover. Carolina outgained New Orleans 374-294 in the win.Allen completed 16 of his 27 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He added 19 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but had to leave the game early with a shoulder injury. Cameron Artis-Payne had a pretty solid day on the ground, rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. D.J. Moore led the team in receiving with 81 catches on four catches, but it was Curtis Samuel and Ian Thomas finding the end zone. Colin Jones came up with the game’s lone turnover, an interception of Teddy Bridgewater. Three to please. Three to tease. Three to piss you off. When it comes to any type of search - whether it be a coach, GM, free agent, etc - in the NFL, there always seems to be plenty of candidates to consider. Whether or not those candidates live up to expectations is a whole different story. Everyone usually has three types of lists when it comes prospective candidates for jobs in the NFL: realistic candidates, dream candidates, and stay-the-hell-away candidates. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Dirk Koetter on Sunday in an expected move. Here is my list of who I think would be a good fit, a terrible fit, and a dream fit to replace the now-departed head coach. It makes the most sense to go with...1) Vic Fangio I’ve been following Fangio since his days at Stanford. He has always been able to put together good defensive units despite what he has on the roster. While it seems that Fangio is happy in Chicago, he did interview for the head coaching position before Matt Nagy was hired. When it comes to hiring coaches under contract, there isn’t any issue as long as the wanted coach isn’t making a lateral move and both teams agree to the move. Therefore, there are no hurdles to clear if Tampa Bay wants Fangio and Fangio wants Tampa Bay. The offense is there and a talented defensive mind like Fangio could be the missing piece that rounds out this team. 2) Kris RichardI wouldn’t necessarily like the move, but I’d be on board with it. Richard’s resume is pretty impressive overall Womens Caleb Benenoch Jersey
, but it does lack in certain areas. He was let go by the same coach that brought him to the NFL in Pete Carroll. He was a part of the construction of the Legion of Boom, but it’s hard to know how big of a role he played. Gus Bradley and Carroll were also major players in shaping the unit. But you can’t deny the fact that everywhere he’s gone, he’s had success. He’s also young and comes from a good coaching tree. Kris Richard is a prime candidate for the Bucs. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsThat seems to be the hiring trend in today’s NFL and it wouldn’t be a bad thing to see the Bucs hop on board. 3) Pete Carmichael, Jr. It’s surprising that you don’t hear this name more often when it comes to head coaching vacancies in the NFL. Carmichael has been the New Orleans Saints’ offensive coordinator since 2009. While it’s Sean Payton’s offense, Carmichael has had extensive time learning under Payton and took over playcalling duties when Payton was suspended during the 2012 season. The Saints finished with the second ranked offense in the league in terms of total yards and were third in points. Carmichael is also young. He’s just 47 and has been interviewed for a head coaching gig before, so the interest is there to be had. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt stealing someone from a rival team. I’ll paint my body in pewter and red if...1) The Bucs hire Bruce Airans. Maaaan, this would be awesome. Too bad there are a ton of dominoes that would have to fall in order for this to happen. Airans even said as recently as December 4th that he had no desire to coach the Green Bay Packers. One would think Green Bay is a much, much better job than Tampa Bay. If he isn’t interested in coaching the Goat, then he probably wouldn’t want to come to the Bucs, either. Regardless, if the Glazers could somehow find a way to lure him in, it’d be the biggest hire since that guy with the bowl cut and they’d get a little bit of the fan bases’ respect back. 2) Tampa Bay makes the trade for John Harbaugh. Like the hiring of the look-alike Chucky doll, there is a possibility that the Bucs could make a trade for the long-tenured coach of the Baltimore Ravens. It’s hard to believe the report earlier in the season about Harbaugh and the Ravens parting ways. The main reason being that Jason La Canfora was putting out the report, but now that the Ravens have made the playoffs, it seems even more unlikely that the two sides will split. John Harbaugh would look good in pewter and red. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsBut, if there is even a shred of truth to this that opens a door for the Bucs - I’m all in. Harbaugh has been solid, if not very good during his time in Baltimore. 3) They don’t promote from within.This would be a disastrous move. While there are some coaches on the current staff that have promise, said promise is set come in the future and not the present.There wasn’t any area of consistency on this team, either. The quarterbacks turned the ball over, the running game was back and forth, the offensive line sucked. The defensive line didn’t turn it on until the latter half of the season. the linebackers underperformed Womens Jason Pierre-Paul Jersey
, and the secondary was non-existent throughout the year. There’s been a lot of talk lately as to how the Bucs are one of the worst jobs in the NFL. That’ll be proven true if they promote from within and can’t bring in someone from the outside.I’ll become a Saints fan if....1) Jim Harbaugh is coaching Jameis Winston. Yea. The “other” Harbaugh. Not Jack, though. He’s cool. Sure, Harbaugh had success in the NFL, but that was also almost five years ago. He was a tremendous help in resurrecting Alex Smith’s career, but Smith has flourished since he and Harbaugh split. He also brought along Colin Kaepernick. That didn’t last long, however, as the 49ers fell to 8-8 just two years after they reached the Super Bowl. I don’t know why he hasn’t been able to translate his success to the college game, but that is alarming. Outside of recruiting, the college game is an easier beast to tame. He’s 1-9 against top-10 since he’s been at Michigan. That type of trend needs to stay out of Tampa Bay. Please keep this man in Michigan.Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports2) This team belongs to Dan Campbell. It really bothers me that there is even the slightest of momentum in regards to hiring Campbell. Nothing against Campbell nor the people who want him in Tampa Bay. I don’t think less of you for wanting him here. But I do believe you need to examine the reasons why with much more detail. He went 5-7 as interim coach for the Miami Dolphins. There were a couple of good years when he coached Charles Clay in Miami, but outside of that, his players have never really been a major factor. Campbell would be an even bigger risk than Harbaugh, but not the ultimate risk. Don’t worry, the suspense won’t last long, because the ultimate risk is next up in line. 3) If I have to listen to Gregg Williams run his mouth year-round.Don’t. Please, just don’t. Williams is overtly obnoxious and overtly alpha - if there is such a thing. Everything he does is over the top and I’m pretty sure he likes it that way. I’ll give him a lot of credit for the job he’s done in Cleveland, but hopefully they make the mistake of giving him the job and not the Bucs. He should have about seven different opportunities to get hired this year, anyway. I mean, he’s got it made.