TV analysis: Lesley Visser, CBS
By ERNEST HOOPER
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 26, 2000
The Bucs feel they have to run the table to get in the playoffs and I was surprised to hear them say it.
That's a lot of pressure to put on themselves and Buffalo is not going to be easy. Rob Johnson made Wade Phillips look like a genius with his performance against Kansas City last week.
The expectations for the Bucs were so high at the beginning of the season, and to be 6-5 is a surprise. I don't feel they've lost any confidence, but they have some pretty tough teams left on the schedule when you're talking about Miami and St. Louis, the Super Bowl champions. Plus, it's tough for anyone to win five games in a row.
But all of them said they have to run the table: Tony Dungy, Warren Sapp, Shaun King. What was really interesting was I asked Shaun what grade would he give himself and he said a "C." He acknowledged the passing game has to improve.
Without Mike Alstott, the Bucs are going to have to throw more often. Bucs fans must hope the team can get a good game from Keyshawn Johnson. Bills cornerback Antoine Winfield is out for the season, so maybe that balances with the Bucs not having Alstott.
Warren said the Bucs need to improve their run defense a little bit, but if safety John Lynch doesn't play, that's going to be a huge blow to the defense.
Coming down the stretch, no one has a complete team. If you asked people to pick the top 10 teams in the league, everyone would have a different 10. This is the stretch where a lot of 6-5 teams like Tampa Bay either move forward or slide back. You can't really say who's going to emerge, so that's what makes this interesting.
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