Buccaneers wary of 49ers

By Dave Shepherd  |   Saturday, October 29, 2005  |  Comments( 0 )

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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This has the potential to be one of the biggest let down games of the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they know it. A loss here will make their run for home-field advantage a lot more difficult, as their remaining schedule isn't doing them any favors. So what are the Buccaneers doing to keep this from being the let down game of the year?

Well, for one, they're reminding themselves of their other let down games. A few years ago, back in 1999, a year in which the Bucs fell just four minutes short of appearing in the Super Bowl, the Bucs had a let down game. I know, it happens. That year, to end the season they went a miraculous 8-1, but it was the one loss that sticks out the most. The game appears right after two huge NFC Central wins. Oakland Raiders 45 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0. Shut out, in Oakland - and the Raiders weren't having a good season.

However, is a single reminder enough to prevent the let-down game? Surely once you see San Francisco on your schedule you're chalking up a win and preparing for the next game. Not so say the Bucs. Jon Gruden considers this game to be the most dangerous game on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' schedule. Why? Because it's the next game.

The rest of the Buccaneers feel the same. Cornerback Ronde Barber remembers the game, one of the few Bucs that were around for the game. The lesson they learned was that there is not game in the NFL that's a sure thing. You're playing against people who have pride in what they do, and they aren't just going to let you run over them because your record is better.

Rookie of the year candidate Carnell Williams is listed as probable for the game, after missing the last two games with a hamstring and foot injury. He'll be a game-time decision, but if he's available, he could provide a huge boost for the offense, which is already playing well thanks to the resilient Michael Pittman. However, that was before QB Brian Griese went down. Now they have third year man Chris Simms at the helm, directing the offense.

Can he do it? Jon Gruden thinks so, as he will get the start. Tim Rattay, a former 49er that was acquired just before the trade deadline will back him up. Simms has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and he'll look to take on the full time responsibility in the wake of Brian Griese's injury. After all, they didn't pay him to sit on the bench. Despite what the stats say, San Francisco's defense is fairly talented, they've just been put in tough situations.

The 49ers are dangerous. Don't believe it? Look at what happened to the St. Louis Rams, and what almost happened to Dallas. When you're growing up you're taught not to fight an ugly person, because they have nothing to lose. The San Francisco 49ers season has been about as ugly as they come.
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