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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnson: Tough Loss, Tough Schedule

In his weekly diary, Bucs QB Brad Johnson says his team is in the hunt for the second and third Wild Card spots


QB Brad Johnson felt the Bucs' offense would be very productive against Chicago before four turnovers slowed it down

(as told to Dave Richard, Editor's note: Normally throwing for 399 yards is a good thing, but Brad Johnson and the Buccaneers fell short against the Bears in Week 10. In this journal entry, Johnson discusses the game, and looks ahead to two tough road games: at St. Louis and at Cincinnati).

The loss to Chicago was a tough one to take, especially being at home and a division game. The ending was pretty interesting. The Bears actually fumbled the ball on first down, so they got nervous. On second and third down, they took a QB kneel, and I felt like Jim Miller should have stood for one or two seconds and killed even that much more time. We ended up with 18 seconds on the clock, and they really could have killed it to 10 seconds. We're thankful that we got that opportunity. It was unbelievable that we got ourselves back in the game.

Offensively, we had a turnover early in the game, which took away some points and some momentum. We felt like we could dominate them on the offensive end, but we ended up with four turnovers, which really hurt us. Defense really controlled the game, but our defense let up three big pass plays, which really torched us.

Even with all that said, we played a great game; we came from behind and had a game-tying field goal just miss. Right now, we're 4-5 and we're in the middle of the road. A lot of teams are fighting for that second or third playoff spot as far as the wild card goes.

This is my 10th year in the league, and any team I've been on that's gone through any kind of losing streak or in the middle-of-the-road type of season, I'm always asked if we're playing to save the coach's job. I don't think so. We're out there to try to win a ballgame to give ourselves a chance to be in the playoffs. Decisions are made at the end of the season for management, coaches and players, and that stuff will iron itself out. Tony Dungy is an incredible coach and we've just let a few games slip away. It's unfortunate that we're in this situation.

We've got a big game Monday night against St. Louis and we've just got to go win it. The biggest difference between playing Sunday and playing Monday night is that it throws the weekly schedule off. This week, with Thanksgiving, we're actually going to practice Wednesday, take Thursday off, and resume practice Friday and Saturday. What really hurts is not just preparing for this game, but preparing for the next game, which is at Cincinnati. We'll be on a six-day short week. We won't get back until 6 a.m.; the coaches lose their preparation time. It's not bad going into the Monday night game; it's recovering the next week.

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