A mere five weeks ago, the Buccaneers' season seemed over. After suffering a 15-10 defeat to the lowly 49ers, Jon Gruden's team was thrashed 34-14 by Carolina. Tampa Bay had lost three out of four games and was a game behind the surging Panthers.
To make matters worse, backup QB Chris Simms, who was starting for the injured Brian Griese, had only generated 24 points in two starts, throwing four interceptions and only two touchdowns. RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams gained only 49 yards on 24 carries in the two losses.
The Bucs have made quite a turnaround since then, posting four wins in five games, including a 20-10 victory over Carolina on Sunday that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. Tampa Bay is now in first place in the division and is a strong candidate to gain a first-round bye in the playoffs.