From Hurricane Irma to Jameis Winston's shoulder injury, it seems the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't caught a break all year.
But don't look for any excuses coming out of One Buc Place.
“It’s human nature to think- God, what if the season- what if this," Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. "What if we didn’t get banged up? At the end of the year, it doesn’t matter. And it’s on to Carolina, and we have to figure out a way to win this week and build off of it.”
The reality is, the Bucs are 4-10 right now- a shell of the team everyone expected to be a playoff contender in 2017.
Still, it's been promising to see the way the players have stuck together through a season that's been challenging on many levels.
“From a big family, there’s good days and there’s bad days," Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. "You can have a fight with your brother and still care a lot about him. So there are always little things that come up. But for the most part, I think our guys have hung in there. I think it’s a credit to the leadership of the players.”
The internatl drive of the men on the field is clearly there, and Winston gave us a glimpse of what he's capable of on Monday night against the Falcons.
And while there will be no playoff passes in his Christmas stocking, the 23-year-old quarterback sees weeks 16 and 17 as opportunities for this young team to grow.
“It’s going to be beautiful when we continue to fight, give it our all, and scratch out two wins starting with this one," Winston said. "We’ve got to fight. Our season isn’t over, especially not to me. Especially not to the guys in that locker room.”
And a strong finish could carry over into the new year, where some of the breaks could finally go the Bucs way.