CHARLOTTE, N.C. — He had spoiled us. He had spoiled us so much people began to forget Josh Freeman was even here this season, or believe that Greg Schiano can save his job, or that maybe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't need to draft a quarterback.
Mike Glennon had done that.
He began showing real promise after the Bucs were thumped by the Carolina Panthers on a Thursday in late October. The kid owned November. The Bucs stopped losing.
Sunday, it was the Panthers again. The Bucs got thumped again, 27-6.
And Mike Glennon was part of the problem.
Schiano's life line got all tied up in knots.
“I don't know (if it was a) step back as much as he maybe looked a little bit more like a rookie than he's looked,” Schiano said.
The NFL's offensive rookie of the month for November had a rough start to December.
It wasn't about his 10 touchdown passes against only one interception across the six games leading into Sunday. It was about two costly Glennon turnovers that led to 10 Carolina points.
It was about Glennon's blooper-reel fumble early in the second quarter as he scrambled deep in Carolina territory. It was about that fluttering, stuttering deep ball from Glennon just after halftime, picked off and leading to a Panthers touchdown.
It was about a Bucs offense that didn't score a touchdown, this after Glennon had thrown at least one touchdown in each of his first eight games. There was no glittering Glennon QB rating Sunday. Sunday, the Bucs offense had five drives of 10 yards or less. They went 1-for-10 on third down.
Maybe we should have seen it coming. Glennon had been so hot, but the Panthers are the hottest team in the league. Way behind, Glennon hoisted up 51 passes in the loss at Tampa. He threw 30 fewer times Sunday, but was way behind just the same. Or he was being sacked, again, or throwing the ball away, again.
Back to the Glennon turnovers.
“The first one, it wasn't really a careless mistake, the ball just slipped out of my hands and it really hurt us because we would have got at least three points in that situation,” he said. “Then the second one, I was just trying to make a play. I probably should have thrown it away. Those are situations that I'll learn from and I'll be better because of it.”
Glennon has played as well, if not better, than any rookie quarterback. The Jets lifted rookie Geno Smith while they were getting drubbed by Miami on Sunday. So, let's keep some perspective.
Still, Sunday was a different kind of Glennon day.
There was blame to go around, from coaches to players. Hey, just once in our lifetime could Vincent Jackson catch a deep pass in the field of play and actually take it all the way in for a touchdown? VJack was brought down at the Carolina 4.
“... We should be able to score regardless,” Glennon said.
That drive ended with his fumble.
We've become accustomed to Glennon avoiding that sort of thing. And we were beginning to think he might be a deep threat — see how he laid that long completion right in Jackson's arms?
But then he threw that pick, under pressure, while looking for Jackson again. Bad decision. Bad throw. I think it came down end over end.
“You can learn from the good, learn from the bad,” Glennon said. “There was some bad today that I'll learn from and you have to look at it that way. I'm not going to make the same mistake twice, so I'll go back, watch the film and go from there.”
The Bucs need to beat Buffalo next Sunday or the narrative changes back to where it was at 0-8, before Mike Glennon began to play like someone who could save people's jobs, and more.
Sunday, he just looked like a rookie.