The Buccaneers went toe to toe with one of the best team in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks for 65 plus minutes before losing in overtime 40-34.
The Bucs could not have played much better offensively. Ronald Jones had his best game as a pro with 70 yards rushing. Jameis Winston had two touchdowns and no interceptions. Winston did lose a fumble after getting hit in the arm by Bucs offensive linemen Donavan Smith on attempted pass play the only turnover of the game for the Bucs.
Mike Evans had another monster game with over 180 yards receiving. The Bucs were perfect inside the red zone going 4/4.
The Bucs had more possession time than the Seahawks and yet ended up losing in OT.
This was the second consecutive game where the Bucs had the lead either at halftime or at some point in the second half and let the game slip away.
The Bucs played six rookies at times on defense and at times it looked like it. Jamel Dean was forced into playing more than planned after Carlton Davis was injured early in the game. Dean struggled at times against the Seattle receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Mike Edwards struggled with his tackling and Vernon Hargreaves continues to be a non factor as the last big play he made was the game ending play at Carolina in week 2.
Rookie Devin White led the Bucs with 12 tackles and was the Bucs best player on defense. In one of the best plays of the game, White ran down Seahawks running back Chris Carson and knocked the ball loose, but the ball rolled out of bounds preventing a Buccaneer recovery.
The Bucs are 2-6 at the halfway point and the secondary continues to struggle. It doesn’t matter what defensive alignment those guys are in, man to man, zone, they seem to struggle covering opposing receivers.
Bruce Arians said during the off-season he thought the Bucs had fixed the secondary issues. He might want to reconsider that statement.
This secondary is just as bad as last years secondary. There is more talent in the secondary, but the results on the field speak for themselves.
To be fair to the secondary, they were asked to play a lot of man to man coverage in the game and the young defensive backs wore down as the game went along.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson proved once again why he is a candidate for the MVP award as he torched the Bucs for five touchdowns and no interceptions.
This was also a game where the Bucs run defense which had been outstanding all season took a step back as they allowed Seahawks running back Chris Carson to run for 106 yards and gave up a season high 145 yards on the ground.
Carson is the first back to run for over 100 yards on the Bucs defense this season.
This was a very entertaining game, but the Bucs just don’t have enough good players on defense right now to win those close games.
The offense can play with anybody when the team keeps the turnovers to a minimum and Winston plays the kind of game he played against Seattle.
The key word is consistency, and that is something the Bucs have lacked all season long.