Just when we thought the Bucs were ready to challenge a team like the Saints and possibly dare I say even beat the Saints at home, after all the Bucs had won in New Orleans in dramatic fashion 48-40, we saw today just how far this Bucs team has to go to become a team that is competitive with the best of the best in the NFL.
The Bucs arguably played their best half of football this season in the first half as the Bucs defense held the Saints just over 100 yards of offense and led the Saints 14-3.
Again the second half was the Bucs undoing as they were a totally different team in the second half as they allowed 25 unanswered points to the Saints in the 28-14 loss. You can put the blame wherever you will.
The coaching staff failed to make adjustments at halftime and as a result were outcoached by Sean Payton In the second half.
The OL had their worst game of the game of the season. If Jim Brown played behind this line he would have never made the HOF. Thats how bad the Play of the OL line was today. Untimely penalties, did not protect Winston very well, and opened no holes for the running game.
Jameis Winston had his worst game since being named the starter for the second time this season. Winston missed his receivers all day long, and in the second half could not get into any kind of rhythm Finishing 18/38 for 179 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT.
Cairo Santo missed two FG’s and that seemed to suck the air right out of RayJay and momentum quickly shifted to the Saints. The missed FG would have given the Bucs a 17-3 lead, and later in the game Santos would miss a 40 yard FG that would have given them a 20-3 lead.
The curse of Matt Bryant continues.
Chris Godwin who had his worst game as a pro. Godwin was targeted 10 games and made just 1 catch for 13 yards. Godwin dropped numerous passes and was nowhere near the ball on a couple of those targets.
The runnIng game. Playing behind a bad OL for most of the season, Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers have really struggled to get much going Giving a combined 58 yards on 18 carries. When your QB is your leating rusher, that is not a winning recipient most of the time. I don’t think that either back is the long term solution to a solid running game for the Bucs.
The Bucs won the turnover battle 2-1 as Drew Brees fumbled and was intercepted. Winston was picked as time ran out late in the game for his only turnover.
The fans. There was maybe 50,000 there today. The heavy rain and severe weather earlier in the day could have kept attendance down a bit, but I’m sure the Saints felt like it was a home game as thousands of Saints fans bought tickets sold by the season ticket holders.
Outside of the game against San Francisco, I can‘t think of another home game this season where the Bucs had a true home field advantage.
The apathy of the season ticket holders in this market is one of the reason Tampa will never be a first class sports town.
As the clock was ticking away on another Bucs lose, a game in which they could have won, you couldn’t help bit wonder if the clock was also ticking down on the Jason Licht/Dirk Koetter era in Tampa.