The Buccaneers proved to every Bucs fan and the nation that they are pretenders and not contenders in their 27-24 loss to the Rams on Monday night.
The list of issues on this team is more than you can count on one hand, and the blame falls equally on both the offense and the defense.
Although the Bucs were competitive in this game, the result was a 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Jason Pierre-Paul was the Bucs best defensive player with an interception and getting some pressure on Jared Goff. The receiving trio of Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin were highlights on offense.
The Bucs coaching staff was once again outcoached. This time by Sean McVay, one of the best bright offensive minds in the NFL.
If the Bucs play like this the rest of the season, this team will be lucky to win three more games.
Let’s start with the offense. The Bucs still have issues running the ball. Yet, time and time again, Ronald Jones was fed the ball on first down only to get one or two yards.
It was obvious to every NFL fan that the Bucs were going to have a tough time running the ball. Despite not having success, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich insisted on running the ball on first down, putting Brady and the offense in second and long.
Brady continues to force the long ball to try to get it to Antonio Brown. Although Brown led the Bucs in receiving last night, there is no chemistry between Brown and Brady on the long throws.
Before the arrival of Antonio Brown, Brady and Scotty Miller was developing some good chemistry on the long ball, and Miller was gaining Brady’s confidence.
Miller has been an afterthought in the offensive game plan since the arrival of Antonio Brown.
The offensive line without Ali Marpet continues to be mediocre at best. Although Brady was sacked just once against the Rams, he was under pressure and was not sharp at all.
Maybe Brady’s age is starting to catch up with him.
Defensively, the Bucs front seven was not able to get much pressure at all on Rams quarterback Jared Goff. As a result, Goff was able to pick apart the young Bucs secondary.
We have seen it in two games against the Saints, the game against the Giants, and now the Rams. If this defensive front seven can’t get pressure on the opposing quarterback, it’s going to be a long night.
Keep in mind the Rams were playing without their best offensive linemen in tackle Andrew Whitworth, who could be out the rest of the season with a knee injury.
The Bucs secondary made Rams receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods look like the second coming of Randy Moss and Chris Carter.
Todd Bowles continues to have his defense play zone, and Brees and Goff have picked that zone apart.
The Bucs have to play zone because there is no confidence that any defensive back can cover a receiver one on one and lock them down.
The Bucs are now 7-4 and trail the Saints by 1.5 games for the division lead. At this stage of the season, the Bucs are looking at a wild card spot. The Saints lead the division, and although that is not an insurmountable lead, it is unlikely the Bucs can capture the division title.
The Saints also own the tie-breakers with the Bucs.
It will be a short week for the Bucs, as they will turnaround and play the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
For now, let’s pipe down the talk a bit on the Bucs being Super Bowl contenders.
There are a ton of issues to correct to make a deep playoff run, let alone win a Super Bowl.