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Lions-Buccaneers final score: Tampa Bay loses again in turnover fest

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The Bucs and Lions turned the ball over eight times.

Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost yet another close game, this time to the Detroit Lions in a very close affair. The final score was 24-21, with the Lions’ game-winning field goal coming with just seconds remaining.

That close score was the result of a veritable turnover-fest. The Bucs turned it over five times, while the Lions handed it back thrice. Jameis Winston had two interceptions, as did Matt Stafford, with a slew of distributed fumbles completing the pictures.

The most comedic of turnovers took seven minutes to turn from a catch and fifteen-yard personal foul, into a fumble recovered by the Detroit Lions. The referees, the coaches and especially the spectators were all very confused about what was happening, though it mostly revolved around whether or not O.J. Howard had established himself as a runner before dropping the ball. Turns out he had, and what looked like a red zone opportunity was instead Lions ball.

Surprisingly, though, those turnovers didn’t give the Lions a decisive advantage. The Bucs turned none of their turnovers into points, yet somehow trailed only by a touchdown at the half, and managed to claw back to a tied game, 21-21, in the final minutes of regulation.

That’s in part because outside of those turnovers, both offenses were pretty productive. The Bucs lost Gerald McCoy to injury early on and couldn’t muster a pass-rush afterwards, so Stafford ended the game completing 36 of 44 passes for 381 yards—albeit with just one touchdown and two interceptions. Jameis Winston was similarly productive, with 285 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 26 completions in 38 attempts.

Ultimately, though, none of that mattered for the Bucs, who saw their defense collapse once again in the final minutes.