There was a lot of missed opportunities for the Buccaneers on Monday night’s loss to the Steelers. Some of those missed opportunities were in the red zone. Ah, yes - those red zone woes coming back to haunt them.
Twice on Monday the Bucs had first and goal from the five yard line. Twice the Bucs had to settle for field goals. Twice a drive stalled out shy of the end zone - and either time could have proved to be the game winner.
Todd Monken has run an incredible offense thus far and he wasn’t exactly pleased with the red zone efficiency he saw against Pittsburgh. As dominant as Tampa Bay’s offense has been, there’s always room for improvement;
“The sample size is still small, so it’s frustrating, it’s disappointing. You’re not going to be perfect. If you are, we come out victorious no matter what the turnover situation was. It’s tough because some of the things we did down there were self-inflicted. We’re first-and-goal on the six [yard-line] we get and illegal shift, that puts you first-and-goal at the 11– not good. We miss a protection so we don’t slide, hits a defender in the helmet and the ball gets deflected and gets intercepted. Disappointing.
Again, those aren’t excuses – we’ve got to do it better. There wasn’t really anything – looking back, sure, running the football probably helps that. I’ve got to do a better job of that. We’ve got to do a better job collectively. That’s a part of it and at the end there isn’t a call that came up that I want to take back or something – it’s the execution that we’ve got to do better and that’s the way it is. We’ve got good players – we’ve just got to do – better when we get down there. Now, part of that is if you get down there and try to score touchdowns, we’ve been explosive and that’s added to that without actually getting there. We’ve got to do better down there.”
It was baffling to see the Bucs have so many opportunities that close to the end zone yet not see a single target in the direction of Mike Evans who was matched up one-on-one with Coty Sensabaugh - someone Evans easily beats 100 times out of 100 in a jump ball situation.
It’s not time to panic. It’s not time to freak out. It’s time to evaluate, reassess, and improve. The Bucs are clicking on offense and building towards a special season - but that doesn’t mean they can’t get better.