The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just walked into a buzzsaw.
Call it a bad omen, call it lack of awareness - call it whatever you want. Just six days after getting exposed on Monday Night Football, the Bucs were unable to correct the mistakes they made against the Steelers and they paid for it dearly on Sunday.
A road game on a short week against an elite defense is never a good spot to be in when you play in the NFL and the Bucs were reminded of that against Chicago.
Before the season started, a 2-2 record heading into the bye week would have been deemed a good position to be in when considering the circumstances heading into the season and the team’s extremely difficult opening schedule.
But the way the season started compared to where the Bucs are at now is a major disappointment and there are nothing but questions ahead for the team and the coaching staff.
How in the hell do they fix the defense? Will they ever be able to manufacture any type of rushing attack? What are they going to do about the injuries in the secondary?
Those are just the highlights of the list of unknowns that this team will have to figure out.
“We just weren’t executing,” safety Justin Evans said after another defensive performance that saw another Bucs’ opponent gain over 400 yards and handed Mitchell Trubisky a career day passing the ball.
Evans was responsible for giving up the first touchdown to Trey Burton after falling down due to biting on Burton’s route fake. Whether it be execution, scheme, or play-calling - the Bucs are currently stuck in the mud and they aren’t doing the key things well enough to get out.
Since their Week 1 victory against the Saints, the Bucs have yet to go over 100 yards rushing as a team, they are 10/31 on third down, (-6) in turnover margin, and are under 50% when it comes to scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
When you don’t come out on the right side in any of the aforementioned categories, it’s next to impossible to win games in the NFL and right now, it doesn’t look like the Bucs know how to stop the bleeding.
“We were horrific in all aspects of the game today,” a pissed Dirk Koetter said at the podium after the loss. When asked about whether or not any changes should be in made in terms of the defensive coordinator position Koetter was exasperated in his response.
To say the Bucs are at a crossroads right now is a bit of a reach, but it’s definitely an idea in motion and it will certainly have a full head of steam if the Bucs lose to Atlanta in Week 6 and then the Browns in Week 7 in similar fashion.
But fortunately for the Bucs, their confidence isn’t entirely shaken. Demar Dotson was very adamant in the locker room after the game about what this team needs to do in order to improve and other veterans were in the same camp.
“It’s fixable. Everything is fixable. Today just wasn’t the day. It wasn’t Buccaneer football. It wasn’t the way we play football. It wasn’t the way we play defense, from top down,” Lavonte David told reporters after the game.
Whatever it is, the Bucs have two weeks to fix it. If they don’t, the majority of them may not be around next year to give it another shot.