Another week, another loss. This year was supposed to be different. This year was supposed to be when things got turned around. Instead, it’s more of the same.
Inept playcalling, costly turnovers, implosions at the most inopportune time, and draft talk before Halloween.
The Buccaneers went into Nashville and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, falling to the Titans 27-23.
Might as well pick six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Stats are stupid. Jameis Winston was charged with four turnovers against the Titans. In reality, he had none. There were two lost fumbles, the first of which was thanks to an early snap by Ryan Jensen while Winston wasn’t looking. Another lost fumble was thanks to Donovan Smith completely whiffing on a block that allowed the defensive end to swipe the ball as Winston went to throw. The interceptions? The first was on Godwin for cutting off the route. The ball sailed and Malcom Butler was sitting right there. The second was during the final drive where the Bucs had no choice but to air it out, so Breshad Perriman decided to jog - giving up on the route - and the ball fell straight into the arms of Logan Ryan. Bruce Arians said after the game that “Jamies didn’t throw one damn interception that was his fault. His receivers let him down.”
2.) Byron Leftwich is in over his head. This was the time to make the change. A win against Tennessee and the Bucs are back in the hunt. A loss and their season is over. Arians needed to take over playcalling after the bye. He didn’t and it showed. I understand Arians has faith in Leftwich and experience is the only thing that will help, but Leftwich just isn’t ready. The Bucs had a 4th-and-1 coming out of the two minute warning in Titans’ territory. What did Leftwich draw up? A run. Out of the shotgun. By Peyton Barber. Good grief. And how do you have a receiver - Mike Evans - who had eleven receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns but he doesn’t get a single target in the fourth quarter? Leftwich continues to mismanage the personnel and it’s costing this team games.
3.) Officiating stays trash. Not much to say. They blew a clear fumble/scoop-and-score by the Bucs dead that would’ve led to a 30-27 lead for the Bucs with under four minutes left. No accountability, no improvement. Refs are a pathetic joke that are ruining the best game in the world.
4.) Welcome back JPP. Jason Pierre-Paul made his return and had a sack on the first snap he saw. JPP finished with three tackles - all for losses - and created pressure on Ryan Tannehill all day. It’s nice to see him back.
5.) Is O.J. Howard on his way out? Howard had a hamstring issue mysteriously crop up, leading him to be inactive. With the trade deadline looming Tuesday, could the Bucs have deemed him inactive to keep him healthy in order to make a move? Rumor has it that Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay may be on the block. If the Bucs aren’t going to utilize Howard (see number two above) they might as well make a move to get a big time corner in return. Don’t be surprised if this team starts swapping out assets for draft picks to boost the offensive line and secondary, they are likely going to do so. A new quarterback doesn’t fix this team. Top to bottom, this roster just flat out sucks.
6.) Some people need some sense. Imagine blaming the struggles on this team on Bruce Arians and asking for him to be fired seven games into his tenure. Just imagine. Because that’s what’s happening among Bucs fandom. Yes, there are fans that actually believe Arians - the first legitimate coach this team has had in a decade - is the problem and needs to be fired. I just can’t...
Six Numbers To Consider
433 - Career receptions by Mike Evans, most in team history
3 - Times in his career Jameis Winston has had multiple interceptions in back to back games
10 - Sacks through seven games for Shaq Barrett
53 - Rushing yards for Winston, most on the team vs. Titans
24 - Touchdowns needed by Mike Evans to tie Mike Alstott for most in team history
2 - Players in NFL history with two games with at least 190 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single season - Mike Evans and Charley Hennigan
Perfect Bucs Playlist
Following a loss in Nashville, here’s the ideal Nashville inspired playlist to describe the Buccaneers
1.) Hurt - Johnny Cash - I hurt myself every Sunday, sitting through these games...
2.) The Fool - Lee Ann Womack - Yep, we’re the fools who keep falling for an NFL team that doesn’t love us back...
3.) Teardrops On My Guitar - Taylor Swift - Well Taylor, one guy is the reason for your tears, 53 guys are the reason for ours.
4.) Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw - This team makes us wish we were dying
5.) Poor Poor Pitiful Me - Terri Clark (or Linda Ronstadt) - We watch. We invest. They lose. Someone show us some sympathy.
6.) The Loser - Hank Williams Jr. - “It’s good to know I’m not the only loser and all this time I thought I was alone” - Bucs fans
Six Reasons For Optimism
6.) Bruce Arians
Six Super Bowl Bets
Per usual, completed before the Sunday night game is complete - so don’t hold that result against me
1.) New England Patriots - Yup
2.) New Orleans Saints - Undefeated with Teddy B, Brees back. Full yikes.
3.) San Francisco 49ers - I don’t know how they’re doing it, but they just won’t stop
4.) Green Bay Packers - Guess I was wrong about that head coaching hire...
5.) Kansas City Chiefs - Might be the only team in the AFC that can put up a fight vs. NE
27.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - October is Draft Season