What’s a guy gotta do to talk about back-to-back wins? Instead, the Bucs continue their pattern of every other week. Tampa Bay fell to 2-3 following their 31-24 loss to the Saints, but the score seems much closer than the game felt. The Buccaneers had no answer for Michael Thomas, Teddy Bridgewater, or the Saints’ pass rush.
Winston managed to throw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns, but a large chunk of that came in garbage time as Chris Godwin got his second touchdown of the day with a mere thirteen seconds on the clock.
Let’s pick six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) This offensive line is in big trouble. Jameis Winston was running for his life all day. He was sacked six times - three of which coming on a crucial fourth quarter drive - while also being hit eight times. Demar Dotson got absolutely trucked numerous times, the interior was getting turned upside down, and Donovan Smith had his struggles. Every time Winston dropped back, Bucs fans had to hold their breath because there was just no time to set up or let the play develop. An absolutely horrid performance.
2.) Poor Mike Evans. Evans was completely shut down by the Saints. They game planned for him perfectly and Marshon Lattimore was ready. Evans finished with zero catches on three targets...but more on that a little later.
3.) Someone needs to step up. The Bucs have yet to see anyone assert themselves as the legitimate number three receiver. They’ve tried Bobo Wilson, they’ve tried Justin Watson. and early on against the Saints it was rookie Scotty Miller getting force-fed targets that went for nothing. One of these guys has to step up and start making plays in Breshad Perriman’s absence. I mean, it’s not like Perriman was setting the world on fire when he was in there, but he was playing better than these three.
4.) Speaking of stepping up. This secondary. Woof. After Carlton Davis was ejected for his helmet to helmet hit on Saints tight end Jared Cook, the secondary was completely eaten alive by Michael Thomas, the aforementioned Cook, and Josh Hill. They had no answer for anyone. There was a lot more zone coverage than we’ve seen this year and Bridgewater carved them up. There’s a lack of talent and no leadership in that group. The Bucs can’t compete with the big boys if they don’t figure out how to stop opposing receivers with this current group. Unless they trade for Patrick Peterson or Jalen Ramsey (both extremely unlikely) then it’ll be on the offense to out-shoot their opponents.
5.) Pass rush didn’t get there. Teddy Bridgewater was hurried and hit a few times, but for the most part he had a clean pocket to work in. Shaq Barrett was a non-factor. Carl Nassib was invisible. The Bucs just couldn’t get things going. And when the pass rush isn’t getting home, the secondary is beyond vulnerable.
6.) Someone start fining these refs. Roger Goodell needs to begin holding these guys accountable. Look, I don’t envy those guys. They have a tough job. But so do the players and when they screw up, they lose part of their paychecks. The same needs to be done with these officials. Maybe if they start losing chunks of their pay, they’ll start to do better. The Buccaneers lost not one but two challenges - according to the referees - that very clearly should have been won. On the fumble, the refs gave the ball back to New Orleans citing, “no clear recovery.” Yet, on the replay we saw Antony Auclair jump on the ball, joined quickly by a teammate, then a Saints player jumped into the scrum. As soon as that Saints player touched Auclair, play over. Saying there was “no clear recovery” was absolutely inexcusable. Then there was the offensive pass interference challenge where we saw Michael Thomas clearly extend both arms to give himself room against Vernon Hargreaves. Instead, the play stood as called. Both of these were clear on the replays and were still called wrong. And don’t even get me started on the missed holding calls...
Six Numbers To Consider
68 - Consecutive games where Mike Evans had a reception. Streak over.
9 - Consecutive completions by Teddy Bridgewater following his interception
4 - Touchdowns by Bridgewater, tying a career high
11 - Touchdown passes by Winston through five games, second most to start a season in team history
511 - Receiving yards by Godwin through five games, second most to start a season in team history
1,371 - Passing yards by Winston, most in team history for any five game stretch
Six Ways To Prep For The London Trip
1.) Watch “The Patriot”. Mel Gibson shows those guys who’s boss
2.) Listen to The Beatles, The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, and Black Sabbath. Greatest gift England could have possibly given us.
3.) Start plotting your breakfast spread. If the Bucs are playing at 9:30 a.m., might as well watch while ingesting biscuits and gravy, bacon, hash browns, eggs, some pancakes, coffee, and maybe even some chocolate milk. (Don’t judge me. Chocolate milk is freaking delicious and shouldn’t be relegated to being just for kids.)
4.) Smack yourself in the head with a thick, hardback book for eight-and-a-half hours, because that’s basically what that flight is going to feel like.
5.) Do not - I repeat, do not - look up the Buccaneers’ history in London. If you don’t remember, leave it that way
6.) Remember the wise words of Ron Swanson
Six Best Tweets
BA's hot right now...how many MFers did he just unleash on the officiating crew???— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 6, 2019
Rays 0-2 in playoffs— Russ (@stuttterbuttter) October 7, 2019
Bolts blow 3-1 lead
Bucs lose 31-24
It was a rough weekend for Tampa sports
Arians on his Bucs secondary: "We still are too soft. We're too soft. That's the only way to put it. We've got some guys who are getting after it, we've got some guys that are soft."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 6, 2019
Another obvious Offensive Pass Interference by Michael Thomas in the Bucs-Saints game was not called and then not reversed on review. This is getting ridiculous.— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 6, 2019
So about trading for a CB1..— JC Cornell (@TheJCCornell) October 6, 2019
One of the best in the business showing a few things. pic.twitter.com/CxGvyeoBpT— What the Buc (@WhatTheBuc) October 6, 2019
Six Super Bowl Bets
(Per usual, this was written before the Sunday night game had concluded)
1.) New England Patriots - Rinse. Repeat.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs - Until Andy Reid “Andy Reids” in the postseason, this team is legit
3.) New Orleans Saints - 3-0 without Drew Brees
4.) Green Bay Packers - They just keep winning
5.) Seattle Seahawks - See “Green Bay Packers”
24.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Just can’t seem to get out of their own way