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Bucs end 2019 season - and decade - with signature loss to Falcons

All the makings of the last ten years of misery were bundled up in the loss to the Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston had another back-breaking turnover that lost the game.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

What do the kids say these days?


**insert crying laughing emoji**

Honestly, how else should this game have gone? How else should it have ended?

What’s better than multiple missed field goals, a blown lead in the fourth quarter, and a pick-six on the first play of overtime to lose the game? All against a division rival, too.

Well, being a Bucs fan of course.

It’s the equivalent to rollerskating in grass. Some say it’s as pleasant as the smell of burnt hair. Most want to know what it’s like to live the #BucsLife, but only few can.

In fact, only few can live this life and make it out on top. Most only fall into the depths and are never heard from again.

The real ones, the heroes, they rise from the ashes of these losses only to return year after year and battle against common sense and all logic that escapes those who follow and pledge loyalty to this team.

But in all seriousness, could you really write a better worse ending to this year?

Just when it looked like Tampa Bay was going to close on a strong note, they finish with a whimper. Turnovers, missed field goals, penalties, and miscommunications - the four horsemen of the recent Tampa Bay Buccaneer apocalypse - somehow managed to sneak their way into this last game and leave the franchise and fans with a nice, wafting odor of futility to stew on for the next nine months.

At least it was an entertaining game that featured a lot of individual accomplishments. Jameis Winston became the eighth quarterback in NFL history and the first quarterback in Tampa Bay history to throw for over 5,000 yards. Shaq Barrett broke Warren Sapp’s single-season sack record and set a new bar with 19.5 sacks in one season. Devin White’s fumble return for a touchdown was the sixth defensive touchdown on the year, which is the most in franchise history.

On the other hand, Winston’s pick-six was also his 30th of the season, which gave him the honorary position of becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season. Bruce Arians recorded his first losing season as head coach with a 7-9 record. Matt Gay missed a season-high three kicks that would’ve been the difference between winning and losing.

I don’t really know how to approach the 2020 season at the moment. It seems like every time this team takes a step forward, it takes three steps back. They still can’t beat good teams. Their only win against a team that finished .500 or better was the against the inconsistent Rams, which doesn’t say too much.

This isn’t like the Patriots loss to the Dolphins. The Pats has a 12-3 regular season record and playoff seed locked up to fall back on before they tripped up. The Bucs had a 7-8 record and a plethora of questions to answer in order to figure out how to improve this team. This loss provided no answers to such questions.

The picture will obviously become clearer as free agency, the draft, and training camp rolls through, but for now, this team is going to have show me - and others - that they have shed the dysfunctional ways that have made them one of the worst teams in the NFL over the last decade.

And there is only one place to show us that they’ve corrected their ways: on the football field.

Until then, I’ll continue to drown myself in naive hope - and bourbon - while awaiting another season of pain over these next few months.

Go Bucs!!