*Sigh*. Another year, another loss in the Superdome for the Buccaneers. In a game where the Bucs couldn’t get out of their own way, despite facing a third string quarterback, it was the turnovers and penalties that made the difference.
For some inexplicable reason, the Buccaneers can not find a way to get a win in the city of New Orleans in the regular season. Now, the Divisional Round last season was fun and all, but the Bucs had the opportunity to head into the bye with a 7-1 record and be 2-0 in the division. Instead, the Saints are nipping at their heels at 5-2 while holding the head to head tiebreaker.
Let’s Pick Six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) What is it about the Saints? Tom Brady has been quarterback for 24 regular season games for the Buccaneers. In 21 of those, he has turned the ball over a total of 12 times. In the three games against the Saints, it’s eight. Eight turnovers. It’s unfathomable that Brady can struggle so much against this one team - and it just so happens to be the team the Bucs always struggle against. There were plenty of plays that were left out on the field by both sides of the ball, but the Bucs expect Brady to perform at his highest level in these games. So far, that’s not happening.
2.) The penalties...for the love of all that is holy. When is it going to end? I thought last week that they were back on the right track. Nope. Turns out, they were saving all of them up for the Saints game. The Bucs got nabbed for eleven of the game’s thirteen penalties, many extending Saints drives and one negating an interception by Antoine Winfield Jr. in the end zone that could have turned things much sooner in the Bucs’ favor. And while we’re at it, is taunting not the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen in your life? Devin White was flagged for it in the second half. That’s a player that is returning to Louisiana, makes a huge tackle in a key moment, and gets flagged for daring to show emotion. These are people, men, fighting for every inch they can on the field. Football is game of emotion and the NFL expects them to be robots. No emotion. No excitement. Doesn’t matter that it was in a big moment of the game, just waltz back to the huddle like nothing happened. The taunting rule is by far the most ridiculous thing that the NFL has done in years - and that’s saying something. Stop punishing these players for showing emotion. But hey - Tyreek Hill can still throw up his dueces and backflip into the end zone and that’s just fine. (It also didn’t help that on the first interception, the refs ignored defensive pass interference or at the very least defensive holding and on the second roughing the passer call they ignored hands to the face on Armstead that literally ripped Gholston’s helmet off...but I digress...)
3.) Jameis Winston. Look, I don’t care about the rivalry or Winston’s past with the Bucs. You hate to see someone go down with an injury like that. It seems as though Winston suffered an ACL injury and was seen on crutches after the game. This is a player that did a lot for the Tampa community and is still friends with many of the players on the current roster for the Bucs. They didn’t want to see him go down like that. Hopefully Winston can return later this year, but it seems unlikely. To his credit, Trevor Siemian came in and played one heck of a game given that Taysom Hill was inactive due to a concussion - which brings me to my next point.
4.) Anyone want to be a closer? This defense, all year long, has been a group of players who almost made a play. This was supposed to be one of the best defenses in the NFL and yet, they get shredded on a key drive by a third string quarterback. They got pressure on Siemian most of the day, but continued to allow him to escape and get the ball out of his hands. Pressure isn’t good enough. Someone has to close out these plays. Finish sacks, finish drives, finish takeaways. Finish. The offense was stagnant most of the game and the defense couldn’t do a single thing to keep the game close the entire first half. Then, once the offense finally got the lead late in the fourth, the defense couldn’t get off the field before allowing the go ahead score. It’s not good enough. Not even close to good enough. And I’m not even going to give them the built in excuse of missing starters. They got Lavonte David back, Richard Sherman was there in case of emergency - but they were going against Trevor Siemian. There is absolutely no reason they should have trailed by 16 points ever, let alone lost this game.
5.) For the second year in a row, the bye comes at the right time. The Buccaneers need to continue to get healthy, but more importantly they need to figure some things out. The offense looked confused and discombobulated for much of the first half. The defense? Well, I already talked about the defense. This team needs someone to stand up and say enough is enough. No more mistakes, no more penalties. This team should be able to impose their will on whoever they face and yet, they haven’t. The Bucs should see Antonio Brown return after the bye with Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting not far behind. Gronk tried to return but left after experiencing some back spasms. Now, they get two weeks to get back on track - both on the field and in the trainers room.
6.) Stop calling for coaches to be fired. This was more frustrating than the game. As I ran the Bucs Nation Twitter account, there were way too many people in the mentions talking about how Todd Bowles is trash and needs to be fired or that Bruce Arians doesn’t have it anymore and needs to be fired. Knock it off. If you’re one of those people, you need to take a step back from social media until you find your head. These are the same coaches that won a Super Bowl nine months ago. This is still a team that is 6-2 and in first place in the division. Yes, this game was frustrating and I’ve spent a lot of this section venting about it - but this is still one of the best teams in the NFL with one of the best staffs in the NFL. Calling for people to be fired because of one bad game is asinine.
Six Numbers To Consider
70 - Touchdowns by Mike Evans in his career, one away from franchise leader Mike Alstott
6 - First downs by the Saints off of Buccaneers penalties
23 - Points by the Saints off Bucs turnovers
8 - Turnovers by Tom Brady in three games against the Saints
6 - Straight regular season losses to the Saints
38 - Games with 4+ passing touchdowns by Brady, most in NFL history
Six Best Tweets
The Bucs are unquestionably shooting themselves in the foot constantly, but are the Saints really incapable of being called for holding?— Bailey Adams (@BaileyJAdams22) October 31, 2021
I am seriously still in shock. Howwwww do you call either of those roughing the passer??— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) October 31, 2021
37 yards and a touchdown for Godwin so far in the first quarter? The Locked On Bucs blessing of the week is at it again pic.twitter.com/TcfmOSnsdC— Locked On Bucs (@LockedOnBucs) October 31, 2021
CGJ interception. Bucs have turned it over on each of their last 2 drives pic.twitter.com/C4K93DwMLW— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) October 31, 2021
Six Things To Do On The Bye Week
1.) Knock out the decorating. Normally, I’m a “no Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving” kind of guy, but use the open weekend wisely and just get it out of the way now. You’ll thank yourself later.
2.) Family weekend getaway. You don’t have to go far, or even make it a full weekend - but you can dedicate an entire day to an amusement park, a zoo, a trip to the kids’ favorite restaurant, go bowling, whatever. Your day is wide open, the weather is nice. Take advantage.
3.) Run through that “honey-do” list. I’m sure the chores have piled up since the season began, get it all taken care of before the second half of the season begins.
4.) Start shopping. Yeah, yeah - the sales begin on Thanksgiving weekend. You know what else will happen Thanksgiving weekend? Nothing will be left. Start knocking out as much of your holiday shopping as you can now, even if it’s the little last minute items you normally forget until Christmas Eve when you have to scour the aisles at Walgreens because they’re the only ones open at 11 p.m. Oh, and don’t forget the batteries.
5.) Kick back and enjoy. You can sit back with your nachos or wings, turn on the Red Zone channel, and enjoy all that the NFL has to offer without the stress or frustrations that come with your team playing. Just follow all the action without a care in the world (except maybe your fantasy team, which is more stress inducing than your actual team.)
6.) Try something new. Has there been something you’ve wanted to try but keep putting off? Could be cooking something, a place you’ve never been to, an activity people keep talking about that you just haven’t had the time to try out yourself? Do it! Maybe you’ll create the new Thanksgiving Day staple for your family or find your new go-to day date location. No better time than now to give it a shot!
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) Green Bay Packers - With the Bucs loss, the Packers slide into first after beating the undefeated Cardinals
2.) Buffalo Bills - Still tops in the AFC
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They’ll be back after the bye, better than ever
4.) Arizona Cardinals - Set back on Thursday. Will they bounce back?
5.) Tennessee Titans - It took overtime, but this team has changed drastically since the loss to New York
Six Final Words
This One’ll Sting For Two Weeks
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