Bruce Arians and his staff don’t know how to game plan against the New Orleans Saints. After four regular season contests have all gone pitifully bad, I don’t think that bit is up for debate anymore.
The crown jewel of these horrendous showings occurred on Sunday night when a depleted, unremarkable Saints team strolled into Raymond James Stadium and shut out the best offense in football. The Bucs suffered major injuries, yes, but even before then they looked totally out of sync.
The defense played exceptionally well given the circumstances, but they could only do so much.
Let’s run through this real quick and flip on some junk food Christmas movies for a week and pray for an optimistic injury report in all of our stockings...
Offensive Top Performer: No One
You don’t score points, you don’t get recognition. Fair, no? Alright moving on.
Defensive Top Performer: EDGE Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
The rookie played a truckload of snaps and made them count with several pressures, run stops and a sack. His absolutely freaky athleticism flashed at multiple points chasing down another super athlete in Taysom Hill.
He’s the future of the position opposite Shaq Barrett, and he was one of the lone bright spots of a dismal outing.
Lavonte David, prior to exiting with foot discomfort, also excelled with 11 combined tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Jordan Whitehead looked good in his return from a calf injury, logging 8 combined tackles and dishing some heavy hits out.
Special Teams Top Performer: No One Again
Again, where were the positives?
Ryan Succop shanked an easy field goal that would’ve at least kept the offense in it a little longer. Bradley Pinion continues to prove he’s generally mediocre outside of launching kicks out of the endzone.
Jaelon Darden has looked abysmal as a returner since taking the job full time.
To top it all off, a roughing the punter penalty on Grant Stuard ended any chance (however insignificant) of the Bucs putting points on the board.
Just a truly awful display up and down the board.