The Buccaneers were presented with a golden opportunity on Sunday and simply let it slip away. Tampa Bay came into this game against the Atlanta Falcons leading the NFC South and could have really made some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack but fell short to the Falcons 16-13.
This game left many frustrated wondering what's next for a Bucs team that has now lost two in a row.
Oh No, Baker
QB Baker Mayfield made some plays on Sunday but when it mattered the most, came up short. The biggest example of this was late in the 4th quarter when the Bucs were in position to tie the game or possibly take the lead and Mayfield threw the ball into double coverage that was picked off.
Mayfield just cannot make this throw. Especially when there are open checkdowns right in front of him. Instead of tying or taking the lead, Mayfield turns it over for the fourth straight game. He was so good at limiting the turnovers early on, but it is starting to become an unfortunate trend for Tampa Bay.
Penalties, Penalties and More Penalties
Limiting the turnovers was one of the goals for the Bucs offense but another goal of the entire team was to limit the amount of penalties the team committed which to be fair, they had done a decent job of earlier in the season but on Sunday the mistakes came back to bite them.
Bucs had nine penalties today -- seven on offense, with Robert Hainsey and Trey Palmer each getting a hold and a false start. Matt Feiler had two false starts. Not to be outdone, Falcons gave the Bucs six first downs with defensive penalties.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 22, 2023
Seven penalties for an offense that is already struggling to begin with is a recipe for disaster. Like the turnovers, hopefully this isn’t something that becomes a trend because Tampa certainly cannot afford to be this sloppy week in and week out and expect to win many more football games.
Give Antoine Winfield Jr a Blank Check This Offseason
Safety Antoine Winfield Jr has been the Bucs best defensive player so far this season and that was no different on Sunday. The 4th year standout made a huge play that saved the game for Tampa Bay at the time. Falcons QB Desmond Ridder appeared to score a touchdown that would have all but ended the game but Winfield had other plans as he knocked the ball out right before it crossed the goal line.
Hey Mr. Licht, don’t let AWJ leave Tampa this offseason.
Such a good play by Antoine Winfield that almost won the game for the Bucs— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) October 23, 2023
A Heartbreaking Finish that is Reminiscent of Old Times
Yep, that's about all I got for this one.
The kick is GOOD‼️— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 22, 2023
The Falcons are now in first place in the NFC South
: FOX pic.twitter.com/zg0DMm3l8s
Look, there is a lot of football left to be played and the Bucs are still at .500, but fans have every right to be frustrated with the team’s performance in such an important game on Sunday. Now they have to travel to Buffalo to face a struggling Bills team on a short week.
Hopefully the Bucs can bounce back with a big upset win this week before things start to spiral out of control.