Any football fan will tell you, whether it’s at school, in the workplace, or turning on your favorite sports talk show— Monday mornings are for bragging rights, armchair quarterbacks, and “Did you see when?!” This Monday morning, Bucs fans giving a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game will start with the—
First quarter- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense has played a dangerous game in 2023. A lot of this season has featured a large quantity of yards allowed, but has then seen Tampa’s defense stiffen as their opponent drives deeper into their territory. The first quarter of Tampa’s game against the Titans saw more of the same as Tennessee marched down the field to open the game, before they ultimately settled for a short field goal. Down 3-0, the Buccaneers’ response was a promising drive of their own. Baker Mayfield connected down the field with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. The Bucs showed good balance and gathered good momentum until a wayward pass downfield landed in the hands of Roger McCreary. Down a field goal, Tampa headed into the—
Second quarter- Tennessee's 3-0 first quarter advantage would be a second quarter theme. With just 5:39 left before the intermission, the Buccaneers were the first team to finally break the goal line. Rachaad White took a Baker Mayfield screen pass 43 yards for a touchdown, continuing to show if the Buccaneers can get White into space, he is a more than capable playmaker.
RACHAAD WHITE TAKES IT 40 YARDS FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!!pic.twitter.com/mvy3D8bNi4— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) November 12, 2023
Will Levis and the Titans were not able to find consistent offensive traction in the first half, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive pressure began piling up sacks. At the half, Tampa Bay’s defense had already totaled three sacks along with six tackles for a loss. The Buccaneers went into the locker room following their two best drives of the game. After Rachaad White’s touchdown catch, the Buccaneers capitalized on the momentum— piecing together another drive to the brink of the Chase McLaughlin’s range, when a poorly timed Mike Evans drop stalled the Bucs’ final drive of half.
Third quarter- The Buccaneers started the third quarter with the lead and the ball, a very advantageous position to be in. Baker Mayfield and Bucs’ offense started the second half the way they ended the first. Tampa’s offense motored right down he field until an absolutely brutal Mike Evans drop stalled the drive. Settling for a short Chase McLaughlin field goal, the Bucs took a slightly disappointing seven-point lead. The third quarter looked a lot like the first and second for Will Levis, pressure, pressure, pressure. The Buccaneers’ defense made it a point to spend a bulk of their Sunday in Tennessee's backfield.
As the third quarter came to end the Buccaneers gave Mike Evans a chance at redemption and he cashed in. On the team’s last drive of the quarter, Tampa Bay went 80 yards, on eight plays, capped off by a very determined Mike Evans score.
Fourth quarter- Tampa’s final quarter of play against the Titans started with the Bucs’ defense on its heels and it ended with them standing tall in the red zone. Tampa Bay’s defense, like they did in the first quarter and have most of this season, bent but refused to break. The Buccaneers erased the Titans’ second field goal with a Chase McLaughlin kick, extending their lead to 20-6. That 20-6 advantage would hold and the Buccaneers let the fans at Raymond James leave satisfied with a win.
Criticism has been heaved at Todd Bowles all week. After losing to the Texans, a large portion of the Buccaneers’ community called for Tampa’s head coaching search to begin sooner rather than later. Credit needs to be given where it is due— The Buccaneers needed to come out and avenge themselves after last week’s performance and the team did. A 20-6 victory, where Mike Evans was featured and the team’s offense looked the part, combined with a defensive outing that will send Tennessee home without a touchdown certainly qualifies.
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