Blame it on the heat or humidity if you’d like. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line could not seem to hold things together for a full four quarters during their 27-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They maybe got a decent first quarter, however, that can’t even be said with 100-percent certainty. And the penalties also didn’t help.
Things looked bad on the first drive of the game when Tampa Bay put their offensive line to the test early with three straight runs. After Ke’Shawn Vaughn picked up nine yards on three carries, the Bucs went for it on fourth down. That play never came to be as rookie right guard Cody Mauch was called for a false start, forcing the Bucs to punt.
From there the tone was set. Tampa Bay followed that up with an illegal formation and holding call on the following drive. Then again another illegal formation penalty on their third drive, albeit declined by Pittsburgh, to force the Buccaneers into a third-and-4. Fortunately, quarterback Baker Mayfield connected with wide receiver David Moore for five yards to pick up the first down. The drive would end with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer.
Tampa Bay would get the ball back after they intercepted a pass from Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the first play of Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive. On the Bucs first play of their drive, a 19-yard pass from Mayfield to Palmer would get called back as Palmer was called for offensive pass interference, eventually leading to a turnover on downs when the offensive line could not open up any holes for Vaughn on a fourth-and-1 where Vaughn would lose three yards.
Tampa Bay would see see two big plays the rest of the night get called back due to penalties — a 38-yard catch and run by Moore off a pass from Kyle Trask was docked 15 yards for a face make call on Moore himself while a touchdown was called back by a holding call on offensive lineman Nick Leverett.
On the bright side, Mayfield played well. The 28-year-old displayed his scramble ability and his ability to throw on the run during his limited time on the field. The veteran signal caller finished the night 8-for-9 for 63 yards, a touchdown, and a 132.9 quarterback rating.
The Buccaneers will be in New York next week to face the Jets.