A season where many predicted three wins for the Buccaneers ends in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
Tampa Bay rolled into Detroit with some confidence after catching the Philadelphia Eagles at the right time, filled with injuries and the Bucs took advantage of it. But in Motown, the Buccaneers just didn’t have what it took and were outmatched from the start of the game.
It initially looked like a long afternoon ahead after a pass from Baker Mayfield to Mike Evans was unable to be caught by the veteran receiver and tipped right into the hands of the Lions. Despite the Bucs holding off a potential touchdown scoring drive by the Lions, Detroit only got a field goal. Then things looked somewhat promising through the first half as both teams matched each other on the scoreboard.
Still, the strong defensive start was not enough as the Bucs appeared to play the game of “keep things in front of you” defensively and the Lions and quarterback Jared Goff made them pay. A huge difference from the just the week prior. That safe and secure style of defense ultimately resulted in Detroit opening things up in the second half and head coach Todd Bowles just could not call the right look nor play to stop the Lions from opening things up to the tune of three straight touchdown drives in the second half.
Shades of what has gone on throughout the regular season.
So what’s next? Well, Bowles is coming back. That’s already been determined after they defeated a (battered) Eagles team. And with expectations low and winning a (weak) NFC South, it’s only fair he comes back.
But now comes the questions of what to do with players. Will Mike Evans return? Can they afford Baker Mayfield?
Lots to answer in the weeks to come.