Cairo Santos was perfect on kicks until Sunday when he missed two field goals. Santos missed his first FG in the first quarter, but the Buccaneers already had a seven-point lead. Despite the FG miss, the Bucs were on a roll, holding the Saints to just three points at halftime. That roll ended in the second half.
The Bucs’ defense continued their first-half performance in the second half by getting a Saints’ turnover and marching it down the field. Sadly, the Bucs had to settle for a field goal try that Santos missed, ultimately setting the tone for the rest of the game.
The Saints punted the ball on the possession, and Tampa seemed to be unscathed by the second field goal miss. But then the Bucs were forced to punt on the following possession, and it was blocked. That block was the nail in the coffin.
With the wind taken completely out of the Buccaneers’ sails, the pewter pirates gave up 25 unanswered points in a second-half blowout by the Saints.
Between the turnovers, players arguing among themselves on the sideline, and penalties, the Buccaneers fell apart completely after the first half.
Tampa may not be out of the wild card hunt just yet, but Sunday’s game has proven that the Bucs are not ready for a trip to the postseason. As nice as it would be to make it to a wild card, it would likely be another embarrassing outing, much like the one witnessed on Sunday.