Buccaneers’ Offense Stalls in Loss to Titans

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The Tennessee Titans beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-3 in the second week of preseason games. In contrast to last week, the Bucs were unable to find any success on offense, resulting in a low-scoring loss.

“Nobody played efficient on offense,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “We only had three points.”

Those three points came from a 52-yard field goal by Ryan Succop, who is fighting for the kicker job with Jose Borregales.

Trask Struggles

When offenses struggle, eyes turn to the quarterback. Kyle Trask was the quarterback on the field for the Buccaneers for all but the first two drives of the game, and the results were not ideal.

Trask went 11-24 passing, with 105 yards and one interception. He also fumbled twice but neither was recovered by the Titans. Much like the game against the Dolphins, Trask seemed to struggle with pocket awareness. He held onto the ball long all night and there were repercussions because of it.

“It’s not always the cleanest,” said Trask. “Obviously, it wasn’t up to our standards today.”

Trask’s highlight of the night was a 34-yard deep cross to undrafted rookie wide receiver Deven Thompkins. The pass moved the Buccaneers into the red zone for the first time but did not result in any points.

Interior Offensive Line Woes

The interior offensive line has been a sore spot for the Buccaneers this offseason. From losing both starting guards from last year to losing Ryan Jensen, and now potentially their new starting left guard, the Bucs have been suffering.

The Buccaneers projected starting left guard, Aaron Stinnie, went down with an injury against the Titans. Postgame, Bowles said Stinnie suffered a knee injury and will know more after an x-ray.

The expected replacement for Stinnie at left guard is rookie Luke Goedeke, who took the starting reps against the Titans on Saturday. There were some good moments from Goedeke, but he struggled in situations as well. Multiple penalties and inconsistent reps make for a worrying outing for the potential starting left guard.

“I got to see the tape,” said Bowles in reference to Godeke’s performance. “It looked like we couldn’t move the ball at all, regardless of who was in there.”

Defense Steps Up

While the offense was struggling to move the ball, the Buccaneers’ defense was doing their best to stop it. In particular, undrafted rookie linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi stood out and filled the stat sheet.

Fatukasi led the team in tackles with 10 and recorded 1.5 sacks. Bowles was complimentary of the young linebacker after the game.

“He’s smart and he’s tough,” he said. “He’s made his presence known, he’s made his presence felt.”

In addition to Fatukasi, there were a lot of eyes on a pair of edge rushers. Second-year edge rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is in line for full-time snaps this year, and newly signed edge rusher Carl Nassib was playing in his first game for the Buccaneers in 2022.

Tryon-Shoyinka had two tackles for loss, and Nassib only had two tackles. Postgame, Bowles did not have much to say about Tryon-Shoyinka but spoke on Nassib’s performance.

“Not bad for a guy who just came off the street and practiced for two or three days,” said Bowles. “His energy was good.”

What’s Next?

The Buccaneers are traveling to Indianapolis for a week of joint practices against the Colts that culminate in the third and final preseason game. Bowles has already said that the starters will be playing in the final preseason game against the Colts.

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