Are The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Broken?


Another week goes down in the history book, and it’s another forgettable week for Buccaneers fans. The only thing worth showing any pride for is their lead in the division. Which has been put in question this past week. What has happened to a seemingly stacked team? 

The best coaches in the NFL do more with less. This Bucs coaching staff is doing the opposite by doing nearly nothing with one of the most talented rosters in the league. That’s been the story of this season. Incredible malpractice from the top, leading to some impressively bad football. 

Sure, this has been a whole season thing, but what happened against the 49ers was different. The Buccaneers not only got beat by 28, it could’ve been much worse than that.

Defensive Woes 

Let’s start this breakdown by looking at the defense, who played their worst game of the season by far and got shredded by a quarterback starting his first-ever game. The defenses’ performance didn’t even give the offense a chance to win the game. 

The defensive line got handled in the pass and the run game. The best pass rusher all afternoon was Carl Nassib, who was a late addition to the team. Former first round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka only had one pressure all day and has massively under performed in his larger role. Akiem Hicks and William Gholston had one pressure each, a lackluster performance from our starting defensive line. 

Sure, they weren’t efficient in the pass rush, but this team is one of the best runs defending teams in the league. That being said, Christian McCaffrey averaged eight yards a carry before being taken out of the game. Backup running back and undrafted rookie, Jordan Mason, averaged over five yards a carry on 11 carries. 

The secondary didn’t perform well either, Brock Purdy, who was making his first start, looked like a seasoned veteran the whole game. He didn’t pass a lot because of the lopsided nature of the game, but when he did, he showed good pocket movement and NFL level accuracy. 

For a team that is employing a defensive minded head coach, they can’t let up 35 to an inexperienced quarterback. There is no longer a group on this team that fans or coaches can rely on to make plays every week. 

A Leftwich Master Class

The most concerning part of this season is the lack of offensive production. Defensive production can be inconsistent season to season, but good offenses normally stay good throughout a run. The Buccaneers’ offense this season has been not only one of the worst, but one of the most inefficient, and it’s tough not to point the blame at Byron Leftwich

I’m not going to say the BS fan talk like “there isn’t enough wrinkles” or “we need to run more complicated stuff” because i don’t believe in that. We have seen simple offenses put up big numbers, and if they can’t do the simple things right, why put in complicated stuff? 

The problem is simple, the Bucs cant run the ball, nor do they even pose a threat. When you run the ball, teams will stack boxes and that opens up the passing game (I mean, this is football 101). All the screens fans complain about will work if they could establish a run game. Tom Brady will have more time in the pocket because defensive lineman would have to respect the run. Even if the run isn’t working, abandoning it puts you in a corner and gives the defense a clear advantage. 

Against the 49ers, all of these dysfunctions showed up again. The best play was an almost touchdown negated by a holding penalty. Every snap, San Francisco’s defensive line was able to tee up a pass rush and get after Brady. Brady had no time, and Leftwich didn’t even try to scheme him extra protection. At least try to block seven and let your top three guys find a hole or win one on one. 

Where To Next 

Honestly, I have no clue. The Bucs could attempt to make a run in the playoffs, or they could tank and get a high-value pick. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks. This team probably can’t tank, considering it could be Brady’s last year in Tampa and this coaching staff is on the hot seat.

Gambling Odds

Bucs +3.5
Bengals -3.5
Over/Under 44
Betting odds provided by

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