Buccaneers’ Offense Falls Apart


The Buccaneers jumped out to an early 17-3 lead in the first half on Sunday afternoon. All was good. The offense was humming, and the defense had forced a pick from Cincinnati’s golden boy quarterback Joe Burrow.

Tampa Bay was stout and ready to return to .500.

And Then…

And then the offense turned the ball over on five straight possessions to start the second half, and the Bengals took a 27-17 lead.

In a truly disturbing (but unsurprising) turn of events, a Bucs fake punt on their first possession of the second half failed due to running back Gio Bernard seeming unaware of what was going on.

Then Tom Brady threw an interception, his first of two for the day, and fumbled the next possession, also his first of two for the day.

The Buccaneers did end up losing 34-23, which would cause most to think that the Bucs’ defense is to blame for the loss. But take a deeper look at the numbers—each of the Bengals’ scoring drives following the turnovers by the Bucs ended up being 40 yards or less, with two of them taking less than 20 yards.

Defense Does It’s Job

The only sustained drive the Bucs gave up defensively was the final touchdown drive they gave up to Joe Burrow and these pesky Bengals, and I think the defense is allowed to give up a touchdown to the reigning AFC champs, no?

So now the offense has stooped to new levels of ineptitude; before it wad simply unable to put up points, but at least it took care of the ball. Now it can’t score, and is putting the defense into bad positions by committing turnovers that give opponents easy scoring opportunities.

Around the division the Saints took down the Falcons and their rookie QB Desmond Ridder in his first career start, and the Panthers fell to the Steelers Sunday afternoon in a boring 24-16 game that featured Sam Darnold and Mitch Trubisky as the two starting QBs of the day.

That means the Bucs maintain a full-game advantage over the second-place Panthers, and while it’s going to be a much easier road to secure the division moving forward, since Tampa Bay gets the Kyler Murray-less Cardinals and the Falcons and Panthers to finish out the season.

But then again, with the way the Bucs have played this season, maybe we’ll get a dose of playoff Sam Darnold for the first time in NFL history simply because Tom Brady and this Bucs offense can’t seem to avoid shooting themselves in the foot on a weekly basis.

We’ll see. But for now, the Buccaneers still suck, and I still dread having to watch them every Sunday.

This article first appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.

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