Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud submitted a record-breaking performance for rookie QBs against the Bucs Sunday afternoon. The 22-year-old threw for 470 yards—a single-game rookie record previously held by Colts QB Andrew Luck—and five touchdowns.
After Houston’s kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn went down early in the game, running back (and former Buc) Dare Ogunbowale made a 29-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. The Texans were also forced to attempt a trio of two-point conversions, and only made one of them, because they didn’t trust Ogunbowale to make a PAT.
Still, the Buccaneers lost 39-37 on a game-winning touchdown from Stroud with six seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
The defense was bad. Cornerback Carlton Davis III looked lost for most of the game without his running mate Jamel Dean, who exited the game in the first quarter with concussion-like symptoms.
For a team that has struggled so mightily to score points, the Bucs finally broke the 30-point mark for the first time this season, and yet Tampa Bay went home a loser because of by far the worst defensive performance of the season—and maybe the worst in the franchise’s history since 2018 when the Bucs gave up six TDs to a Mitch Trubisky-led Bears team that scored 48 total points in a (you guessed it) Bucs loss.
It’s now a four-game losing streak for a team that looked like it had a chance to come away with a third straight division title. Instead, these Buccaneers —who face the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 12—have to take a serious look at some draft prospects at pretty much every position for a roster that lacks any youthful talent at pretty much every position.
Things are bleak. No way to spin it. It’s going to be a rough rest of the season, because the Buccaneers failed to commit to buying or selling at the trade deadline, erasing any hope for a fun offseason of looking forward to an extra draft pick or two while also not bringing in any reinforcements to a team that looks out of their depth when they face any sort of competency in the NFL.
It’s truly a Bucs life.