Coming off a win against the Titans talk about Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles being on the hot seat cooled off. It’s amazing what a win can do to a fan base’s short term memory. Unfortunately, he very much is still a cause for concern.
Four Game Skid
In the NFL where each game matters a four game skid does horrible things to your chances at the play offs. In week In week six the streak started with the Lions. Coming off a bye week with a 3-1 record many of us, myself included expected a better showing from the Buccaneers. But it wasn’t to be. With two weeks to prepare the Buccaneers were outcoached and hustled. One glaring stat coming out of the game was the third down conversion rate for the Lions. As we have discussed here now multiple times on BucsReport.com, the Lions converted an unprecedented 9 of 16 third downs. Meanwhile the Buccaneers converted only 2 of 12. This started the highlight a huge issue on this staff.
The team would then follow this performance with a loss to the now 4-6 Falcons, a beatable and troubled now 5-5 Bills, and a complete collapse against a rookie quarterbacked Texans team.
At the center of each of those games was horrid third down defenses and with the exception of the Texans game an anemic offense.
False Hopes Restored
Now, there is a idea that gets kicked around when talking sports. Good teams beat those it should. Referring to good teams handle their responsibilities and beat teams that are inferior. They play at the same level of opponents deemed as strong, and play up to the level of better teams. Enter the Titans.
Yes the Buccaneers won. Falling into the category of beating bad teams as set int the above idea. But this was not a win to cool off talks about Bowles. The Titans are 3-6 overall, They are 28th in total yards on the season. 27th in passing yards, 17th in rushing yards, and 28th in points scored. The Titans have a mediocre defense and a rookie quarterback. This was a “softball” of a game. A game they should have easily won.
This week poses a challenge. One where winning increases the chances of going to the playoffs to over 60% and a loss pushes it down to around 40%. It’s against a 49ers team that has scored the 5th amount of points and the holds firmly to second in points allowed. The 49ers are fifth in third down conversions and are going against the Buccaneers who are allowing the worst third down conversion rate allowed in the NFL. This game is not statistically in any manner favorable to the Buccaneers.
Last week is not indicative of a turn around for the Buccaneers. Plain and simple Bowles should and is still on the hot seat. His defensive scheme collapses on third downs and at the end of close games. He doesn’t understand the amount of cushion makes this secondary play is the primary cause of the third down failures and late game crashes.
The primary blame for the end of the Houston game rests on his shoulders. To put this further in perspective and to go bac two seasons. Todd Bowles late game ineptitude is the reason the Rams went on to a Super Bowl and the Buccaneers didn’t appear in one two years in a row.
His seat should be very hot and he should be very worried about his job. A win this week would turn the heat down a little. Just a little.