Pathetic. Putrid. Inexcusable. These are just some of the ways to describe the Buccaneers’ offense yesterday. In a game gift wrapped and handed to them, the Buccaneers handed it right back to Oakland.
I shouldn’t be as upset as I am. I shouldn’t let this loss get me as frustrated as it has. I should’ve seen it coming. But alas, like so many other Buccaneers fans, I found myself more angry and irritated by this loss than I was after the blowout in Arizona or the choke job against the Rams.
The Raiders came out flat. The Bucs came out swinging. The Raiders turned the ball over. The Bucs did not. The Raiders committed more penalties than any team in NFL history. The Bucs couldn’t capitalize. It took overtime, but the Buccaneers pissed away a golden opportunity to get those fans in the seats like they’ve been asking for. In doing so, they will continue to deal with visiting fans filling Raymond James Stadium and outnumbering Bucs fans.
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Awful play calling. Awful performance by Jameis Winston. Awful clock management. Just simply awful. Let’s Pick Six.
Six Topics Suitable For Debate
Dirk Koetter Isn’t The Same Coordinator We Saw Last Year. His reservations and predictable play calling is making him the opposite of the guy the Bucs thought they named head coach. With just under 1:50 to play in the half, the Raiders faced fourth down and were punting. Instead of calling timeout to save some time and set up an attempted scoring drive to end the half, the Bucs let the clock run, giving them the ball with just over a minute remaining. They run out the clock and take a 10-3 lead to half. That’s not Koetter ball. That was Lovie ball. The Raiders got the ball to start the third quarter and they took the momentum back immediately. I realize Jameis didn’t look good today, but you gotta give the offense a chance. Speaking of Winston…
It’s Time To Call Out Jameis Winston. Yeah, yeah, yeah…he’s the chosen one. The golden child. The untouchable. NOT TODAY! His performance was putrid. Can this guy throw a deep ball just once without overthrowing it by ten yards?! Yes, he is the franchise. Yes, he is climbing up the all-time quarterback ranks already. But for the love of all that is holy, when he’s bad he shouldn’t be immune to criticism. His accuracy problems are becoming concerning. On third-and-three, he air mailed a five yard pass ten feet over a guy’s head. How does that even happen?! You know what, it doesn’t matter how it happens. It needs to be fixed. NOW.
Vernon Hargreaves Had His Worst Game As A Buccaneer. He was my spotlight player of the game. He said he was ready for it. He wanted to show he was on Amari Cooper‘s level after Cooper embarrassed him in college. Guess what? Didn’t happen. Cooper had a massive day. Now, not all of his production was against Hargreaves, but it seemed like every time you turned around, there was another completion to the guy VHIII was covering. This was most certainly a “Hey Rookie…welcome to the NFL” day for the first round pick.
These Trade Talks Were Silly At First, But Now…You have to take any NFL trade deadline rumors with a grain of salt. No professional sport has fewer deadline deals than this one. That being said, the Buccaneers and Jason Licht have to get something done. This offense can not do anything when Mike Evans is the only guy that can make plays. Period. Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard have their moments, yes, but no defensive coordinator game plans for them. No corner is afraid they can’t stop them. No secondary feels the need to double them. Evans? Evans was shut down, facing double and triple coverage and being held to a season low 50 yards on four receptions. Not good enough. The Buccaneers have to find someone to come in and help him. It doesn’t have to be Alshon Jeffrey. It doesn’t have to be Torrey Smith. It does have to be someone that provides a legitimate threat to the opposing defense and can get some pressure off Mike. Otherwise, this offense will continue to stall, sputter, and go three-and-out at every key moment.
Chris Conte Is A Pathetic Excuse For A Football Player. Nothing much else to say. He is truly, truly, awful. Don’t think there are too many Bucs fans that will challenge me on that one.
Props To The Raiders. Say what you will. The Buccaneers played a bad game, but are not a bad team. The Raiders overcame an insane amount of penalties (23 for 200 yards) to go to 6-2 on the season, 5-0 on the road. The Raiders are a good football team and an exciting offense to watch. They deserved to win this one.
Six Numbers To Consider
Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) is congratulated by running back Alan Cross (45) after he cored on the two-point conversion against the Oakland Raiders during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Oakland Raiders defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
44:12 – Raiders’ Time Of Possession, compared to 29:03 for the Bucs.
36 – Touchdown passes by Jameis Winston, 7th on Bucs’ all-time list. 25 behind Steve DeBerg
6.) The offensive play calling. It has been abysmal two of the last three games. They have to find a weapon opposite Mike Evans, sure…but you also have to find a way to get him involved in the game. You can’t lose the production of the one payer that can actually make plays.
5.) Jameis Winston has to find a way to work on the accuracy problems. As great as he can be at times, his inaccurate passes have crushed this team. You can’t miss that badly on so many deep throws and you can’t miss at all on short little dump offs. It has to get straightened out.
4.) The play of the safeties. Good heavens, there has to be people walking the street that are better than Chris Conte. They’re the last line of defense and they sure as hell aren’t defending much.
3.) The run game, again. With a game Thursday night without Doug Martin and likely without Jacquizz Rodgers, the Buccaneers are in deep deep trouble against Atlanta if they have no run game.
2.) The penalties. Still. Although it wasn’t nearly as bad as Oakland, the Buccaneers shot themselves in the foot early and often. It’s improved, but still has a long way to go.
1.) Figure out how to freaking win at home!!
Six Things To Be Glad About
6.) Although they’re 3-4 on the season, the Bucs are 2-1 in the second quarter of the year. They still have a chance to stay in striking distance for the division lead on Thursday. And if you had to choose one of the next two to lose, it’s better to lose the game against an AFC team rather than the one against a division rival.
5.) They’re getting healthier. Despite the (potential) loss of Jacquizz, we saw the return of Robert Ayers and we will likely see the return of Clinton McDonald Thursday. Now, just need Doug Martin back…
Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Shepard (89) catches a touchdown pass in the first half against the Oakland Raiders at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
4.) Mike Evans. No, it wasn’t a great game for him, and he did have two drops, but this guy has matured as a person and a football player exponentially this season. Even on a blatant pass interference against the Raiders, Evans didn’t get the call and he didn’t cry to the refs about it. Take notes, Cam Newton…
3.) The offensive line is still getting better by the week. They apparently don’t need J.R. Sweezy. Kevin Pamphile has been outstanding. It’s certainly a unit that was considered a weakness rapidly becoming a strength.
2.) The defense, overall, is getting better. It’s showing improvement and gelling under Mike Smith. For all those that wanted him fired after two weeks, you’re starting to see the system come together. The pass rush – although absent much of yesterday against arguably the best offensive line in football – has begun to get it together. Noah Spence is starting to become an impact player. As I just mentioned, Ayers is back. It’ll take a game or two for him to get back into the swing of things, but he’s back on the field. Grimes and Hargreaves have improved. They’re not elite, but they’re getting better. You can only keep an offense like Oakland’s down for so long. When your offense keeps going three-and-out, you can’t help but get tired.
1.) Something that Jack Del Rio said that was talked about during the broadcast resonated with me. Del Rio, in talking about his Raiders, said that last year they learned to compete. This year, they’re learning to win. That seems to be the road the Buccaneers are on. It’s frustrating for us fans, sure. However, they are competing. They’ve been in every game but one this season. It’s a process that we’re all sick of going through, but it is a process. The Raiders and Bucs have a lot of similarities and the Raiders nucleus is one year ahead of the Bucs. Look at them and you see where the Bucs very well could be next season.
HALLOWEEN BONUS! Six Best Treats On Beggar’s Night
6.) KitKats (Especially the white chocolate)
4.) M&M’s (All Varieties)
1.) Reese’s. All of them. Cups, Sticks, Pieces, Pumpkins, Ghosts, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Fast Break, NutRageous…if it’s Reese’s, it wins!
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) New England Patriots – Still…ugh…
2.) Denver Broncos – They’re clicking once again
3.) Dallas Cowboys – Leave Dak in, you got a shot to make a run
4.) Minnesota Vikings – How? No AP, no Bridgewater…just…how?
5.) Oakland Raiders – We can’t keep ignoring them, can we?
25) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Can we play all 16 on the road, instead?