The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Saints in Raymond James on Sunday. With the loss, the Bucs hopes of making the playoffs are slim. The loss for the Bucs stings a bit more knowing that they controlled the first half.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed signs of life the past two weeks and even in the first quarter against the Saints. It was a brief glimmer of hope as they came crashing back down to earth in the second half of Sundays game. After starting strong in the first half, the offense sputtered and ended up with 0 points in the second half. On the positive side, the defense has been playing much better under Mark Duffner. Why is it that this Bucs team is so against putting together a full game of football? If it’s not the defense, it’s the offense. Can we just get a well rounded game more than two or three times a year?
The Offense: The Bad
I gotta go with two bad stats this week. Although the Bucs put up 14 in the first half, they were pretty bad. Jameis struggled, the offensive line struggled, the run game struggled. The number one offense in the NFL simply didn’t show up. The second half was the cherry on top. The Bucs number one offense managed 0 points. I’ll give you another number to capture how abysmal this offense was on Sunday afternoon in Tampa. 61. The Bucs managed 61 yards of offense. Of the six total drives in the second half, two of them finished with negative total yardage. That’s…. not good.
On 10 targets Chris Godwin managed just one catch for a meager 13 yards. We have talked about the targeting of bad players, the Bucs did that yesterday. Eli Apple was targeted a ton, but Godwin had his worst game as a pro. Crazy how that works. Only the Bucs would do the right thing and have it go terribly wrong. The game plan was clear from the get go, but Godwin wasn’t up to task.
The Defense: The Good
The Saints average 137 yards on the ground, on the road. The Bucs held them to 100 yards on Sunday. When you look at the rushing stats for the Saints, the game plan is clear. When Brees is at home, they throw more, when they are on the road, they run the ball more. The Bucs defense did a good job of taking away the Saints number one option on the road. Believe it or not, holding the Saints to 28 points is a success. Remember, this defense was on pace to be one of the worst defenses in NFL history. In the first half, when the offense was scoring points, they Bucs defense held Drew Brees to three points. The Saints average about 17 points in the first half.
The Bucs defense was not to blame for the loss. They could have done more, but they did enough to keep this football team in the game. The Bucs defense forced to be on the field a ton, especially in the second half. Against an elite offense like the Saints, they did the best they could.