Bucs blew a 11-point lead Sunday and lost for the Saints 28-14, which means we can now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Job speculation, discussion, self-reliance – ahhhh, it must be Christ in Tampa Bay.
It's time to accept what had been clear in a few weeks: Bucs does not go anywhere. They are 5-8, worse after 13 games than they were in 2015. Ask Lovie Smith how it ended.
Do you need to take a break from Bucs? You're lucky. The best team in hockey has a game in Tampa this evening. Follow Diana C. Nearhos and Nick Kelly for updates about the lightning that takes place at Rangers at 7:30.
• Jameis Winston's performance on Sunday was about as remarkable as wheat toast. He finished 18 of 38 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns and a pointless interception in the last seconds of the game. He did not play very well – he dropped the recipients a handful of times – but he was too under siege too much of the game.
"Jameis was in doubt all day," said coach Dirk Koetter. "Jameis was hit too many times today. You can not make your quarterback hit it so many times, whether it's scrambling, running, four sacks. We can not make him hit that much."
• Offensive line remains one of the team's biggest mistakes. Who's fault is it? General Manager? Head coach? The Offensive Line Coach? If I own, I would like to know.
• For issues that have not gone away, Bucs specialties continue below average, and I'm not only talking about missing field goals and blocked points on Sunday. Special teams may not have as much influence on games as offense and defense, but the fact that we have seen some improvement and consistency from these devices over the years is worrying.
• The Saints achieved only 3 rushing yards on nine bears in the first half. They won 97 yards on 21 berries in the second half. The difference? Tackling. Bucs missed something in the first half, but missed more in the second.
• Buc's rookie runs back Ronald Jones played four total snaps on offense. In a league where it's not uncommon for rookie to run their backs to contribute immediately, even though they went undrafted, Jones's lack of snaps this deeply into the season is disturbing. Whether Buc's scouts virtually overrated Jones or coaches have failed to develop him. It doubts whether Tampa Bay has committed to making a run back at number 38 instead of the best player available.
• Previously, Bucs could complain about the difficulty playing in NFC South. Not so in this season. While the Saints are a Super Bowl contender, Panthers 6-7 and Falcons are 4-9.
• Browns, who went 0-16 last season, has a better record than Bucs. Inexcusable.
• Bucs is back on track to land a top 10 pick in the 2019 NFL draft. If the season ended today, they would choose eight. The 49ers, Cardinals, Raiders, Falcons and Jets would choose in the top five.
• Lunch time: My weekly AfterMath analysis. tampabay.com/sports
• 2:30 pm: Coats News Conference. buccaneers.com
Hard to believe state
Saints & # 39; all-time wins percent, enter Sunday when they have trailed in half by at least 11 points.
More striking numbers from the game here.
Things we said
• The finger pointing begins
After seeing Ryan Jensen committing two penalties that cost Bucs 25 yards on a second quarter drive, Jameis Winston involved a side-line game with his veteran center. Offensive line coach George Warhop then did a better job protecting Bucs quarterback than his line did Sunday, intervening between them. By rick stroud
• Thank you for coming. Drive safely. See you next year.
The sacred blocked point in the third quarter sniffed all the tasty vibes in the last couple of weeks. All but officially eliminated Bucs from playoff battle. And that puts doubt on the future of the organization. By Tom Jones.
• Three kicks that cost Bucs
While Bucs' 28-14 loss to the Saints was one of two very different halves, changing the momentum after three important special team games went wrong for Tampa Bay. Cairo Santos came in with a perfect kick in his 3 games, missing two goals. But it was Saints' point block that really turned the game. By Eduardo Encina.
• Saints-Bucs Report Card
A nationwide manhunt is on for the guy who lets the New Orleans backup quarterback run in order to block Bryan Anger punt. But it took more than that to open floodgates. There would be nothing better than in the opening in New Orleans. Bucs fell off the cliff too well in a 28-14 loss-of-embarrassment. By Martin Fennelly.
• Newspaper reporters make another low-budget video
Contributing Rick Stroud and Eduardo Encina.
Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected]. Follow @tometrics.