The Buccaneers suffered their third-worst defeat in history at the hands of the Tennessee Titans 34-3 Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
Keep in mind that not one of 22 starters played in this game except for guard Alex Cappa who Arians said needed the work.
It was an exercise in offensive futility, and the Bucs never got inside the Titan’s 30-yard line.
The Bucs had three first downs and 83 yards of offense in their first half. They finished the game with 238 yards of offense and averaged 3.9 yards per play.
Turnovers again plagued the Bucs offensively. They turned the ball over three times on two interceptions and one fumble.
The Bucs had six fumbles on the night and converted just two of 14 third-down conversions.
This tells me that this team’s depth is not nearly as good as we were led to believe. The Bucs have one of the deepest rosters 1-30, but things begin to get a bit thin after that.
The offensive line could not open any holes for running back Ke’Shawn Vaughan and lost the battle in the trenches all night long.
Bruce Arians said he planned to focus on the passing game and the pass blocking this game as they ran a lot during the week in their joint practices against the Titans.
The best offensive play of the night came in the fourth quarter when Kyle Trask hit Cyril Grayson for a 35-yard completion to give the Bucs a first down in Titans territory.
A lot of dropped passes victimized the Bucs quarterbacks. OJ Howard had two drops early in the game. Jaelon Darden and Tanner Hudson all had dropped balls that stalled drives for the Buccaneers.
Me’ Shawn Vaughan ran for a total of 18 yards and averaged two yards per carry.
Defensively, the tackling woes continued. There was not the improvement that Bruce Arians needed to see, especially from the back seven.
Joe Tryon continues to show that he was an excellent pick for the Bucs as he had one sack and continually applied pressure to the quarterback when given his chances.
Another linebacker Grant Stuard seems to have a nose for the ball as he led the team with six tackles.
The Bucs continued to struggle with tackling on special teams, as the Titans were able to get good field position on a couple of returns.
Joe Tryon, Pat O’Connor, and Grant Stuard were the best players for the Bucs on defense as they all recorded a sack.
Arians said that they might have done enough to earn a roster spot. “There’s one or two guys – Grant, he might have made it. Pat made it in this game because he’s just done it. Whether Khalil Davis has enough on tape, there’s guys playing for jobs. The scoreboard doesn’t show it, but I’m not looking at the score. I’m looking at individuals.”
Tanner Hudson continued to make a case to stick on the roster. Hudson led the team in receiving with six catches for 74 yards.
Hudson has outplayed OJ Howard in these two pre-season games and should make this team.
However, I don’t see the Bucs cutting Howard, which means that Hudson gets cut, and if we are lucky enough that no one picks him up, he ends up on the practice squad.
The Bucs cut another five players on Sunday, and the roster now stands at 80.
The starters have played a total of ten plays in the pre-season. Arians said the starters would play at least the first half in Houston next week against the Texans.