The way the Buccaneers executed on Sunday, the Buccaneers would have had trouble beating the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s is how awful the football was that the Bucs put out on the field on Sunday.
Bruce Arians, known as a non-nonsense, summed this game up perfectly in his post-game comments:
That was an embarrassing display of football. With all the things that we talked about coming down here, it was going to take to win, and to play like that starts with me. Obviously, we weren’t ready to play. Penalties, turnovers – you can’t beat anybody that way.
Let’s start with the penalties. After appearing to clean up the unnecessary penalties in the last few games, the team resorted to their old ways against the Saints. The Bucs had a total of 11 penalties for 99 yards. Six of those penalties led to first downs for the Saints. Art Schlichter could be the quarterback of the Saints, and the Bucs would’ t have won this game. You can’t beat your opponent, giving extra downs.
Meanwhile, the Saints had just two penalties for ten yards. There were some very egregious penalties on New Orleans that weren’t called. If I can see them watching from my living room, surely one of the officials would be able to see it as well.
This was a game that had been circled on the calendar since the schedule was announced. Jameis Winston was at quarterback for the Saints and suffered a season-ending knee injury on a horse-collar tackle in the second quarter.
Winston was having one of the best seasons of his career with 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Trevor Sieman took over for Winston, as Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill was out with a concussion. This was the first game action for Siemian since the 2019 season when he threw six passes for the New York Jets.
Siemian completed 16/29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown pass while being sacked one time.
This was the most points the Bucs defense has given up since the 34-24 loss to the LA Rams earlier this season. You have to go back almost a year to November eighth of 2020, when the Bucs gave up 38 points at home against the New Orleans Saints.
Tom Brady had one of his worst games of the season, throwing two interceptions with his four touchdown passes.
Brady, obviously disappointed after the game, took responsibility for the mistakes and the loss:
Tough game, good team, but we obviously didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing. I’ve got to play better. Tough to win that way when you turn the ball over like we did. I’ve got to not throw interceptions; that’s the key. We’ve got a lot of fighters, so we’ll hang in there, battle back, do better next time.
The New Orleans Saints seem to know how to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At least during the regular season. When it’s money time, the Bucs will show up just like they did last season and end the New Orleans Saints season.
Last season the Bucs were in a similar position at the bye. The Bucs were 7-5 and were not even being talked about as Super Bowl contenders. The Bucs went on an 8-0 run after the bye week to eventually win the Super Bowl against Kansas City at home.
This season is eerily similar. The Bucs have a better record at 6-2 but have not consistently played well on defense all season. The injuries in the secondary have had a lot to do with that.
The Bucs will return from the bye week, much healthier and ready to go on another run. The Bucs should be the favorite in every game the rest of the season. Yes, that includes the matchup against the Buffalo Bills at home on December twelfth.
The Bucs are lucky to be 6-2 with last-minute wins against Dallas, New England, and an unnecessary close game against the Eagles.
Hopefully, the Bucs will use this game as motivation to realize that they can’t rest on their laurels and get back to playing championship football.
After the bye week, the Bucs will play at home against the New York Giants at Washington and then go to Indianapolis. All winnable games.