Monday Column: Tampa Bay Keeps Shooting Itself in the Foot

The Buccaneers had every opportunity to go to 2-1 on Sunday. But the same problems that plagued them last year did them again against Houston, with a new one rearing its ugly head.

Take your pick. In no particular order:

The Bucs’ defense could not stop a running game that did not have Arian Foster. And they could not stop a quarterback named Ryan Mallett.

Offensively, Tampa Bay was an awful 1-for-12 on third down. The running game is still ineffective. Jameis Winston completed just under half of his passes (but I do like the fact that he’s not afraid to throw the ball downfield.) Mike Evans had over 100 yards receiving, but he also had several key drops. Vincent Jackson could’ve had a touchdown, but he couldn’t get both feet inbounds.

And then, there are special teams. This is the “new one rearing its ugly head” part. Rookie kicker Kyle Brindza made a 58-yard field goal that would’ve been good from about 70. My reaction: wow. What he did do the rest of the way? He missed three other field goals and a PAT. My reaction to that: wow. So there are 10 points the Bucs left on the field. Yes, the last one attempt came during desperation time, but still.

And of course, there are the penalties: 10 of them in all for 84 yards. Seriously, can this team go more than, say, three plays without a yellow flag being thrown? Tampa Bay was the most penalized team in the league last year. So far this year, the Bucs are tied with the Steelers in that category. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: penalties=lack of discipline. Lack of discipline=bad coaching. I know Lovie Smith isn’t reading this, but that is fact.

The undefeated Panthers come to Ray-Jay on Sunday. I honestly have no idea what to expect.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

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