Attention Tampa Bay fans: after a gratifying win over Carolina, we have just been reminded that the Bucs are still…the Bucs.
They lost to the Giants on Sunday afternoon, 32-31. It was a game in which Matt Gay missed two extra points, and a 34-yard field goal as time expired that would’ve won the game. That’s five points left on the field. I guess I was wrong when I wrote before the season began that this team appeared to have solved its kicking problems. That is a resounding ‘no.’
In my game preview, I wrote that the Buccaneers have a history of making rookie and backup quarterbacks look like superstars. Well, Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones led his team back from an 18-point halftime deficit, and scored the game-winning touchdown with less than 90 seconds remaining. I rest my case. This defense may be improved over last year, but still has a long way to go to become elite.
Jameis Winston did not lose this game. Mike Evans did not lose this game. Evans had three touchdowns, and the two connected on a huge pass in the final minute to set up what should’ve been a game-winning kick. And this may be lost in the shuffle: the Bucs got hit with a delay of game penalty before Gay’s final miss. Would that five yards have made a difference, given how close the kick was? Either way, Matt Gay HAS to make that kick.
There’s more to write about, but I am sick to my stomach. And I am angry. With the next six weeks away from home, this was a game Tampa Bay had to have. They didn’t get it.