After scoring 55 points in a big win over the Rams last week, Bucs fans were hoping Tampa Bay could keep it going in a divisional matchup against the Saints.
The Buccaneers lost to the Saints, 31-14. The biggest problems continue to be the pass defense and the offensive line. For a team that’s made a living of making backup quarterbacks look like superstars, the Bucs did just that with Teddy Bridgewater. And Jameis Winston was sacked six times.
Mike Evans did not have a catch in this game. The Bucs defensive line barely touched Bridgewater. Credit New Orleans for that.
But let’s get back to the secondary for a moment. The coordinator has changed. The formations have changed. And while the run defense has been impressive, the pass defense is once again among the worst in the league. That is mind-boggling, given all of the draft picks spent on this unit. One player who’s really drawn the ire of us fans is former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III. But he is not alone. The entire secondary is abysmal. The Bucs have allowed 103 points in the last three weeks (that includes 40 to the Rams in a game the Bucs won.)
Yes, there is time to turn this around. Beat the Panthers (who have turned things around since losing to the Bucs in Week 2) in London, and Tampa Bay will be 3-3 heading into the bye. But for the love of God, something has to be done with the awful secondary.
Photo courtesy: New Orleans Saints