You have to admit this about the Buccaneers: they keep finding creative new ways to lose the game. In their 27-23 loss to the Titans, let’s take a look:
Jameis Winston committed four more turnovers: two interceptions, two lost fumbles, though the first fumble was arguably more of Ryan Jensen’s fault for a bad shotgun snap. Tennessee’s first two TD drives covered a total of 16 yards. Winston is responsible for ten turnovers in the last two games. Ten.
Now let’s go to the touchdown by Mike Evans – who had monster game – right before halftime. The score was 17-15. Bruce Arians decided to go for two, and the Bucs were unsuccessful. Why would you go for two that situation, with a whole second half to play? Had they just kicked the extra point to pull within one, they would’ve needed just a field goal down the stretch.
Then there’s the play that we’re ready to murder the refs over. Late in the fourth quarter, the Titans tried a fake punt. Devin White clobbered the runner, forced a fumble, and Andrew Adams picked it up and ran it all the way back. But for some ridiculous reason, the officials blew the play dead after the fumble recovery. Why? That play would’ve given Tampa Bay the lead with just over three minutes remaining.
And finally, at the two-minute warning, the Bucs had 4th-and-1 from the Tennessee 32. They line up in the shotgun and…. hand the ball off to Peyton Barber? What kind of a play call is that? You’ve got Evans and Chris Godwin as weapons. In my opinion, Ronald Jones is a better back that Barber. But once Barber got the handoff – in the shotgun, 4th-and-1 turned into 4th-and-5. And naturally, he got stuffed. Heck, if you’re going to run, why not try a quarterback sneak? Byron Leftwich deserves all the criticism in the world for that decision.
Speaking of play-calling, I’m baffled as to why players like Dare Ogunbowale and Breshad Perriman get their numbers called. They are terrible.
All in all, this was yet another case of the Bucs beating the Bucs. They made mistakes, and the Titans made them pay. Tampa Bay is now 2-5, with a cross-country trip to Seattle staring them in the face. Oh, my.
Photo courtesy: Tennessee Titans