The feeling in the Bucs locker room following their 43-28 loss to the Falcons Thursday night could best be described as dejected.

Since 2013, the Bucs are 6-22 at Raymond James Stadium but they haven’t become numb to home defeats. As the losses mount, seeming to come in worse fashion every week, an inability to turn things around just becomes tougher for players’ to explain – especially the veterans who have experienced all 22 losses.

“Man, I wish I knew,” said Demar Dotson, the Bucs eighth-year right tackle, when asked what needs to change. “… Nobody knows. I think if we knew we’d fix it. Obviously, that’s an individual thing from every guy in this locker room – starting from upstairs to the players. I don’t know an answer, other than just more hard work and focus and dedication. But I don’t know if there’s a solution. If I knew, I’d get it.”

It wouldn’t appear from Thursday night’s game that anyone has the solution.

Defensively, the Bucs allowed the Falcons 482 yards of total offense and four straight scoring drives in the second half. The wheels came for the offense around the same time, as the unit went three-and-out and failed to convert a fourth-and-11 on its first two possessions of the second quarter. Suddenly a 20-14 game at half quickly turned into a 33-14 thrashing, and from there it was quick sand for the Bucs.

“You first give credit to Atlanta. They played a great football game and they were the better team today,” Dotson said. “I don’t think we did as well as I thought we were going to do. We just didn’t bring it. I don’t think we fought hard enough or did what it takes to win. Atlanta did. I don’t know if they’re a better football team, but tonight they were.”

After a mini-bye, Tampa Bay returns to Ray Jay in search of the elusive home win against the Bears next Sunday. Rebounding from the last two weeks – a span in which the Bucs have surrendered 73 points and over 1,000 yards – may seem next to impossible.

But Dotson, all too familiar with mid-season dejection, knows the Bucs must get up for the second half of the year and keep fighting – starting next Sunday.

“That’s our job, to prepare all week and play on Sunday,” Dotson said. “You can’t get down because you lost another game. That’s what we get paid to do. Like it or not, we have to come back to work.”

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at:
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surferdudes (@surferdudes)
5 years ago

One solution Dot would be to block better, and not get so many holding penalties. You might want to mention that to Smith on the other side. You guys are killing us.

surferdudes (@surferdudes)
5 years ago

Most impressive, Winston, Evans, for their play, and surviving some big hits. Not very bright Dirk running the franchise for 2 points in a blowout. Most disappointing, everyone else.

chefboho (@chefboho)
5 years ago

Agree surfer. The offensive line was a joke tonight. The defensive line is always a joke to me but at least McCoy and spence give us a little light. It seemed like every other play was a holding call. Straight bush league. Watching Donavan smith block Jameis’ back side is scary. He got beat continuously

pinkstob (@pinkstob)
5 years ago

There is no solution for fixing the Bucs this season, that’s why he hasn’t found it. I do commend him though because he is right that it is his and everyone else’s job on the team to keep looking for the solution even if it isn’t there.