Another solid defensive performance, another fourth quarter loss for Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have preached turnovers all season, and while they’ve struggled to do so through most of the year, today was a different story. After Johnthan Banks intercepted the first pass of the game, the unit forced two more in the opening 30 minutes. Brandon Dixon recorded his first career pick and Alterraun Verner added another with 11 seconds remaining before the break.
In the end, the Buccaneers were unable to convert any of the three interceptions into touchdowns, leading to their eventual 14-13 loss. While it would seem blame should fall solely on the offense, team captain Gerald McCoy expects more from his unit.
“Yeah, we’re playing better, but we have to score on defense, man,” said a deflated McCoy. “It was great we had three takeaways, but one of those we have to turn into a touchdown.”
Despite not converting takeaways into touchdowns, the Buccaneers were in great position at the end of the game. A scenario that has seen the team find new ways to lose in too many contests. On Sunday it came down to bad protection, holding calls, and finally, a 12-men-on-the-field flag that knocked them out of field goal range. Like the wasted takeaways, the final possession this Sunday was the offense’s fault, too.
But as McCoy pointed out, the fourth quarter chokes have been on both sides of the ball. These are the types of finishes that define a 2-10 team.
“We have to be better in the end, whatever side of the ball it is,” McCoy said. “It’s been numerous times this year where it’s been on defense. Collectively, as a unit, everybody has to be better in the end.”