Tampa Bay missed an opportunity to pick up their fifth win in a row, losing to the Texans on a rare Saturday afternoon game at Raymond James Stadium. Houston took the win 23-20 in a sloppy game from the Bucs offense that saw them commit five turnovers.

Below is our weekly Most disappointing List from Saturday’s contest.

QB Jameis Winston
Another first drive, another pass interception by Jameis Winston. To make matters worse it was returned for a Texans touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. On Tampa Bay’s next possession Winston threw another awful pass that was also returned for a touchdown, but a penalty on the Texans negated the score. Houston was still able to get three points off of the turnover.

Winston’s third interception was a momentum killer as the Bucs’ Devin White had just recovered a fumble inside Texans’ territory but Winston’s first pass on the drive was intercepted. Besides the gifts thrown to the opponent, Winston also missed a touchdown pass to Justin Watson, after Watson slipped out of his break, then followed it up on the next play with an overthrow to a wide open Breshad Perriman.

Winston as usual had some terrific throws and scrambles, and got the Bucs back in the game right before the end of the first half, connecting with Watson to even the score at 17-17. Later, with a chance to get the Bucs in position to tie or win the game, Winston’s fourth down pass to Cameron Brate was dropped by the sure-handed tight end late in the fourth quarter. The Bucs got the ball back around the 2:00 minute mark but Winston’s fourth down pass intended for Dare Ogunbowale was picked off to give him four turnovers on the day.

Winston and the offense were hampered by the absence of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but his four interceptions had nothing to do with the Pro Bowl duo being out for the game. It was a pattern seen too often over the previous five seasons with the former Heisman winner – poor decision making – and this week the Bucs weren’t able to overcome the Winston roller coaster.

Winston finished the afternoon 25-of-48 for 335 yards, one touchdown and the four mentioned interceptions.

NFL Officiating
While the officials aren’t players, the NFL officiating is at an all-time low and clearly belong on any list that has the word disappointing in the headline. On the Buccaneers’ second possession, the Texans defender clearly arrived early and interfered with Bucs’ wide receiver Breshad Perriman. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians challenged the play, and of course lost.

On the first Texans possession Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean was called for defensive holding on third down on a very questionable flag. On Tampa Bay’s third possession Cam Brate caught a short pass and was tackled and the officials missed a blatant facemask call.

This all occurred within the first six minutes of the game. But this crew led by head referee Scott Novak wasn’t done with the blunders, blowing a play dead prematurely after the Bucs Lavonte David stripped the Texans receiver. Since it was an early whistle, the Bucs weren’t able to challenge the play. Of course with this officiating crew they most likely would have blundered the challenge anyway.

It is amazing that in 2019, with a multi-billion dollar television contract, the NFL puts such important decisions in the hands of part time employees.

KR Dare Oguwbowale and Special Teams
Ogunbowale struggled on Saturday as the Bucs kickoff returner, taking five kicks back for just 74 yards, constantly putting the Buccaneers in poor field position to start drives. But as head coach Bruce Arians said following the game, it wasn’t just Ogunbowale, the blocking was poor on the returns. The special teams unit also gave up a blocked field goal attempt in the first half.

RB Peyton Barber
Barber didn’t get many opportunities to carry the ball (five carries, 13 yards), of course when starter Ronald Jones has the hot hand that tends to play into the carry distribution, but even more so are fumbles. And Barber had a crucial one in the first half after the Bucs were trying to get back into the game. From Tampa Bay’s own 30 yard-line Barber ran for a nice gain before coughing up the ball. Houston went on to turn the turnover into a touchdown and Barber was virtually nonexistent after his fumble.

 

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

43 COMMENTS

  1. Its hard not to be utterly pissed off at the refs. I thought “New York” was watching and had the ability to just do the right thing on the fumble. What a joke. Also, the Bucs wouldn’t have had to take a long fg attempt if Brate wasn’t tackled by his facemask and the call missed.

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    • Agreed. You never want to make excuses for losses but for goodness sakes, these were elementary calls that they were fucking up. Get your shit together NFL. Your literally costing Football teams games.

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      • I’ve watched high school football games that were better officated than a couple of the Bucs games this year.

        Absolutely pitiful job by the NFL.

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  2. 2020 Resolution: Stop passing to Ogunbowale on critical downs.

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  3. 2 more things:

    1. Please defer to the 2nd half for crying out loud!

    2. Throw long passes downfield during the first drive or run the ball. That’s it! Stop the 8 yard crossing pass in the flat or over the middle. Geeeezzuus. It has resulted in 6 immediate interceptions to start games. The definition of insanity is??

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  4. How about the play calling?Winston threw interceptions ok let’s get that out of the way!Why calls outs routes so early in the first quarter to Justin Watson who is not known to be a route runner??Out route ran by a running back who is man with a corner. Third and one run to the outside with a receiver blocking who just moved up to the practice quad?why not put a TE at that position instead of a receiver?The play in talking about is when Hargraves tackle Rojo in the backfield.

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    • IT’s Winston, NOT the play calling or the coaches. Jeez, will you guys EVER see the truth about this guy?

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      • The truth is Winston has passed for 4,908 yards this season. He has 19,536 with 1 game to go. He passed Marino for 2nd most passing yards to start a career. He’s damn close to Peyton Manning’s 20,618 yard record. Give the guy a stud running back and this team will be playoff bound.

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        • BigSombrero

          Si – You got it.

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    • When you said:
      “Out route ran by a running back who is man with a corner”
      You understand that the Buc’s offense calls the play and then the defense lines up. It is up to Jameis to recognize who is on who at that point. OJ Howard was open on that play and the easier throw. Jameis made the wrong read and the wrong throw.
      Honestly I was pleasantly shocked about how open receivers were all day so I give the coaching staff credit for getting them ready with such short notice.

      This coaching staff is much improved.

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  5. OJ Howard could be on this list; there’s just something missing for me as to missing in action on many plays.

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    • I agree with you Horse. He just seems to be going through the motions and giving a halfhearted effort. Contrast his play with Evans, Godwin and even Perriman and the difference is noticeable.

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    • Also agreed. I wanted him traded off season. Needed him bog today, and he cost us…..

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  6. Bucs keep it close against a good team. Winston again is Winston. Get some offensive line help, and an alternative to Winston so that next year if it becomes unbearable again, we have an option. Defense really stepped up. What a game Bunting and Dean had. David too. JPP rocked.

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    • O-line was solid and not the problem, it’s Winston.

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    • 100% agree, this had nothing to do with the O-Line.

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    • Yep Oline needs help.

      Not a bad game for them today but not a solid unit for the $$$ paid

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  7. Here is the bottom line, the refs did not give the Texans 7 points, Winston did. I would argue Winston cost the Bucs at least 17 points today. We win this game and many others this year with an average QB who does not turn the ball over.
    In my opinion we can be entertained by, but will never consistently win with winston at QB.

    I think we should spend money on the D-line, sign Bridgewater, draft a QB, extend Godwin adn move on.

    Winston is who he is , and entertaining loser.

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  8. Bucs can still go 8-8! I don’t know what’s really most disappointing in this game. If Brate catches the ball on that 4th down maybe Bucs win. Winston truly had his best receivers to help him today lol. I think the Bucs go 6-2 in their last 8 games and talk of a new QB may be most disappointing. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays

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  9. Some really questionable calls by the refs, 4 turnovers and Bucs still damn near beat a division champ playoff team. That’s not so disappointing. Go bucs!

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  10. Once again, same ol’tune, Winston picked first dive of the game, then goes on to throw 3 more. Ref’s were absolutely garbage this game (still say they should be fined or suspended a game when it’s this bad), Leftwhich so predictable again!! You can not run up the middle on 3rd and short!!!! We can not run the ball!! This loss was tough. The D played their asses off, this unit has really made a turnaround. This is a good Offensive team (Texans) and the Bucs held them to 229 total yds . Very impressive. Yeah 8-8 is more then I thought they would do this year (hoping to beat the Falcons), but damn if you look at the games lost…… they would have been in the playoffs. So tired of saying “Next year”

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  11. After 5 yrs Winston can win a super bowl with the bucs until.. you take off the rose colored glasses and get real

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  12. To have won today, it would have had to have been THE game of the year…minimal mistakes, solid running game and passing game, strong defense forcing turnovers and strong special teams. I think it’s called complementary football. Didn’t happen today. Not sure what #3 is learning, but hopefully he will get the picks out of his system this season and be good to go next. Perhaps he should visit an ophthalmologist and get checked for color blindness. 8-8 is better than I thought they would be. Of course, I’m assuming they win against the dirty birds.

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  13. I fully expected the Bucs to Win this game all the way up until we Lost it! The interesting thing is that we have a Defense Now and these young guys have stepped up to become quite the Playmakers. Vita Vea, Bunting, J Dean, Carlton Davis, Devin White and even the Kicker are all looking like Ballers for this team and we are getting to a point where we don’t have to rely on the offense to win games anymore. This team has grown up right before our very eyes but then there’s Winston. What do you Do? Even after all of those turnovers we still had a chance to win the game before the two minute warning. However That last drive there was facsimile of Winston’s career here and I don’t know how else to put it. The defense gave you the ball back and you had a chance to erase all of the mistakes of the past and this is how you repay them and For the record I am a Winston supporter but there’s no excuse for the way that ended. You simply can’t win in this league by turning the ball over like that and if I am BA & Jason Licht I am concerned. What do you Do?

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  14. Predicted, but still disappointed with the minimal attendance for this game.

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  15. The special teams were bad, but a 54 yard FG was not a smart move IMO.
    Bucs need to find a punt returner I don’t care if it is all he does if he does it well.

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  16. I think Winston played a terrible game, but I also put some blame on the play calling. You have to simply the playbook when you have receivers who don’t normally play in a regular game, you can’t just expect them to be ready for everything. Also that last int. i saw that play coming a mile away and I’m sure the defender did to, he practically ran the route for dare. At some point are they telling Winston to throw that route regardless because that plays called for dare or was it a bad throw. Just don’t ever know which it is when it’s Winston unfortunately.

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    • I also want to add I believe Winston will be back next year and that is okay. I think he will do much better in year two, he has to find ways to win us games and so does the defense I think if they can both sides of the ball play at their best we will be a force to reckon with. I don’t think Arians would have come here if he didn’t want Winston back regardless of what’s happened this year. He does have the “ no risk it no biscuit” mentality and once we Find that balance we will get to the promise land. I just hate it when one side of the ball plays so well then the other doesn’t, but I love the fight this team has they don’t give up and they are very young and will get better if we can keep the team together.

      Merry Christmas to everyone

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      • Good post

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    • Dare was one of 5 receivers out on that play and OJ Howard was open.

      I disagree with you, I do not think Leftwich told Winston to throw to Dare there. It was 3rd and 2 and there were 3 different potential receivers running shorter routes to get past the 1st down marker (with 2 running deeper routes). Dare was probably one of three primary options to get the 1st down. OJ Howard was really the only one of the three that was open. Give Houston credit, they put the corner on the running back and linebacker on Howard over the middle. I assume they wanted the better cover guys on the outside so at least Tampa would have more difficulty stopping the clock (by running out of bounds) if they took the easy completion.

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  17. Clearly, what the pewter community does not understand, A good team has a chance to win a game with a great QB there is no team that can stop the great QB from winning.
    Great QB can raise his game above the other team and force the needed win.
    We have seen this played out many times over the years with other teams you all know the names
    Jameis plays hard every play there is no level above he can go to he is an 84 rated QB year in year out
    5 years every year he is rated below 90.
    You will never have success with a turnover machine that throws TDs to the other team. 28 INTS 8 pick-sixes.
    Bucs out of playoffs by Halloween the wins were give me,s from other teams wanting the better draft pick in spring.
    If LA Rams do not win next week the Bucs will be 0-7 agaist winning teams , Play a winning team the Bucs lose ……………..

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  18. The reason Buc fans are pissed is that they now expect the Bucs to win. That’s a very nice change that Arians has made. Go Bucs!

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  19. There’s only so many times a QB can stand at the podium after the game and say, “I’ve got to do better.” and we still accept him and want him to be our QB. At what point do we stop believing it will actually happen? When does management and ownership stop believing?
    There is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to drafting QBs, but I don’t see this ship righting itself anytime soon. I’ve never been on the Winston bandwagon, but I have defended him this season, being in a new offense with a new coaching staff and all. And I’ve celebrated his performances the past few weeks, given what they were. This was game 15 in week 16 of a very distressing season. These kinds of mistakes are unacceptable now. If you can bench RoJo for missing a block on a blitz, what is Winston’s punishment? You can’t say “Shake it off” every week for the rest of his career.
    I only got to watch the 2nd half so I don’t know how badly the picks were thrown, but what I did notice in the 2nd half was how frequently the Texans dropped 7 and 8 into coverage. Seems the mentality is “Let him throw the rock. Sooner or later he’ll throw it to us.”
    All that said, right now Winston is our best chance to win, but he’s also our biggest reason for not winning. Such a conundrum. What to do? Can’t sign a rookie or veteran QB without first improving the OLine and the run game. Makes no sense. The defense has come a very long way (I’m extremely impressed) so we just need depth behind the veterans. So the plan, as I have been saying for over 6 months now, is to tag Winston for 1 more year to give Arians a chance to prove himself right. Fix everything around him and pave the way for his replacement, should it be necessary. This is a dangerous team, and is playoff bound next year, but with Winston at QB there is a definite ceiling.

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    • You know they work all week on getting Jamis NOT to F.U., yet week in and week out the very first thing he does is F.U. With the team he has around him, we would have won more games with a lesser armed QB with more presence of mind. He’s not stupid by any means, he just loses track of what the hell is going on at the most inopportune times.

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      • Bull…. They keep forcing him to pass out of the gate.

        They knew VH3 was on texans and he knews the TB playbook yet they PASS PASS PASS.

        When Coaches stop passing more than running and when they stop advertising pass by Shot Gun formation, that will tell me they are working to avoid turnovers.

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  20. No team has gotten the shaft more consistently than Tampa this year. We lost the Titans game cause a scoop and score was missed. We lost this game because of the half dozen missed calls mentioned in this piece. The NFL refs have literally ruined the league. At this point, I got to believe it’s by design. Every challenged PI play has stood (perhaps not literally but 99% of them…anyone have the stat on that)? The NFL likes it like this as it is now essentially the NBA which we’ve known was a fixed bit of “entertainment” for decades. The NFL has certain “darling’ franchises (see New England, the Packers, the Steelers, the 49ers) that get calls every year. We ain’t in the club like Carlin would say.

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  21. I haven’t seen officiating so one-sided since Jerry Markbreit used to guarantee the Dallas Cowboys wins in the 70’s.

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  22. Lets piut some facts out:

    Texans signed Veronon Hargraves off waivers and that gave the Texans D inside knowledge of Bucs passing game. You know that means INT’s. NO ONE mentions this – give me a break. Did TB coaches try something diff due to that NO.

    Winston didn’t miss Watson, Watson STUMBLED twice deep in his route – The TV announcers (C Davis?) called it out – totally on Watson not on Winston.

    Its 3rd and 1yd to go 1:27 left with 1 TO on your 40…. They go into SHOTGUN advertising pass (AGAIN always screaming pass) – here’s a clue, go to a spread formation with no-Shotgun and a tailback and RUN THE BALL, get the first at minimum and maybe break one for 10-15 yds.

    Cameron Brate CHOKES on 4th and 3 dropping a simple pass untouched, hitting both hands in chest area? CHOKE! That was the game. Likelihood of at minimum a FG to tie was over 50%.
    How is he not on the list!

    Winston has #1, #2 and #4 receiver OUT. They get the ball at own 12…. We all agree Winston starts off too excited ….. RUN THE BALL 3 times and Punt… What’s the harm of getting out of harms way deep in your own territory. Winston got 335 yds in a nail biter (not garbage yds) with these receivers ? That’s amazing.

    We all know Winston’s limitations – EXCEPT Leftwich and the TB coaches – STOP forcing him to throw ALL the time and actually ease into a game. Winning Teams all do that DEEP in their own territory.
    Its not Rocket Science.

    Winston is not going anywhere – He leads the league in yds and is 2 or 3 in TD’s – along with those ugly INT’s.
    We need OL, RBs and DL. Work on the INT’s and we get to 10+ wins next year after a BRUTAL schedule this year.

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  23. The sad thing is that a lot of guys on this team are playing their ass off. JW can not remain on this team. We would have won more games with a less talented but more serious QB. I for one will not be an enabler. Do you want a rich husband who is a raging alcoholic, or a guy with a lower income who isn’t constantly F’ing everything up? The 2 top receivers are hurt possibly because they were overworked in practice this late in the year according to coach. He said “we” needed the reps. No Jamis needed the reps not we.

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    • And JW isn’t playing his azz off?

      On top of all the other items I posted. VH3 playing for texans giving them TB’s play book, #1,2,4 receivers out. OC calling Shotgun pass plays on 3rd and 1, NOJ Howard dropping passes, Watson stumbling 2x on sure TD pass, Brate dropping game tying pass, OC calls 9 running plays in 2nd half…. WAIT FOR It…

      JW playing with FRACTURED THUMB on passing hand.

      5000 yds leads league…. 30+ TDs top 3 in league.

      And all he gets is thrown under bus. Good luck getting that production from someone else. The Bucs will stick with JW – Get Over It

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  24. What if we just told the kid that as long as we’re across the 50, we’re going to go for it on every 4th down? Take the pressure off of him thinking he has to go for it all on third? Hell why not, something has to get in that head and make some changes. The turnover rate just might improve a bit.

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    • OR how about NOT passing to start every game … at your own 12yd line !
      Coaching NOT adjusting to JW opening play… Period.

      #1,2,4 receivers OUT …. RUN THE DARN BALL and PUNT …. that’s what Winning teams do

      Its all on JW… that’s the issue and he isn’t smart enough to save his own stats to shut the whiners up and he slings it. He needs to learn. Throw the ball away… of course we’ll lose but then that can’t blame him.

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  25. Sorry, but a few more people need to be added to this list.
    No. 1 is Leftwich.
    His play calling has been spotty all season but Sunday;s was the worse.
    On a third and one player he calls for a four yard out pattern from a WR and what appeared to be an 8 yard out pattern from the TE on the same side of the field.
    What happened to Nor risk it no biscuit. The Texans were also in tight one on one coverage on the play and seemed to be looking for the play. Good film study?
    Whatever the case it was a terrible play call as a number of his third down calls were.
    The second and third culprits were from the TE position composed of OJ Howard and Cam Brate.
    Howard misjudged a sure TD pass and of course Brate let a crucial fourth down pass clang off his hands.
    With Winston short on weapons it would have been nice to have seen this position step up instead of sitting down.
    But perhaps the fault doesn’t fall squarely in them
    I didn’t see to many plays called were the primary receiver was the TE and once again that falls on Lefty.

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