Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy was nearly the hero in a game that could have been Tampa Bay’s first home win of the season. Instead, Murphy’s 21-yard catch down to the Cincinnati 20-yard line with 26 seconds left didn’t count due to the Bucs being penalized for having 12 men on the field, and the Bucs lost to the Bengals 14-13 to fall to 2-10 on the season.
After the game, Murphy was distraught while sitting in the locker room trying to explain how the Bucs let another potential win slip through their fingers.
“All these guys, all these coaches and all of the work we put in all week, all season, to lose a game like that, it’s heartbreaking,” Murphy said. “I have to go back and watch the film. All I know is that this is a heartbreaker. It’s a heartbreaker. We got to the -yard line, but we didn’t get to the -yard line. It’s a tough one.”
The Bucs deployed four wide receivers and running back Doug Martin on the play, but also had Oniel Cousins, a reserve lineman, lined up on the field as a tight end. Murphy, who finished with one catch for seven yards, didn’t know how the Bucs offense had 12 men on the field for that play.
“Somebody has to,” Murphy said. “I don’t understand how it happened. I don’t know what happened. I have to go back and watch the film. But man, for us to lose like that…”
As bad as Tampa Bay’s last drive was marred by penalties, the team was flagged 16 times on Sunday against Cincinnati. Only 13 penalties for 94 yards were accepted by the Bengals, and a few of those infractions cost the Bucs’ chance to get touchdowns earlier in the game in two red zone opportunities.
“I don’t know, we just couldn’t,” Murphy said. “At the end of the day, we did put ourselves in position to win the ball game. For whatever reason we didn’t. We put ourselves in position to win the football game, but we didn’t come up with the win. That’s the heartbreaking part about it.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
I call it bone stupid and piss poor coaching. Now that LEADS to “heartbreaking” losses week after week after week and no regular season home wins in a YEAR but it’s still CRAP COACHING!
Maybe they thought if Seattle can win the championship with the 12th man we should try it. First we make a great play to get the ball in field goal range. But there’s a little too much time on the clock. You assume we are going to keep the ball in the middle of the field, get as much yardage as possible and kick the game-winner with 3 seconds left. But nooooooooooooo, Gilkey gets a holding penalty. We overcome that with a strike in easier field goal range. But noooooooooooo, we have an extra man on the field. Now lets back up another 5 yards out of range. Game over. Who Dey?
Not sure how shifts happen in NFL, but McCown said Herron needed to get off. So all on him really. Also, really disappointed in NFL for changing challenge under two minute rule. They basically said you can challenge under two minutes by the ruling in this game. If they wanted it to be a real rule, it should go back to if you throw the flag the play should be un-reviewable.
As I see the rule it has a flaw in the rule as the ref’s made the mistake of not calling 12 men on the field with less then two min. on the clock. How can you correct that mistake without a challenge and you get penalized for fixing the ref’s mistake? Need to review that rule!
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