Another slow start really hurt the Bucs as they scratched and clawed their way back into a one-possession game. The defense got carved up at times by Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady did not look like he was on the same page with some of his receivers, but the Bucs still found themselves just a field goal away from tying the game up if they could get the ball back.

Even with momentum at home, they couldn’t stop Mahomes one last time, dropping this one the Chiefs 27-24. These were the most disappointing players from the game.

CB Carlton Davis III
Davis normally has the responsibility of defending the other team’s best receiver, and while he’s played well against some of the league’s best, it was a rough day for him against Tyreek Hill. Davis struggled heavily dealing with Hill’s speed, as he was beaten deep for a 75-yard touchdown. In fact, Hill had 203 yards and two touchdown in the first quarter alone. Hill went on to terrorize the Bucs for the rest of the game, to the tune of 13 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns, including making the catch on the final drive to covert the third down and seal the game. Davis finished with five tackles and two pass breakups.

The Rest Of The Bucs’ Secondary
While Davis was the main one responsible for lackluster play, the rest of the secondary didn’t help him either. Sean Murphy-Bunting was part of the many players that were jumping offsides early on, and missed an important tackle in the run game. Meanwhile, safeties Antoine Winfield Jr. and Mike Edwards were not in the right position when they were supposed to help Davis on a deep passes to Hill. Edwards even whiffed on a tackle during one of Hill’s three touchdowns. We all know how talented of a player Patrick Mahomes is, but when he throws for 462 yards and the pass rush was able to provided some pressure, that means there was an issue in the secondary.

LG Ali Marpet
It was good to see Marpet back after missing the last three games with a concussion as he’s critical to the Bucs’ offensive line. He did have two holding penalties, though, and each time it negated a play of 10+ yards for the offense. One was a 10-yard run on first down by Ronald Jones, while the other was a third down conversion on third-and-five that made it a third-and-15. You don’t often see Marpet get penalized that much and it’s not a trend that you need to worry about, it just two bad plays in important moments.

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich – Photo by: USA Today

OC Byron Leftwich
For the second week in a row Leftwich makes most disappointing. The Bucs continue to have slow starts at the beginning of games, instantly putting them behind the eight ball. Following a five-play opening drive that led to a punt, the Bucs then had three straight frustrating three-and-outs. Despite all the talent, this offense at times looks archaic and predictable that calls for plays that need perfect execution with high degrees of difficulty. The offense constantly continues to look for the deep ball when there are options open underneath, and when teams bring the blitz on third down, there isn’t anyone running a hot route or a running back available as a safety outlet to avoid the rush.

There was no better example than in the first quarter when Antonio Brown was in the backfield and just ran straight down the field, where Tom Brady overthrew him by at least 10 yards because the blitz was coming and Brown was covered. There’s not much in this offense that surprises their opponent. You would think that since the Chiefs struggle against the run, allowing 133 yards per game, that Ronald Jones would get plenty of carries, but he ended up with just nine. Tampa Bay did turn it on in the second half, but it was too little, too late. It also included some head scratching play calls near the goal line to open the third quarter. There’s too many times that this team looks completely out of rhythm after 12 games together. Leftwich constantly repeats himself each week saying that he’ll put the players in the best position to succeed, but we’ve only seen the contrary.

Bruce Arians’ Clock Management
Arians elected not to call any timeouts near the end of the second quarter with the Chiefs in the red zone. The Bucs held them to a field goal, but with 11 seconds remaining, Tampa Bay took a knee even with two timeouts in their pocket instead of using them earlier and having more time to try and score before the half. Then with four minutes left in the game, the Bucs used their second timeout after a seven-yard run on first down that Kansas City then converted on the next play. I don’t necessarily blame Arians for believing in his defense to make the stop on the next two downs with short yardage, but if you held onto the two timeouts after the opening first down conversion, you’d still be able to kill the clock  before the two-minute warning with a chance to get the ball back needing just a field goal. The Chiefs never gave the ball back anyway so it’s a moot point, but it was some situational football that could’ve been handled differently.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Ron Potter
8 months ago

Today is the pinnacle of disappointment. They blew it against the Rams and needed to bounce back against the Chiefs. BA’s hypocrisy is magnified. Team needs to improve in a hurry. Nobody handed this team a Lombardi trophy in August. It’s a false narrative made as an excuse for a team that blatantly reached for one in the offseason by signing the GOAT. The offense takes the biggest blame for this loss but Carlton Davis sure did let us down today too as well as Todd Bowles for not sending Devin White on blitzes in the 4th quarter. Play-call to… Read more »

BucRy
8 months ago

Coaching is the big problem. Arians is too stubborn to admit that Leftwich is clearly not ready to call the plays and figure out how to maximize the use of our best players on offense. We held the chiefs to 27. Came away with only 7 points in the first half and came on way too late. Brady made some
Bad throws, but I still blame the coaches for not playing to his strength as well. We really could have used an off season.

Ron Potter
Reply to  BucRy
8 months ago

Agree. BA’s narrative about his staff is beyond reproach. When the coaches fail, he doesn’t name who but when the players fail, he will name a few. He’s not holding his coaches as accountable as his players.

awwdembucs
Reply to  Ron Potter
8 months ago

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!

Brandonges
8 months ago

It’s going to be very hard to win a championship with Leftwich as the OC. He needs to learn what modern offenses look like from guys like Reid, McVay, Shanahan. Far too few pre-snap motion, play-action, and rub routes.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Brandonges
8 months ago

Reid, McVay, and Shanahan have mobile QB’s and/or innovative rushing attacks. This team has invested in Evans, Godwin, Howard, Gronk, Brown, Brate, Miller, Watson, RoJo, Fournette, McCoy and Vaughn. Tom should be hitting these WR’s, TE’s, and RB’s in perfect stride, yet he isn’t.

It is an execution problem. To blame the scheme is short sighted IMO.

Brandonges
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

None of the three things I specifically identified require mobile QBs. They’re staples of a modern offense yet Arians scheme is stuck in 2005. It shouldn’t be this difficult to move the ball when they have all the weapons you listed, but on too many drives it looks impossible.

The scheme you’re defending is regularly the one that leads, or is at the top of, the NFL in picks and sacks.

Virtual_Camel
8 months ago

200+ yards in the first quarter for Hill and yet Bowles kept having Davis alone guarding him. Add him to this list too.

awwdembucs
Reply to  Virtual_Camel
8 months ago

You would think after Kupp got over 100 yards last week in the first half Hill would be a bigger challenge. It looked like Madden football the 1st half.

RW
RW
8 months ago

I am able to go back and rewatch the game and the offensive play calling is mind boggling to say the least. On their 2nd, 3rd and 4th drives the Bucs had 2 1/2 , 2 and 2 yards to go respectively on 3rd down and they threw all 3 times. And resulted in 3 incompletions. Worst was that the most routes were 10-15 yards down the field rather than simple 3-4 yard routes to get the 1st down. Ball possession is the best way to beat the Chiefs and yet the Bucs ignore that kind of strategy.

Last edited 8 months ago by RW
drdneast
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

RW, I haven’t seen the replay but what you say doesn’t surprise me in the least. Tom is a master at carving up the Tampa Two but it’s like the coaches won’t call the plays that will defeat the scheme, they are just going to call the plays in their scheme that will make them look right.
You should have put Mike Evans on this list. He dropped a couple of balls and ran a bad route on a hot lead that led to an INT.

owlykat
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

Couldn’t agree more! BA needs to take over the play calling and make Leftwich watch and learn!

RW
RW
8 months ago

Interesting Fact . Chiefs were able to control the ball for the last 4 1/2 minutes of each half. ( all but for the last 11 seconds in the 1st half) Both time after the Bucs scored.

RW
RW
8 months ago

Don’t ever throw to Scotty Miller unless he is wide open. On Brady’s 1st pick he put up no fight whatever to get a 50/50 ball.

compewterpirate
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

It wasn’t remotely a 50/50 ball. In addition to which, when Scotty Miller was playing as our 3rd WR, we were 6-2 and he was both our leading yardage receiver and our principal deep ball threat. The offense has actually regressed since he was effectively demoted and TB 12 hadn’t made a deep ball connection in 5 games until today.

RW
RW
Reply to  compewterpirate
8 months ago

Fact: Scotty saw that ball coming and didn’t even get a hand up to try for the ball. He doesn’t catch balls in traffic.

BigSombrero
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

He’s an injury prone guy who is always looking to get DPI if he isn’t wide open. He should NEVER see the field unless the Bucs are going 5 wide.

RW
RW
8 months ago

Mike Evans is good not great. Today he had 9 targets and 3 catches.Should have caught at least 3 more of those. Mike drops a lot of balls : Chris Godwin doesn’t. On the season Godwin’s catch percentage at 82%, and Evans at 59%

stlbucsfan
8 months ago

Hopefully Tom slaps BA over the bye week and forces a more diverse passing attack after the bye. Rojo needs to get 20-25 carries a week i don’t care if he drops one or fumbles another. He’s the only back that’s a threat to go the distance every time and clearly runs harder than Fournette ever dreamed of. For those who keep saying Bruce needs to call plays should get a grip. He is calling the plays, if you think he’s standing over there with that huge menu doing anything else you are lying to yourself. He doesn’t have it,… Read more »

hamilton
8 months ago

Blaming everyone, Brady is f cling up to.

RW
RW
Reply to  hamilton
8 months ago

Yes he made a couple of bad throws yesterday but overall played well. He doesn’t catch the ball or run the ball, design the plays or play D. Lots of blame to go round.

GrafikDetail
8 months ago

but we’re only a QB away 🥴

BigSombrero
Reply to  GrafikDetail
8 months ago

That’s what’s up.

compewterpirate
8 months ago

The predictably vanilla play-calling, the lack of pre-snap movement and misdirection and being out-coached and out-thought, time and time again, is killing us on offense. Even on defence, why does it take a half of football to make the appropriate adjustments? We had a week to game plan for Mahomes and Hill, yet we were torched for over 350 yards of offense in the first half!

4girls
8 months ago

I really feel the coaching is our most consistent issue. I am very jealous of teams like the Rams, Niners, Bills, hell, even the Cardinals, because of their coaches. I like teams that keep their opponents guessing. No one guesses when they play the Bucs. They just need to have the personnel to handle us offensively. Ditto on the defensive side. Why are we having issues with stronger teams? Two reasons. First, obviously, they are very good teams and will be a challenge for anyone. Second, and most importantly, these teams have stud coaches who have had the chance to… Read more »

Dman
8 months ago

Add TB to this list with his two picks that killed scoring opportunities. Add Bowles to this list for leaving Davis out there 1-on-1 with Hill. Not making excuses for Davis, though, he just got beat. But it’s not like we’re the first team to realize Hill’s got Olympic speed.

surferdudes
8 months ago

Licht spent a lot of draft capitol on that secondary. Bunting, Davis, Edwards, Winfield, are turning out to be average at best. There are clearly no stars in that group. I don’t see a single one of them ever making a pro bowl. Maybe we’d be better off had Licht picked more O,D linemen. Maybe we’d be better off with a new G.M., H.C..

awwdembucs
Reply to  surferdudes
8 months ago

Darn probably picking 1st 3 rounds DB’S again lol

43 Is Only Old in Human Years
8 months ago

In my mind we have the same QB as last year, yep he threw for 3 touchdowns but he also threw 2 interceptions. If I am not mistaken that is 11 on the year with at least two being pick-sixes. In our biggest games (Saints x 2 = 5 interceptions, Rams = 2 interceptions, Chiefs = 2 interceptions) he has come up short. Last year Winston did the same thing, threw for a ton of yards, a boatload of touch downs, but turned the ball over too much.

RW
RW
Reply to  43 Is Only Old in Human Years
8 months ago

You are mistaken. Last year Winston had over 20 INT’s and and 5-6 less TD passes than Brady after 12 games.

BigSombrero
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

Brady has never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a season and the last time he threw 14 was 2005. He is at 11 right now, with 4 games to go.

Before Arians scheme, Winston had never thrown more than 18 interceptions in a season.

43 Is Only Old in Human Years
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

You kind of missed the point on what I am saying. I don’t think Brady and Winston are the same people, I am saying last year we had a QB that turned the ball over too much in critical games. This year we we have a quarterback who turns the ball over too much in critical games. I really don’t care if is 22 interceptions or 11 interceptions it is too much. Brady was brought in to cure that problem but it hasn’t been fixed. He is in a three way tie for second for most interceptions thrown this year.… Read more »

EastEndBoy
8 months ago

How is Jason Licht not on this list? His strategy to fix a broken secondary, infamously dubbed “flood the position”, costing us nearly half (!) of all of our top round draft picks over the last five years is failing spectacularly!

Horse
8 months ago

Most Disappointing for me was a poor product once again displayed to the fans and the football audience.

fredster
8 months ago

This secondary is just horrible. You should not be able to pick a team apart with dink and dunk with no run game either! Happens every week now. On Offense the play calling is idiotic. I don’t know how much is Arians or Lefty just calling his crap but it sucks! There is no balance or flow to it. I said many times in past no QB would be able to play well in Winston’s place. That was before they added Winfield, Gronk, AB,Wirfs, Succop, etc. all of whom made this a better team than last year. I’m convinced It… Read more »

German Buc
8 months ago

If Ali Marpet’s showing in yesterday’s game was in fact one of the most disappointing, we would have won that game convincingly. 

toucan
8 months ago

How could an entire quarter go by and Davis gets no help from Winfield covering T.Hill. When Hill gets a step past any corner in the NFL he will not get caught from behind.But, in the 4th qtr. Davis has backside help and he lays back and allows Hill to get a 1st down coming back to Mahomes. That is a mental mistake and ended the Bucs chance to come back to at least tie the game.

toucan
8 months ago

AND —how does RoJo only get 9 carries (10 for another 10 yd. gain nullified by holding).

Madman
8 months ago

ME13 in the first half was disappointing. Pouty Mike running bad routes.

Leftwich playcalling is still predictable and uncreative.

The entire secondary was an embarrassment.

Dline with 3 or 4 pre-snap penalties in the first quarter didn’t help.

Madman
8 months ago

How is Brady not on this list? He was awful when it mattered most.