The Buccaneers stubbed their prime time toe once again on Monday Night Football, losing to the Rams, 27-24.

There was plenty of blame to go around and here are the most disappointing players from a frustrating loss to Los Angeles, which dropped Tampa Bay to 7-4 on the year and down to the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff race.

QB Tom Brady
For being one of the most successful prime time quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady has been bad this season in night games. On Monday night against the Rams he was awful. Like rookie quarterback awful. From his two interceptions – the Rams should have had three – to his decision-making, like attempting a 30-yard pass to Antonio Brown on third-and-9 – to his ball placement where he threw deep balls twice down the sideline that didn’t even give his receivers a chance to catch the ball in bounds – it was a terrible night for Brady.

Brady’s most egregious mistake of the night was getting greedy with 1:49 left on the clock and one timeout and just needing a field goal to send the game to overtime, he attempted a deep ball to tight end Cam Brate of all people. That was the biggest head-scratcher of the night for myself and most Bucs fans. You expect a decision like that from former QB Jameis Winston, who threw 30 interceptions last year, but not a six-time Super Bowl champion. Brady ended the night going 26-of-48 (54.1 percent) for 216 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

OC Byron Leftwich
I am becoming more and more convinced the Bucs won’t win a Super Bowl with Leftwich as the Bucs’ play-caller. Monday night he was clearly over-matched and out-coached by Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, as the Bucs finished with just 251 yards of total offense. In a game it was never out of, Tampa Bay attempted 18 running plays as opposed to 48 pass plays. So much for trying to stay balanced just a week after running for over 200 yards at Carolina. I understand the running game wasn’t going well, but to abandon it for long stretches, it makes you wonder why Leftwich did that.

And maybe more puzzling was the fact Leonard Fournette saw so many snaps despite dropping three passes. Ronald Jones II is the superior running back on this football team with four games over 100 yards rushing, and it isn’t even close. So Jones get 10 carries but Fournette gets seven and four targets as a receiver?

The Rams defense is good, really good. But the Bucs offense is just as talented as any in the NFL and yet it only came away with 251 yards?

Bucs Secondary
Each member of Tampa Bay’s secondary had lapses and moments of bad play at some point on Monday night against the Rams. Early in the game it was safeties Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield, Jr., who allowed a completion to Cooper Kupp in front of them but to make matters worse, both missed the tackle and the play went for 37 yards and led to the first Rams touchdown.

Cornerback Jamel Dean was beaten in man coverage by Van Jefferson on a slant play for a touchdown as he displayed terrible technique on the play. Nickel cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, while decent in run support with 10 tackles, was beaten on a number of passes, and even Carlton Davis III was made to look silly by Kupp on a third down reception that was good enough for a first down.

It was bad night by the secondary as Rams QB Jared Goff passed for 376 yards and completed 76 of his passes on the night with Kupp and Robert Woods both going over the century mark.

Two moments in the game summed up the night for the secondary, the first was just before the half when the Bucs allowed Goff and the Rams offense to drive down the field to get into field goal range and take a half time lead on a 35-yard screen pass to Woods. The second frustrating moment was the Rams’ go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter where they were able to quickly drive 53 yards on eight plays to take the lead for the final time on a Matt Gay field goal.

OLB Shaq Barrett
Thank goodness the Buccaneers didn’t give Barrett the long-term, big-money deal he was looking for this offseason. After a 19.5-sack season last year, Barrett has completely disappeared from games at times this season and Monday night was a perfect example. Goff got rid of the ball quickly more often that not, but on the rare occasion he took a deeper drop and held the ball for a while, Barrett was a non-factor in applying pressure.

To make his night worse, Barrett also had a neutral zone infraction on third-and-4 that extended a Rams drive, giving them a first down. Barrett registered four stops, no sacks, and no QB hurries or hits on the night.

RB Leonard Fournette
As noted above, Fournette had four pass targets but only one reception. Why? Because he dropped the other three. Fournette did score on touchdown on the evening but averaged just 2.4 yards on his seven carries.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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 mark@pewterreport.com
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tnew
2 months ago

Leftwich/Arians… these two are tied together IMO

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twspin
2 months ago

Buc fans were sold a false bill of goods on Brady. When I said last yr the smart move was to keep Jameis one more yr and move up in the draft to get our QB, I was blessed out by fans on this and other websites. So for 50 mil we will probably het a 9-7 team with no playoffs. And if you even think we are gonna surprise KC?..you can see my shrink!..or my secondary consultant..Mr. Jack Daniels.The way of QB’s in the new NFL is mobility… doing things on the run. Buc fans act like teams are… Read more »

StPeteB
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

U thought what?? Keep. Jameis?? Worst signing in franchise history??

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twspin
Reply to  StPeteB
2 months ago

Nahhh, Jameis came in right out of college and was thrown into the Buc losing mess. He had umpteen coaches. Why didn’t we move up in this yrs draft and get our future? They could have played jameis for a few games and let the rook take over.Brady is not our future. He is not taking us to the superbowl. Hell, we might not get to the playoffs with him. Just wait until you see all world Gabbert when Brady goes down. You’re gonna wish we had kept Jameis as a backup.

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RW
RW
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

Yup Jameis is so good he can’t beat out a glorified running back for the back up role on the Saints. And i am sure he would have signed a million dollar contract to back up on the Bucs. not!

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Buc on the Move
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

Please enlighten us:
A) Who was that rookie QB of the future we could have moved up for?
B) Who would have played tackle for us this year and into the future?
C) How much were you willing to pay Jameis for “a few games” before the rook took over?

GTFOH

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matador
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

Winston is 3rd string for a reason.

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matador
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

Why not Dilfer or Testeverde? Give me a break. It’s the Glazer kids’ GM Licht’s roster and Arian’s coaches. Fish rots from the head.

On a better team Brady easily reaches the playoffs yet again. After years of mostly bad drafting we are not there yet. But we have the chance to be next year and maybe another year after that. Unfortunately we’re likely stuck with Lefty as long as BA is here.

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tnew
Reply to  twspin
2 months ago

I am in agreement that the best long term solution was to give Winston that one year prove something deal, (he did lead the league in yards as well as INTS) then move on at that point if he peed the bed again, but I also see the reasoning to let him go. I didn’t like the Brady signing, however I understand the logic. He has solely brought the Bucs back to relevance on the national spotlight. The Bucs are more respected across the league from the office, media and the officials. The Bucs don’t get half of the PI… Read more »

matador
Reply to  tnew
1 month ago

Winston had five years. He proved it. To the entire league, apparently.

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JSW
JSW
Reply to  twspin
1 month ago

Brady will be just fine when he grows some balls and puts a little risk-it in his biscuit. He’s playing like a scared little Check-Down Charlie. He needs to take off his little New England training wheels and let it rip in true Ariens fashion (the old guy – before he delegated everything to Left-which? [and yes, I meant to spell it that way.].

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eaustinyoung
2 months ago

A 10 year veteran with half a hand catches better than Fournette.

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BigSombrero
2 months ago

Earlier this season PFF and Ledyard said Brady is the most accurate downfield passer in the NFL.

What happened?

The good news is Brady is healthy. The better news is that the NFL playoff expansion nearly guarantees the Bucs will make the playoffs.

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StPeteB
2 months ago

Its not just Shaq.. It’s the Dline. Nacho. Will. Suh. Getting no push. None. Without Vea the D line is ineffective and its getting our young secondary exposed.

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eaustinyoung
2 months ago

RoJo gets lambasted by Arians for a drop or a fumble and gets off the field. Fournette drops pass after pass and plays. Smith gives up sacks and pressures like hes an extra D linemen and his job has never been safer because the coaches never did anything to bolster that position. This vaunted defense allows mediocre Jared Goff to throw for over 100 yards on 3rd down alone. The coaching has regressed.

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stlbucsfan
2 months ago

Not sure why Byron is mentioned, this is Arians’ offense not his. It’s Arians’ offense that doesnt call for short passes or screen passes when the deep passing game isnt working. It is Arians who abandons the run game in favor of ineffective 5 step drop after 5 step drop. It is Arians’ that saw Rojo rush for almost 200 yards last week only to barely get touches this week. It is Arians that knew the Rams were all about short passing on offense and motion yet allowed a gameplan to be prepared with soft zones and off coverage early… Read more »

Armchairquarterback
2 months ago

Wasn’t McCoy brought in to be a pass catching back??? Why haven’t they given him another chance, I know that he dropped that touchdown catch against Carolina but damn. Every other running back couldn’t catch a pass if their life depended on it.

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Horse
2 months ago

How about Devin White?

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Madman
2 months ago

The secondary is BRUTAL. Just brutal. Can’t cover anyone.

And Shaq Barrett is a step slower this year. Dude is overweight and a non factor.

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Bucco-Bruce
2 months ago

Even if we make the playoffs, it’s a one and done for us. We need to start over with the coaches next season since the cap is much lower we can only keep a few of our free agents. We should go after Eric Bienemy as our new head coach. He calls the plays for the Chiefs and look at how well their offense runs!!

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RW
RW
2 months ago

The offensive play calling is reflected by one call in particular. 4th Quarter, 4th down with a yard to go and Lefty calls for Brady to go shotgun, roll out and hit Godwin in the flat? Seriously?

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eaustinyoung
Reply to  RW
2 months ago

Yep. The best QB sneaker in the history of the NFL.

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cgmaster27
2 months ago

I don’t know why these coaches continue to push Fournette out onto the field. He’s clearly not a better runner, and hell, he’s probably a worse pass catcher. He’s AWFUL! I can whole heartedly agree with Mark that as long as we have Byron calling plays, this team won’t win a superbowl. I’d love to be wrong, but I’m just not seeing it. WAY too much talent on this team to put up 257 total yards. And my goodness do these guys abandon the run quick. We were never out of the game to abandon it that quickly. I love… Read more »

BigSombrero
Reply to  cgmaster27
2 months ago

Zone produced the interceptions. It’s the best way to defend a quick passing attack. To be effective, the tackling must be better. That was the real problem last night.

As far as Brady in this offense, it has never been a good match in my opinion. He isn’t a risk it no biscuit guy.

I watched the game at a sports bar last night. Not one person cheered when Brady did anything and EVERYONE cheered when he threw a pick at the end of both halves. Granted, it was Indianapolis and he’s generally hated here.

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cgmaster27
Reply to  BigSombrero
2 months ago

They got the interceptions because of 2 horrible goff throws not because they were in zone. While they were im zone, they were allowing goff to complete around 80% of his passes to wide open guys in the soft spots in the zone.
I agree that tackling was an issue, but to even insinuate that zone wasnt a problem is foolish

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scubog
Reply to  BigSombrero
2 months ago

Now there’s a revelation.

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fredster
2 months ago

Lot stuff has reared it’s ugly head for years like lack run game, poor secondary play, poor pass protection at times. What is somewhat surprising is now all sudden the defense can’t tackle. It’s been an issue building for weeks too. Giants game they missed lot tackles too. Bottom line on offense is they can’t run ball against good d still and they take too many risky, low percentage shots deep. If Brady has good run game and play action he and Bucs would be unstoppable on offense IMO. On defense I’m not saying Dean and Bunting are busts yet,… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by fredster
drdneast
2 months ago

Not only will we not make the Super Bowl with Lefto as the OC, there is a good chance we won’t make it to the playoffs.
I watched the Rams highlights from the week before and saw the Seahawks gashing them on toss plays. What do we do, slam the ball up into the same A gap time after time on first down.

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BigSombrero
Reply to  drdneast
2 months ago

Cant run the toss if the running backs can’t catch.

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Spruce
2 months ago

That was a good game against a premier defense the only bad thing being the end of the game. The Bucs are what they are. Marginal coaching, a hodge podge of promising young talent and a bunch of free agent picks with age or behavior issues. Performing exactly as predicted before the season started. Thinking Brady was going to magically make the Bucs the Patriots at the height of their reign was a fantasy. A loss next week is the greatest likelihood and even if it happens it’s still a relatively smooth cruise to the playoffs.Win it and it improves… Read more »

tman_1006
2 months ago

The entire defensive line should be on here, Goff had over 50 passes and the Bucs had 0 sacks. I like Byron Leftwich (he seems like a cool guy) but you can tell he is still learning on the job. I would like to see more of Scotty Miller (who was doing well before Brown came,1-2 since )on the field with the big 3. Also here is Leftwichs play calls run up the middle on 1st and then on second a empty backfield. Also kinda of predictable when Miller is in the game it is for a play action shot… Read more »

Bucc My Life
2 months ago

Devin White jumping offsides on 3rd & 2 at the 4 yard line didnt help, set up the Rams with their first td.

Arians should be at the top here. Good coaches adapt their schemes and playcalling for their players, opponents, and gameflow. Bad coaches just ram the best players they can find through the only scheme they know how to run.

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eaustinyoung
Reply to  Bucc My Life
2 months ago

6 plays were motioned. 6.

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scubog
2 months ago

From my perspective, the passes to the RB’s being called “drops”, looked off-target to me. Not to make an excuse for our RB duo, but even with the Rams playing their two safeties deep, the O-line got absolutely no push. We just seemed to give up on the run even though the Rams were inviting us to hand the ball off. Is it me, or has LB Devin White been a bit invisible of late? Haven’t see the sideline to sideline force that we saw earlier. Like many, looks to me that since Vita Vea went on IR the defense… Read more »

43 Is Only Old in Human Years
2 months ago

Trouble is when signing the greatest of all times you are not necessarily getting the greatest of right now. Another thought is that we amassed so much talent there isn’t enough footballs to go around and we aren’t getting the football to our playmakers enough.

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Bill
2 months ago

I always felt we should have gone after Bridgwater and next year move up in the draft to sign a decent backup. Brady is the GOAT however he hs bairly average now. His skills have eroded and he should have retired. I doubt we will make the playoffs this year because KC is going to mop the field with us and we may not get past Atlanta twice. After we loose to the Chiefs we will have to run the table and hope we get help elsewhere just so we can get in to the playoffs and promptly be eliminated… Read more »

RW
RW
2 months ago

For all those blaming Brady for the other night please read Jon Ledyard’s article about the Bucs problems on 1st down. Brady made some bad decisions but there’s lots of blame to go around.

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JSW
JSW
1 month ago

Carlton Davis is very good and would be a great number 2 corner on any defense in the NFL. Jemel Dean has all the physical tools in the world (speed, size, length), and he comes across as a really nice guy, but just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you know what I mean. (An IQ only slightly higher than Ronald Jones II.) And I have no use for Sean Murphy Bunting. He reminds me of a Vernon Hargraves III want-to-be. ‘Let me smoke some hooka and party with my ladies – that honing my craft thing is… Read more »