It takes a lot for something I’ve watched to make me feel physically ill, but Thursday fit the bill. I went to a local Buffalo Wild Wings in my area near Houston, TX, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Initially, I was upset because they chose to leave the audio on the Auburn vs. Kansas State game until it went to halftime.
Editorial note from OldSchool: I am not saying that Patches going to BW3 caused this loss but there is no evidence…absolutely NONE that can refute that claim. Also it is imperative to note that Winghouse is not available in Texas so his choices were limited.
I should’ve let them leave it there, rather than demanding it be switched. A friend came with me, and he went home at halftime. To be fair, he isn’t a Tampa Bay fan, but I know he felt bad for us after watching even one half. I stayed until the game ended, and it continued to disappointment me until the very end.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, Thursday was horrible. It was bad on every single side of the ball, and there were mistakes coming from everywhere. It was also the national spotlight. Thursday Night Football on CBS featured a nationwide beating, following a week of players getting arrested for that sort of conduct taking place in their own homes.
The Atlanta Falcons outplayed, outscored, outcoached, and simply outdid the Buccaneers. Why? That’s the question. Why did the Buccaneers get beat so badly? A loss is one thing, but this was embarrassing. Some of the things we knew going into this game came true. Atlanta had just as dominant an offense as they showed to start the season.
Our battered defense wasn’t on the same level as the Bengals, and Atlanta also had the bonus of having this year’s sixth overall draft pick, Jake Matthews, back on the offensive line to give Matt Ryan even more time. Combine Jake Matthews and the rest of the line’s play with our largely second string defensive line, and it’s not going to go well.
Since our defensive line was completely inept and unable to provide the slightest bit of pressure on Matt Ryan, the rest of the defense was left to try and pick up the slack. Lavonte David looked a little more like his usual self, leading the team with eight tackles and also causing a forced fumble. This was one of three fumbles by the Atlanta Falcons. Those might have made a difference had Bobby Rainey not fumbled the ball twice as well.
I’ve been a staunch supporter of Bobby Rainey, but his ball security issues in this game were crippling. In early times when we still had a chance to make it again, his mistakes cost the team big time. The very little momentum that the offense had was nullified in those moments. Speaking of people I’ve been supportive of, there’s also Josh McCown. Remember when I told you to trust him?
I’m not delusional enough to think this loss was entirely on Josh, because no one gave him any help, but his meager 58 passing yards along with another interception didn’t help either. The offensive line started flimsy, and appeared to get worse as time went on. Evan Dietrich-Smith had been solid, although not perfect, to start the season. I understand and am even glad he was angry about the way the game was going, but two unnecessary roughness penalties and two botched snaps (one into his own behind) aren’t going to help things.
Mike Glennon was respectable in his time on the field, but clearly was working in garbage time when he managed to get the offense working. If you score touchdown when you’re down 56-0 and nobody is around to see it…did it really happen? Now we certainly saw it, but the thought behind that age old philosophical question stands. Special teams was atrocious, and Solomon Patton didn’t help things much. He appeared to be manhandled every single time someone got to him, and I was honestly surprised he didn’t let the ball get stripped.
Amidst the trainwreck, there were a few moments that worked hard to wash down the horrible taste it left. Dane Fletcher and Danny Lansanah appeared to be playing their behinds off for most of the game, and Lansanah showed it when he intercepted TJ Yates in the fourth quarter and took it in for a touchdown. Mike Evans was solid in the moments he was given, but unfortunately he was part of an offense that made the Falcons look elite on defense. That’s the same Atlanta Falcons defense that gave up 472 yards of offense in both of their first two games, and subsequently held us to only two first downs in the entire first half.
This game was horrible on every side of the ball, and Lovie Smith’s comments after the game summed it up. “There’s not a whole lot for me to say really after a game like that. I’m embarrassed by our play. We failed in all phases. Of course it starts with coaching, starts with the head football coach. I thought I had our football team ready to play. Obviously we weren’t ready to play.” The only thing left to do is move forward. Thursday was bad, but there are thirteen games left to be played. With players on their way back from injury, we certainly aren’t done yet. Sometimes, the Bucs life is tough, but it’s still a Bucs life for me.