The Bucs didn’t lose because of injuries

Despite a stellar defensive performance, Tampa Bay still can’t beat New Orleans in the regular season.

click to enlarge If Brady is going to get all the credit when this offense looks as good as it should, then he absolutely deserves the blame when it gets dog-walked at home by a division rival. - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Brady is going to get all the credit when this offense looks as good as it should, then he absolutely deserves the blame when it gets dog-walked at home by a division rival.
Let’s make a few things clear. The Bucs didn’t lose 9-0 on Sunday because Mike Evans and Chris Godwin went down in the first half or because Leonard Fournette went down in the second.

Tampa Bay could’ve had Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, hell, even Jesus Christ running routes out there. With the throws and decision making by Brady, the Bucs still would’ve been shut out.

The GOAT missed throws. He fumbled after pulling more of that bullshit where he doesn’t slide despite being a 44-year-old who runs a 30-minute 40-yard dash. He took inexcusable sacks on third-down situations and seemed bound and determined to prove that he could complete passes down the field instead of focusing on picking up the first down.

I mean, if Brady doesn’t fumble near the red zone and just slides, Ryan Succop probably comes on and hits a field goal. And Succop’s missed field goal early in the game? Yeah, that came after a six-yard sack of Brady forced Succop into a 45-yard field goal instead of a 39-yarder.

If Brady is going to get all the credit when this offense looks as good as it should with three All-Pro wideouts, one of the greatest tight ends of all time and a Top 5 offensive line, then he absolutely deserves the blame when it gets dog-walked at home by a division rival.

And don’t even blame the Bucs injuries because look at who was out for the Saints. New Orleans had Tebow-lite—AKA backup quarterback Taysom Hill—in the game after James was injured last time the Saints played the Bucs (you know, when Brady got outplayed by the other Saints backup QB Trevor Siemian). New Orleans also had three injured offensive linemen, including tackles who are among the best at their position. And don’t forget that the Saints’ best wide receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris, who doubles as their return specialist, both didn’t play tonight.

I’m not buying the injury excuse. Both teams played with backups; the Bucs, especially Brady, just shit the bed.

While it’s quite fun to hate on Brady because everyone seems to have their noses so far up his ass (honestly, I’d be uncomfortable and struggle in games, too), let’s turn our attention to the other side of the football.

Tampa Bay’s defense was absolutely outstanding. I mean, giving up single digits despite being down two starters in an already rough secondary is not something to scoff at. The unit got after Hill, made him uncomfortable and didn’t allow the athletic QB to escape the pocket and use his legs to gain yards, limiting him to 33 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Hell, it even managed to slow down superstar running back Alvin Kamara, who only got 31 total yards from scrimmage on the game. In short, the D did exactly what it was supposed to do, and then some.
The special teams play, save for that missed field goal by Succop, was also quite nice. Return man Jaelon Darden made some nice returns, and the unit even managed to pin the Saints inside their own two-yard line at the end of the first half to keep the game a one-possession affair going into halftime (not that it mattered).

Overall, tonight’s certainly a discouraging performance, because this defense gave the Bucs momentum only to see it wasted by an offense that couldn’t have scored on Alabama or Georgia’s defense.

Hopefully Godwin (knee), Evans and Fournette (hamstrings) aren’t out for an extended period of time and the Bucs can bounce back next week against the Panthers then end the season on a three-game winning streak. If they don’t, they’ll be forced to play the Rams, Cardinals, Packers or Cowboys on the road. None of those teams are Washington or the Saints in the playoffs. They’re actual competition.

I’m gonna go throw up. See y’all next week.

UPDATE 12/20/21 9:45 p.m. Tom's 44.

Follow @ctbrantley12 on Twitter.

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