Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Tom Brady gets the ball with his team down 2 points and just over 90 left in the game; he has a timeout to work with.
Good game, Bucs win, right?
Wrong. On Halloween, the ghost of Drew Brees took over Tom Brady’s avocado-fueled body, leading the GOAT to throw a pick-6, giving the Saints a win.
But let’s not pin this loss all on poor old Tom. He had an outstanding second half, throwing a trio of touchdowns, even giving the Bucs’ defense one last chance to simply stop Saints backup Trevor Siemian and take home the W. Instead of doing its job, the Bucs defense did what they had done all day; committed a couple stupid penalties (they ended up committing 11 tota for 99 yards) and allowed a no-name quarterback to pick them apart like they were a high school JV team.
Siemian ended up with a TD and 159 yards through 3 quarters. Not groundbreaking, but had he played a full game, Jameis Winston’s backup would’ve ended up with over 200 passing yards. Siemian hasn’t played a snap since 2019; that’s not a good look for Tampa Bay.
And before you start sounding like a Saints fan, blaming your own team’s incompetence on the referees, the Bucs absolutely deserved to lose this game.
Their defense has yet to show me that they could stop me and my editors from dropping 3 or 4 touchdowns in a half on their heads. And even if they did manage to string together some plays where they stopped us, their secondary was probably holding one of the wide receivers. Or maybe someone hit the quarterback half an hour after he’s released the ball, giving away a first down on a stupid penalty (they did that 6 times Sunday).
On Sunday, the pass rush was nonexistent, and even when they did manage to almost get to the quarterback, the Bucs contain was so atrocious that the quarterback escaped the pocket and rushed for a positive gain.
Now, despite all of that, this isn’t an end-of-the-world loss. The Bucs didn’t play poorly in every facet of the game. Tampa Bay’s offense is still dynamite, and the defense had a stretch where it held New Orleans’ offense to just a yard over 7 plays.
Clearly the Bucs are going to the playoffs, and they’re a good team. But, man. Losing to a team led by Trevor Siemian for 3 quarters is inexcusable.
The Bucs are still 6-2 and going into a bye week where they can get healthy (Antonio Brown and Gronk are dealing with a multitude of injuries, Lavonte David didn’t look right and JPP is still dealing with that rotator cuff). Hopefully this loss can humble the Bucs, and they’ll come out angry.
What a discouraging game.
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