The Bucs have no one to blame but themselves

If you can convince me that the NFL was conspiring to eliminate the league’s most popular player and one of the most popular athletes in America, then I will gladly hear your argument.

click to enlarge Did the refs go out there and force Tom Brady to do his best Mike Glennon impression for three-and-a-half quarters? No. - PHOTO VIA TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Did the refs go out there and force Tom Brady to do his best Mike Glennon impression for three-and-a-half quarters? No.
I could have been watching “The Wire.” I could have been rewatching one of the greatest movies of the 21st century, “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.”

But no. Instead, I decided to spend my Sunday afternoon watching the Bucs submit one of the most frustrating, gut-wrenching performances in recent history.

Yes, the Bucs lost to the Rams Sunday afternoon in embarrassing fashion.

Tom Brady and Ndamukong Suh both got flagged for taunting penalties in the first half, and the Bucs were down 20-3 going into halftime, despite forcing and recovering a fumble inside the five-yard line to end the first half.

Tampa Bay even gave up a Matthew Stafford QB sneak for a touchdown after failing to do anything offensively (shocker) to start the second half.

Brady looked like an old man focused more on retirement and being angry about having a bloody lip than the job at hand for most of the game, throwing an awful pick at the end of the first half and looking just as pedestrian for the majority of the game.

But then the comeback started. The Bucs’ front seven forced turnovers. Brady started one of those seemingly legendary comebacks that make up for truly atrocious performances at the beginning of the game.

It wasn’t enough. The Rams got the ball last, and former Bucs kicker Matt Gay hit a 30 yarder to win the game.

You can blame Tristan Wirfs being inactive. You can try to blame the refs. But I just have a hard time buying either of those theories.

Was injured offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs going to help on coverage, where safety Mike Edwards decided that Van Jefferson in the slot was more important to double than sending even one man to cover Cooper Kupp on a deep route on the Rams’ second touchdown of the game (which came on a third and 19, by the way)? What about when Antoine Winfield, Jr. cost the Bucs this game by letting that same guy Kupp blow by him into field goal range?

Did the refs go out there and force Tom Brady to do his best Mike Glennon impression for three-and-a-half quarters?

No. The Bucs did not deserve to win this game, and they honestly could have lost by more if the Rams played an actually decent football game. Plus, if you can convince me that the NFL was conspiring to eliminate the league’s most popular player and one of the most popular athletes in America, then I will gladly hear your argument.

The Bucs simply got outplayed. They looked about as bad as they have all season for the majority of the game, and they picked a hell of a time to do it. They clearly failed to come up with a game plan to stop Kupp, who ended up with 183 yards receiving.

The Bucs made stupid mistake after stupid mistake, and one was the final nail in the coffin.

Now we get to watch the Rams play the 49ers for the NFC Championship. I mean, my God, what a boring ass game that will be, and after watching this one, that’s saying something.

Oh, well. The Bucs have no one to blame but themselves. And if this was Brady’s last game, what a way to go out with a whimper.

Don’t fire those cannons, don’t celebrate. The Bucs are done, and they might not be back to the playoffs for a while if Brady is indeed done.

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