Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Lions: Grading Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit

TAMPA — It was football weather, cool, crisp, a day for the Bucs and their fans. That explains the crowd. Stow the zinc oxide. Where’s my muff?

Oh, and break out the record book.

For the 28th time in their 42-year history, the Bucs are losers. They secured their ninth loss of 2017 by dropping one to the Lions, 24-21. Hard Knocks was long ago replaced by harder reality, and the ninth loss clinched it, despite a roaring comeback, despite Leonard Wester, touchdown machine, plus five turnovers and rumors of a troubled relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and head coach Dirk Koetter.

Welcome to Ice Station Glazer.

STOCKING STUFFER

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on GameDay Morning that the relationship between quarterback Winston and Koetter is "not in a good place." Who knows where this one came from, but the guess is that it has legs, only we don’t know whose legs.

It’s par for the course in disaster seasons. Is someone trying to save his job? Wouldn’t it be great if they were all angry at the offense, which has been awful most of the season? Winston led a tying drive, but also threw two picks and fumbled. Koetter constructed a two-minute offense, only there were two minutes left when he was done. Can we just forget the final three games and just have rumors the rest of the way? Grade: F

YOU CAN’T STOP LEONARD WESTER. YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN HIM.

Here’s to Bucs offensive tackle (eligible) Leonard Wester, who made his first NFL catch and touchdown to help tie the game at 21-21. Winston found Wester alone in the end zone. Wester looked every bit the hero. The Bucs defense, motivated beyond belief, then gave up the winning Detroit drive. Grade: A

ILLEGAL USE OF 10 MINUTES OUT OF ALL OUR LIVES

Really? It took all that time to figure out that O.J. Howard caught the ball and was not defenseless when he fumbled after being hit by Detroit’s Quandre Diggs? People at home saw the replay 106 more times than anyone in the stands at Raymond James, which was an abomination. Those rascal zebras eventually corrected themselves and gave Detroit the ball. Meanwhile, you finished your Christmas shopping. And I know who gets the binoculars. Grade: F

YOU’RE OUT, JAMEIS

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David, not Winston, delivered the pregame speech. Fingers never touched his mouth. Well done. Grade: B

IMAGINE IF HE’D REALLY BEEN HURT

Lions quarterback Matt Stafford came into Sunday’s game with a bruised hand from last week’s game at Baltimore. Stafford threw two interceptions and was limited to 36-44 passing for 381 yards. Never overestimate the world’s most overwhelmed secondary, even with Brent Grimes and Robert McClain picking off passes. Grade: F.

NO. 80

Howard is a silver lining for this Bucs season. He caught another touchdown Sunday. I don’t know who’ll be here next season, except for him. He’s a keeper. Grade: A

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY SEWER

Here, back together on stage for the first time, let’s have a big hand for all the other losing Bucs seasons: 0-14, 2-12, 5-11, 5-10-1, 2-14, 6-10, 2-14, 2-14, 4-11, 5-11, 5-11, 6-10, 3-13, 5-11, 5-11, 6-10, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9, 5-11, 4-12, 3-13, 4-12, 7-9, 4-12, 2-14, 6-10. Grade: F

FACE OF A SEASON

That roughing the passer the passer penalty, for no good reason, shows just how undisciplined these Bucs are. It’s just the kind of clown move that reflects on coaching. No discipline on the field. Grade: F

FACE OF A SEASON, II

You couldn’t miss the emotions on the face of Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy when he left the game in the second quarter because of a shoulder/biceps injury. McCoy has done all he could this season, and might yet make another Pro Bowl. He will miss the playoffs again. It has been eight seasons. That might McCoy’s ultimate legacy in the game: Didn’t make playoffs. But watching him being consoled by teammates and coaches, with him nearly in tears, made you realize that no matter what, the man cares. A lot of these men do. Grade: A

Sign up for our daily Bucs Red Zone email newsletter here

Comments
Dungy on NFL and protests during anthem: Listen to why it matters to players

Dungy on NFL and protests during anthem: Listen to why it matters to players

Tony Dungy says the issue of NFL players protesting during the national anthem has been a divisive topic, but he hopes both sides can come together by listening to why players care enough to choose to protest."We really have to understand what these ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Bucs’ corner injuries press Justin Evans into cameo at nickel

Bucs’ corner injuries press Justin Evans into cameo at nickel

The Bucs continue to be hit hard with injuries at cornerback, and for the third straight practice, starting safety Justin Evans was pressed into a cameo as the team's nickel cornerback on Tuesday."Because we're getting stressed in our depth at corner...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy to enter Bucs’ Ring of Honor

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy to enter Bucs’ Ring of Honor

With Tony Dungy at One Buc Place today for a news conference in advance of his induction into the Bucs' Ring of Honor, Rick Stroud recalls Dungy's tenure as the team's head coach.Dungy established a winning culture in Tampa Bay and led the ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Even bigger: Bucs TE Antony Auclair up to 270 for 2nd NFL season

Even bigger: Bucs TE Antony Auclair up to 270 for 2nd NFL season

A year ago, when Antony Auclair made the Bucs' roster as an undrafted rookie, the Canadian import was already the largest tight end at 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds.That's even more the case now as he heads into his second season with the confidence that c...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brent Grimes happy to be back, healthy at Bucs practice

Brent Grimes happy to be back, healthy at Bucs practice

Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes had returned to practice in a limited capacity Saturday, but Monday saw him back in 11-on-11 full-squad work for the first time in nearly two weeks."We want Brent Grimes out there. He's our best cover guy, so it's grea...
Published: 08/13/18

Madden 19 predictions: The Bucs are bad, the Browns are good and the world might be ending

You thought the Buccaneers’ playoff drought was going to end last season. Instead, they lost six of their first eight games and limped to a 5-11 finish.If only someone or something had warned you.Actually, something did.A video game.While every...
Published: 08/13/18
Peyton Barber has edge on starting RB job over Ronald Jones

Peyton Barber has edge on starting RB job over Ronald Jones

It's still too early in the preseason to declare a starter at some positions, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter took a step in that that direction Monday at running back.After an underwhelming performance by rookie Ronald Jones in the preseason opener at M...
Published: 08/13/18
Koetter on Bucs’ practice fight: ‘Big deal. I mean, it’s football’

Koetter on Bucs’ practice fight: ‘Big deal. I mean, it’s football’

One day after a video showed an extended fight at Jaguars practice, and two days before the Bucs start joint practices with the Titans, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he wasn't worried about a minor late-practice skirmish between players."We had a figh...
Published: 08/13/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Bucs’ QB depth the best in franchise history?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Bucs’ QB depth the best in franchise history?

Do the Bucs have the best trio of quarterbacks they have ever had? What does Vernon Hargreaves' injury mean for the secondary? How did Tampa Bay's running backs fare in the preseason opener? Rick Stroud answers these questions and more on today'...
Published: 08/13/18
Alan Cross may not look like a typical NFL tight end, but there’s nothing he can’t do on the football field

Alan Cross may not look like a typical NFL tight end, but there’s nothing he can’t do on the football field

TAMPA — Alan Cross always has been the boy on the bubble. A linebacker in high school, he walked on to his college team, Memphis, as a long snapper. He had no scholarship offers. Hugh Freeze, then head coach at Arkansas State, told Cr...
Published: 08/12/18