Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 24-21 loss to Detroit Sunday.
NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Greg Auman, @gregauman: You can’t win a game with five turnovers. Too many mistakes on offense, too many long pass plays on defense, and Bucs are 4-9. Again, noble that they can battle to tie the game in the fourth, but they have a ton of experience digging themselves out of holes.
ANOTHER LOSS, ANOTHER LOSING SEASON
Tom Jones, @tomwjones: The Bucs turned the ball over five times. Lions QB Matt Stafford completed 80 percent of his passes. How was this game tied at 21 in the final moments? Maybe that says more about Detroit than it does about Tampa Bay. Nevertheless, the Bucs lose again, guaranteeing another losing season. Did the Bucs show fight? Yes. Yes, they did. They also showed they still aren’t a very good football team.
ONE FOR THE JOBS
Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: From Gerald McCoy to Jameis Winston to Dirk Koetter, and old reliable, Leonard Wester, the Bucs put aside sloppy play and played for their football lives Sunday. That’s what made it so pathetic.
Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics: After committing five turnovers, the Bucs had no business winning this football game. Improbably, they overcame their mistakes and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to set up a dramatic finish. Like last week’s loss to the Packers, however, it was only a tease. The offense had the chance to take the lead inside the final three minutes but ended up punting. Stafford, who completed 82 percent of his passes Sunday, promptly led the Lions right down the field and put them in position to kick the game-winning field. Seconds later, the stadium flashed a promo for next Monday’s game. It didn’t feature a player. It featured a former coach. And with that, Jon Gruden Week begins.
SOMEBODY MAKE A PLAY?
Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you: It’s the plea that’s gone unanswered all season. In their closest losses, the Bucs have needed someone to make a big catch, someone to break a big run, someone to force a fumble, someone to come up with a sack. And in the closing minutes against New England, Buffalo, Green Bay, that play has never materialized. Tampa Bay fans put out the call again in a winnable game against Detroit, but there was no reply at all. No reply at all.