Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: The most galling things about Bucs' 30-24 overtime loss

TAMPA — You couldn't draw up a more galling Bucs loss.

Try the Oakland Raiders committed more penalties in a single game than any team in NFL history — and won.

Try the battle of the highly drafted former Florida State kickers, Sebastian Janikowski versus Roberto Aguayo. Janikow­ski, the Oakland veteran, nearly out-Aguayoed Aguayo, missing two field goals, one at the end of regulation, one in overtime — and the Raiders won.

And there was the touchdown catch by former Bucs offensive tackle Donald Penn and the end zone celebration that went with it. No hard feelings but …

"The Bucs made a big mistake in cutting me," Penn, 33, said. "I'm back."

The Haunting.

Hang this one on the door and you'll scare everyone away tonight.

It was a dreadful Bucs loss. The Raiders could do no wrong, even when they tried to do all wrong. The Bucs refused to let them lose. In overtime, it seemed like neither team wanted to win this game. In the end, the Bucs wanted to win it less.

Galling.

For the Raiders, it was one big fun house. A jubilant Penn led the way. "I wanted this win so bad," he said. "I thought I was going to retire a Buccaneer."

By the way, the Raiders have scrapped any plans to move to Las Vegas. They're moving here. They want to play the Bucs every week. It was all sorts of glee for the Raiders against the Bucs. Who needs to carve Halloween pumpkins when you can carve the Bucs defense instead?

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr threw for 513 yards, breaking a 52-year-old Raiders record. They put up more yards on the Bucs (626) than any team ever had in a single game.

Oakland coach Jack Del Rio completed his weeklong Florida swing 3-0 — wins over the Jaguars and Bucs, and his kid Luke's win with Florida over Georgia. Only thing he didn't do was hit the beach. It was like playing in the sand anyway, at least compared to the Bucs' misery. And something hit me as I watched Donald Penn celebrate:

Penn was dumped by the Bucs in 2014 after the team acquired free agent left tackle Anthony Collins.

You know, sometimes you need to let a standalone sentence breathe, like a good wine.

Something else hit me about Penn. He was with the Bucs in 2008, the last time the Raiders played the Bucs in Tampa. It was the season finale. The Raiders won and the Bucs finished a four-game losing streak to go 9-7 and miss the playoffs. It was the day the music died. Jon Gruden was later fired. Derrick Brooks was shown the door. By the way, Penn is the only Bucs starter in that game who is still in the league.

He signed a new contract with Oakland before this season. Sunday was his 148th consecutive NFL start.

I'm just saying.

Know what's weird? You wouldn't have known it by Sunday, but the Raiders have been worse than the Bucs since the teams met on Super Bowl Sunday 13 years ago. It's true. The Bucs have made the playoffs only twice and won exactly no playoff games since winning the Bowl. The Raiders haven't even made the playoffs. The Bucs have had seven seasons of at least 10 losses since that Super Bowl. The Raiders have had 10, including seven in a row after the Bowl. Imagine that.

Cut to Sunday, all those smiling Raiders.

"We ran a naked (bootleg), and I blocked down, and everybody just came to the right," Penn said of his TD grab. He added that he had a perfectly fine talk with the Glazers before the game.

"It's all love. I love the Glazers," Penn said.

I love the Glazers.

And now back to the party …

"The crazy thing is I've been on the offensive coordinator all year about that play," Penn said. "He kept saying just wait. He saved it for the perfect week."

Leave it to the Bucs.

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