Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weather didn't brighten brutal Bucs performance

TAMPA — Has a weather delay ever been so welcome? You could almost hear what was left of the crowd at Raymond James Stadium saying, "Does this mean we don't have to watch anymore?"

I think some Bucs said that, too.

I mean, coach Dirk Koetter, down 27-7 to the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos but with more than seven minutes left in the game, chose to punt on fourth down just inside the Denver side of the field.

Yes, the Broncos were better, just as the Cardinals were better. But the Bucs made it look even worse.

A couple of Jameis Winston interceptions? On the way. Lousy clock management? Koetter again to the rescue. Mindless decisions that took possible points off the board? Charles Sims, come on down! And a Gerald McCoy injury to boot. Health is becoming an issue for this team. When it rains …

Generally pointless

F Yes, the Broncos have a great defense, but it's quite clear that the Bucs are sputtering on offense at all the wrong times. And they don't know how to take care of the football. They are a turnover machine. Two more interceptions from Jameis Winston, who is killing the Bucs with his mistakes. He is pressing. He is trying to do too much. And someone needs to tell him when to go down. Say, when the Broncos have you around the ankles. That's a sure ticket to IR.

The land of general murmurs

B (Half-semester grade) This might have been the best effort of the season from the Bucs pass rush, at least for 30 minutes. They got after Broncos QB Trevor Siemian, sacking him three times in the first 30 minutes, even with DT Gerald McCoy going down with a calf injury in the second quarter. But the rush went way quiet after halftime.

We hear he even cabbed it to the game!

A It's for Aqib. Broncos CB Aqib Talib can't keep his name out of the papers. Jameis Winston and the Bucs were pretty good about getting him in there, too. They failed miserably as the prodigal problem child — and Super Bowl winner — returned to Tampa for his first game since the Bucs gave up on him. He made them pay. Talib picked off two lost Winston passes in the first half. Both led to Denver touchdowns. Police were not called to either scene.

Odyssey of the mind

F We would love to have traveled inside the head of Bucs RB Charles Sims at the moment in the first half that he seemingly decided to try to lateral the football while his ankles were locked up by Broncos LB Von Miller after being stuffed on third down. We would, but we do not own a Hazmat suit. Maybe Jameis Winston was calling to Sims for a lateral. "I just lost it," Sims said. Sims and Winston said they thought the play was over. Good postgame teamwork there. Denver's T.J. Ward popped Sims and the ball popped out and Denver recovered. The Bucs were down just 14-7, and they were already in field-goal range.

Nightmare on Koetter Street 3

D First came a 17-second drive that led to an Arizona touchdown before halftime of the Debacle in the Desert. A week later the Bucs were left deep inside Rams territory with a five-point loss, with a timeout left in Dirk Koetter's pocket. Then came the late first half Sunday. Three and out. An incompletion, WR Vincent Jackson shoved out of bounds after a short reception, then another incompletion. Only 16 seconds used. Punt. Broncos come down, kick a field goal for a 17-7 lead. And why was Winston in there at the end, taking hits? This has to stop.

Tangled up in Red, White and Blue

C First things first: It was not a protest. Flag unfurling is apparently a lost art. And it's like playing defensive back. Someone notices only when you get burned. By the way, you don't have to burn a flag when it touches the ground. We learned that Sunday. An oversized American flag got all turned around and upside down for a moment as it was handled by a well-meaning volunteer crew before the national anthem. No worries. Eventually we counted 50 stars and all 13 stripes. One more thing: WE WON THE RYDER CUP. Everybody is a straight U.S.-A! U.S.-A! student this morning.

Weather didn't brighten brutal Bucs performance 10/02/16 [Last modified: Sunday, October 2, 2016 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Steven Souza's two passions collide in charity fantasy football event

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Souza knows a thing or two about football.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  2. Vibe is good around Clearwater volleyball this season

    Volleyball Preps

    CLEARWATER — Katy Rice knows what a good volleyball team looks like, and the Clearwater coach believes she has a pretty good one this year. Rice was a left-side hitter on the only two teams to win a volleyball state championship at Clearwater, in 1997 and 2000.

    Clearwater High School girl's volleyball player Hailey Bosetti (OPP) plays the ball during team practice on Monday (8/14/17) at the school in Clearwater.
  3. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: "I got your back."

    Then he proved it.

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  5. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.