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Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New York Giants: Takeaways from the Bucs’ 32-31 loss Sunday

The optimism of Carolina is gone and some outstanding individual efforts are wasted.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay (9), far right, attempts a 34 yard field goal in the final seconds against the New York Giants Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 32-31. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Sep. 22
Updated Sep. 23

TAMPA — Takeaways from the Tampa Bay Times’ Bucs coverage team following the Bucs’ 32-31 loss to the Giants Sunday at Raymond James Stadium:

Optimism has left the building

John Romano, columnist: For Tampa Bay, the heartache was expected later this fall. Maybe against better teams. Certainly, against older quarterbacks.

But it seems like misery owns this place. No matter how many times the Buccaneers change coaches, no matter how many placekickers they seem to find. No matter how well Jameis Winston plays, no matter how many sacks the defense delivers.

Tampa Bay cannot seem to figure out how to play a complete game. There is always one moment, one kick, one blown coverage that dooms an otherwise commendable effort.

The waste of some outstanding efforts

Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs beat/sports enterprise writer: The Bucs wasted some exemplary individual efforts on Sunday.

Shaq Barrett’s four sacks? Mike Evans’ three first-half touchdowns. But you can’t give away a 28-10 halftime lead. It’s as simple as that.

Matt Gay’s miss from 34 yards out will get the blame, but what about the delay of game call that pushed the ball back five yards? Granted the special teams wasn’t its best. Gay misses an extra point and another was blocked.

But the Bucs have beaten themselves in both of their losses this season.

This one’s on Arians

Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: Don’t the Bucs have a game management coach? If they don’t, they should hire one. Pronto. If they do, they should listen to him. Pronto. In back-to-back games, they have made critical mistakes in the final quarter. Against Carolina, Bruce Arians called two timeouts in a row — which resulted in a penalty — but Vernon Hargreaves’ tackle of Christian McCaffrey saved the day. Late in the fourth quarter against the Giants on Sunday, Arians decided to not risk it and it cost him his biscuit. On fourth and 2 from the 5-yard line, the Bucs kicked a field goal instead of going for the first down or touchdown. That decision opened the door for the Giants, who took a 32-31 lead five minutes later.


  1. We've seen enough sad walks to the locker room. It's time we've reached the tough love portion of our program with Bucs coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bucs need to stop making excuses when Winston has one of those meltdown games that have become so familiar in Tampa Bay. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Stop coddling Jameis Winston. If he’s playing himself out of Tampa Bay, the Bucs should let him know now. | John Romano
  2. Aaron Murray played in seven games earlier this year for the Atlanta Legends of the AAF. He passed for 1,048 yards and threw three touchdown passes to seven interceptions. RICK SCUTERI  |  Associated Press
    Murray won a state title in 2008, started for four seasons at Georgia and played briefly in the NFL.
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What else went wrong in London, ranking the Rays, Lightning worries, Gators’ SEC title hopes.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) runs onto the field to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in London. TIM IRELAND  |  AP
    Martin Fennelly: Coach Bruce Arians may not be worried after six games, but history says his optimism is misplaced.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians walks on the field before Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers in London. ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    And that’s especially true for turnover-prone Jameis Winston, who will remain the starter when Tampa Bay next takes the field Oct. 27 vs. the Titans.
  6. Since he entered the NFL in 2015, Jameis Winston has been responsible for a league-high 87 giveaways, including six Sunday. JEFF HAYNES  |  Associated Press
    Sunday was a tough day for the players taken at the top of the 2015 NFL draft. The Titans at least are realizing what the Bucs are denying: They have a quarterback problem.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) makes a touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    An ugly loss leaves a sour taste, and several players would like to get back on the field immediately to right the ship.
  8. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Chiefs during the second half of the game in Kansas City. ED ZURGA  |  AP
    Road To Miami: Quarterback play continues to soar, for some teams - allowing us to realize who’s coming
  9. Pat and Richard McBride of Leicester have been Bucs fans for 34 years. They've suffered through some bad Tampa Bay seasons but remain loyalty, unlike fans of the other team owned by the Glazer Family, Manchester United. Eduardo A. Encina/Tampa Bay Times
    #GlazersOut has become a popular slogan and hashtag as the team battles on-field woes and reported financial issues. But “Manchester U. fans are good at one thing and that’s complaining,” said one...
  10. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota looks on from the sideline during the second half of a loss to the Broncos, during which he is benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill. DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP
    His status for an Oct. 27 game against the Bucs isn’t clear after he is benched against the Broncos.