NEW ORLEANS — Here's the Times' Bucs coverage team's quick analysis of Tampa Bay's 30-10 loss Sunday to the Saints:
BAD TO WORSE
Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud: No way to sugarcoat it. This is what a team that has lost its way looks like. Bucs fans should recognize it. Now Jameis Winston is too hurt to play. I was told this was a VERY important game. For Dirk Koetter. For Jason Licht. For the Glazers who will hold everyone accountable. Now they're dealing with a possible suspension for Mike Evans and what looked to be a serious injury to Will Gholston. A lot to unravel here.
Greg Auman, @gregauman: At 2-6, with five straight losses, the Bucs have proven themselves to be so much less than fans had hoped they would be. On the road, they're barely competitive. What's left? How does a team stay together with no shot at the playoffs? Can Koetter salvage enough wins to save his job? Like so many games, this first half of 2017 has had little to be positive about.
ANOTHER SEASON DOWN THE DRAIN
Tom Jones, @tomwjones: Just when you thought the Bucs had hit rock bottom, they got out a jackhammer and dug about another six feet deep. Yeesh, this was bad. And on top of that, Winston is hurt. Lob another non-playoff season on the pile, and you have to at least consider the job status of the head coach and general manager. And the bad news? We're only halfway through this mess.
THE WHITE FLAG
Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: Your team is an embarrassment, Bucs fans. You're used to failure, but now it's 10 years without playoffs, dead ahead. It's over. The Bucs will put Winston in bubble wrap and save his shoulder and maybe buy some time. Just as well. Winston doesn't need to be here for the silliness, no cheap shots, like Mike Evans' clown act. The children's hour has begun. Koetter and Jason Licht should be embarrassed -— and on notice. If only Hard Knocks was here to film the house cleaning.
THE YUCS ARE BACK
Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics: This isn't a football team. It's an embarrassment. The Bucs can't even punt right. Heck, they can't stand on the sidelines without getting into trouble. This team lacks depth, but what's become clear over the past several weeks is that it lacks more important qualities: professionalism and maturity. That's on the coaching staff. Their only hope next week is that the Jets miss their plane. They don't look ready for Josh McCown and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you: Clearly, the Bucs lack a number of championship elements, but this game reflected their dearth of discipline and veteran leadership. The crucial unforced penalties, the critical special teams error and the blown offensive opportunities all point to a missing attention to detail that quality veteran leaders demand. Winston is more cheerleader than a guy who will get in the face of players. The defensive stars lead more by example. As the pulse of the 2017 Bucs season grows faint, where's the emotional heartbeat?