By: Garrett Ballard
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 27-22 on Thursday night to the Baltimore Ravens. It was the same old story for the Buccaneers this season, as their offense fell flat for the majority of the night.
The Buccaneers started out well, scoring on both of their first two drives, but the momentum died shortly after. Multiple three-and-outs killed any momentum this offense had going early on.
“I think we had a good start, and then stuff stopped clicking for a little bit,” offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs said.
“We just have to play better,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “Certainly on offense.”
Brady finished the night 26-44 for 325 yards and one late touchdown. He looked off all night, missing throws to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin that are normally layups. The Buccaneers move to 3-5, marking the first time Tom Brady has had that record in his entire career.
As many keep searching for an answer as to why this offense is struggling, offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich is at the center of attention. His playcalling and situational awareness are, rightfully so, being questioned by analysts and fans everywhere. People say his game plans are predictable and are setting the team up for 3rd and longs, which they convert at the lowest rate in the NFL.
The Buccaneers rank at the bottom of the league in rushing but continue to run the ball in crucial situations. Reporters have presented Leftwich with statistics to prove that and he laughed them off. Due to these frustrations, fans of the Buccaneers organization have been inquiring about a coaching change.
When asked about a potential coaching change, head coach Todd Bowles was not dismissive.
“When you’re not playing well, everything is on the table,” Bowles said.
With a 10-day break and the trade deadline on the horizon, the Buccaneers could really shake things up if they deem it necessary.
The mood after the game was somber, Brady sat at his locker alone for a good twenty minutes before coming into the interview room. Evans was shaking his head as he walked down the tunnel toward the locker room.
Despite the attitude, the offensive leaders know what they are capable of. During interviews, Evans was adamant that this is not the end of the season for this team.
“We got to go earn it,” Brady said. “We have to dig deep and see what we’re all about.”
One thing is certain, however, and that is this Buccaneers offense is not playing up to its potential, and it is disappointing to see.
Coming up, the Buccaneers’ schedule gets no easier. Next week, the ever frustrating Los Angeles Rams come to Tampa. The following week is a trip to Germany to play the surging Seattle Seahawks. This stretch of games is crucial for the Buccaneers if they want to remain anywhere near the playoff race.