How do you control the football a full fifteen minutes longer than the opposing team–including 11 of the 15 minutes of the fourth quarter, and still not win?
When somebody finds the answer to that riddle, let me know, because I’ve got nuthin’.
Falcons 31 – Bucs 23
No, seriously. I’ve got jack shit for this one.
Down by 11 points as they took possession for the first time in the final period, Tampa took an excrutiating 21 plays and more than nine minutes off the game clock, and they came away with a field goal. That, right there, is all you need to know about the problems this team’s offense is having.
As for the defense, well they certainly did their part. Atlanta’s running attack essentially was DOA, held by the Bucs to a pitiful 18 yards. Yeah, you read that right. However, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a hot hand, going 20 completions on 26 pass attempts for 270+ yards and three touchdowns. Tampa QB Mike Glennon went 26-44 and two TDs, so stats-wise things weren’t so far off the mark that you can point to any one thing and realistically say, “Yeah, right there. That’s what hosed them.” One thing that bugs me is the persistence of frequent, costly penalties. Eleven of them this time, for more than a hundred yards. That’s just ridiculous.
In what is becoming a tired refrain, the Bucs certainly didn’t give up or quit. This much is obvious from that crazy marathon drive in the 4th quarter. Still, something just ain’t clicking. Beats me what it might be, but then again…I’m not paid to figure out such things, so feel free to direct these questions to the parties who are.
(Lookin’ at you, Coach S.)
The loss drops Tampa to 0-6, their worst start since the 2009 season. Atlanta’s win bumps them up to 2-4, still behind the 5-1 New Orleans Saints and the 3-3 Carolina Panthers in the NFC South. Speaking of Carolina, they’re the Bucs’ next opponent, on Thursday night this coming week, and you know the Panthers will be bringing their game, because now we’re at the point in the season where nobody wants to be a winless team’s first victory of the year.
So, maybe I’ll catch up on TiVo’d Scandal episodes that night.