So, the Bucs come back from their bye week rested, recharged, and ready to do battle! It’s time to get the train back on the tracks! Better yet, the ship back to sea, the sails unfurled and the cannons loaded and ready to take on all enemies! It’s going to be different from now on, yo ho, because the Pewter Pirates are………….
Wait, what? Oh. Well, then never mind.
Vikings 19 – Bucs 13
There was a time, in the not so distant past, when the Minnesota Vikings and the Bucs were division rivals, back when each conference had only three divisions and Tampa shared the NFC Central with the Vikes, Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago. Those were the days, eh? So, any time the Bucs get to take on an NFC Central alumni, it’s a bit like Old Home Week.
The play was about the same, too.
Minnesota and Tampa are noteworthy this year for possessing two of the most impotent offenses in the league, and yesterday’s game did little to alter that uncomfortable fact. It took nearly the entire first half before the first points went up on the board, in the form of a Vikings field goal. They added a touchdown in the third quarter before the Bucs finally went to work in the final period.
Tampa quarterback Mike Glennon, who had been struggling early on after throwing an interception to end the Bucs’ first offensive series of the game, finally dialed in his offense and bit by bit began chewing into Minnesota’s lead. After posting a couple of field goals to open the fourth quarter, Glennon finally guided his team to pay dirt with a short TD pass to give the Bucs their first lead of the game. However, Tampa’s defense wasn’t able to contain one more Vikings drive, with Minnesota notching one more field goal to tie things up and force overtime.
If you blinked, you likely missed overtime.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, and after offsetting penalties during the kick-off set up Tampa at their own 17 yard line to open the extra period, the Bucs’ first play ended with a fumble returned for a touchdown. The whole thing was over in less than 20 seconds, handing the Bucs their second overtime loss of the season.
Even though the Bucs have a long history of establishing records of dubious distinction, losing a second OT game in a single season is actually not an NFL record. The most overtime losses in a single season is three, and six teams are tied for that particular honor….including the 1983 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
So, you know…yay.
The loss drops Tampa to 1-6 and teetering on the edge of oblivion at the season’s halfway mark. Elsewhere in the NFC South Division, both Atlanta and Carolina lost, while New Orleans blew the lid off the Superdome in their 44-23 win over the Packers. Next up for the Bucs? Traveling to Cleveland to take on the Browns, who even at 4-3 and coming off a win are at the bottom of their own division (which should tell you how tough the AFC North is this year). So, this could be mildly disastrous for Tampa if they don’t get their act together, and quick.
Pirate’s life, yo.