Saints 27 – Bucs 17
Here’s the deal: Tampa’s offense provides about as much quarterback protection as a fishnet condom. In his first start since going out against the Bucs’ ass hammering loss to the Falcons back in September (56-14, on national–nay global–television, no less), Tampa QB Josh McCown was hit eleven times and endured four sacks, and also threw two picks. Atlanta’s defense was in the Bucs backfield more often than Bucs running backs. McCown’s two touchdown throws were nice to see, though, and he even managed to guide Tampa to an all-too brief command of the lead late in the game.
Despite all of this, this was the Bucs’ game to lose. They had the edge on total offense yardage gained and even time of possession, but those two interceptions and a lost fumble of course snuffed out those particular scoring drives.
Then, Atlanta went to work. Again.
On defense, Tampa’s been leaving all sorts of holes open for runners and receivers to exploit, and this week was no different. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan saw that light early and often. The Bucs D also has a bad habit of staying on the field too long, failing to hold on 3rd Down plays or allowing their opponent to continue eating yardage and clock. It’s like fucking Mad Libs out there, where I just change the name of the players every week.
Today’s loss drops the Bucs to 1-8, and Tail End Charlie in the NFC South. Despite their loss on Thursday night, the New Orleans Saint still sit atop the division at 4-5(!), while Atlanta improves to 3-5. Carolina plays Philly tomorrow night. Next up for Tampa? To our nation’s capitol to take on the Washington Redskins. They’re not that impressive a club this year, either, but they’re likely still on the ball enough to handle the Bucs.
Grr. And argh, as the pirates say.