All that’s left is to avoid the rocks. Good luck with that.
Lions 34 – Bucs 17
Long story short? Tampa was never able to find a gear. It wasn’t for lack of trying, at least not in the early going and on the defense’s part. After a grueling 11-play drive to open the game, the Lions offense was stopped by the Bucs D when Matthew Stafford and company went for it on 4th and 1 deep in Tampa territory.
That stand looked like it might set the tone, but a subsequent “three and out” drive by the Bucs, with quarterback Josh McCown going 0-2 on passes and the offense netting only three yards, told a different story. The Detroit defense attacked McCown early and often, notching six sacks on the day. McCown also threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball away once, making it a long afternoon for the beleaguered QB.
Despite all the setbacks, McCown managed to rally and guide the Bucs to 17 points, but by then the damage was done. Unable to sustain any momentum due to turnovers, penalties, or just flat getting out-hustled, Stafford and Lions continued to roll on to the point that by the start of the 4th quarter, victory was all but assured.
:: sigh ::
This third consecutive loss drops the Bucs to 2-11 on the season and hoping they can just get through the remaining three games without incurring any further serious injuries to any of their players, and maybe get invitations to some of the cooler playoff watch parties. Elsewhere in the ridiculously mediocre NFC South, Atlanta and New Orleans are fighting for the top spot while holding 5-7 and 5-8 records, respectively. Meanwhile, Carolina at one game back is trying a flanking maneuver and angling for some of that division title action.
Next up for Tampa? Traveling to Charlotte to take on those same Carolina Panthers. Can they play spoiler here? Uh, I’m not holding my breath.
Yeah, yeah. Pirate’s life, and all that.