So, the Bucs lost agai……..wait. SAY WHAT???
Bucs 26 – Browns 23
That’s right! My Pewter Pirates snuck in a win before a home crowd in sunny Tampa on Sunday. Yeah, I’m lagging a bit with these the last couple of weeks. Blame it on the book deadline, which is looming as I write this.
It was one of those teeter-totter type games plagued by weirdness from different angles, from the Browns scoring a safety in the first quarter after stuffing the Bucs offense to a missed extra point and field goal by Tampa kicker Chandler Catanzaro. Throw in a couple of interceptions thrown by Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and him getting sacked four times, and a couple of fumbles for flavor, and you start to wonder why the team didn’t just chuck the whole thing and adjourn to Hooters to watch the late games.
There were a few bright spots, though. Winston still threw for over 350 yards, and the Tampa rushing attack netted 115 yards and two running touchdowns. The defense held Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield to 186 passing yards (but two TDs) and indeed helped keep the game close, providing Winston and the offense opportunities to grab the win. Even special teams stepped up, recovering a fumble during a critical punt in overtime which set up the Bucs offense to seal the deal. The whole thing was capped by Catanzaro, who after his earlier misses was able to redeem himself with a 59-yard field goal (the longest in overtime) to give Tampa the win.
Yeah, it was sloppy, but I’ll take it.
The win brings the Bucs to 3-3 on the year, snapping a 3-game losing streak. They’re still two games behind New Orleans in the NFC South and just one behind Carolina. Both teams won on Sunday, as did Atlanta on Monday night, so things remain as knotted as ever in the division. Yep. Gonna be a wild ride.
Next up for Tampa? A road game to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, who despite being first in their division are still stinging after getting thumped by the Chiefs on Sunday. They’ll be looking to get back on track with a home crowd to cheer them on, so this could be a fun one.
Bucs life, yo.