You know I can’t quit you, Tampa, but damn.
Redskins 16 – Bucs 3
Dubious records and honors have been a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ DNA pretty much from the jump. I mean, I was there in their inaugural season when they went 0-14, then the for second season when they lost the first twelve games before finally securing the first-ever victory. I watched, year after year, as the Bucs became the longest-running team in NFL history to never return a kickoff for a touchdown. In 2010, they received the honor of being the only team to have all their home games blacked out in the Tampa market due to low ticket sales. The team’s 40+ year history is filled with all sorts of amusing (and irritating) anecdotes of this sort.
With yesterday’s game against the Washington Redskins, the Bucs added another stat to their books: First NFL team in history to accumulate 500 or more yards of total offense while scoring 3 or fewer points. Yes, NFL statisticians have way too much fun cataloging oddball facts like this. One would think we’d all like to forget these sorts of things and just wallow in yet another loss. Reading such an infonugget while still stinging from the latest defeat is like jamming an entire salt lick into a sucking chest wound. I mean, you’d think with that kind of moving around, you’d at least stumble into the end zone at least once, right? Even by accident?
Instead, five separate visits to Washington’s red zone yielded four turnovers and those precious three points Tampa managed to collect. Of those 500 yards we’re talking about, Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 of them. With no touchdown passes. With two interceptions. Add two lost fumbles to the mix, and a defense who for the sixth consecutive game failed to create a turnover, and you start to see the recipe for not winning coming together.
All of this, from the league’s #1 passing offense.
The loss, Tampa’s third in a row, drops the Bucs to 3-6 and still in the NFC South Division’s basement. New Orleans kept on keeping on yesterday, winning their eighth straight game while both Carolina and Atlanta lost.Next up? The Bucs are on the road to take on the New York Giants, who are having an even worse year than Tampa. I’m guessing this won’t be the “game of the week” or the matchup NBC decides they want to flex into the primetime spotlight next Sunday.
As the Bucs continue treading water with cement blocks tied to their feet, the post-season picture is already starting to take shape. Incredibly, given the turmoil currently embroiling the NFC, Tampa’s still in the hunt, at least on paper. However, the Bucs need to get their act together, and pretty damned fast, if they plan to do anything but watch football on TV in January.
Bucs life. Grr. Argh.