If you want to see what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all about in 2019, look no further than this play of utter sadness in the red zone. It’s so bad.
It’s been a while since we could safely say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a competent football team. They may not be the worst team in their own division, as the Atlanta Falcons have completely cratered, but at least the Buccaneers have shown us they have no idea whatsoever how to run the ball third-and-goal to pay dirt. Just look at this monstrosity of a play.
So quarterback Jameis Winston thinks he’s going to hand the ball off to running back Dare Ogunbowale for a simple run up the middle. Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich decided to throw an interesting wrinkle in the simple run concept by sending wide receiver Breshad Perriman behind the line of scrimmage for a fake jet sweep look.
Well, Perriman and Ogunbowale collided for a two-yard loss that linebacker Rashaan Evans gets credit for being in the area of the horrendous Tampa Bay offensive gaffe. This wasn’t 1976-level offensive ineptness, but it was still incredibly sad nonetheless. Matt Gay would nail a 24-yard field goal attempt on the next play to make it 17-15 Tennessee Titans shortly before halftime.
So the season narrative thus far is if you have the ball with goal to go against the Titans’ defense, you’re going to find ways to not rush the ball into the end zone for six. Just look at what the snakebitten Los Angeles Chargers did last week in Nashville. Tampa Bay tried to one-up the Chargers but wasn’t as painfully unsuccessful. This should have been seven points and not three.
When your offense is in the red zone, you need to come away with a touchdown. Unless you have an elite defense, you can’t win by kicking the ball through the uprights with 20 yards to go. For those who haven’t been paying attention to bad NFC South football, this is what the Buccaneers are this year. It’s the same poor play that we’ve grown accustomed to for the last decade-plus.