The Bucs fell to the Saints in embarrassing fashion on Sunday night, losing to New Orleans by a final score of 38-3 and moving to 6-3 on the season. The loss also leaves Tampa Bay in second place in the division as they head into a Week 10 match-up with the Carolina Panthers.
This list could be twice as long if we chose to nit-pick every individual player, but here are our selections for this week’s Most Disappointing.
We can pick apart the players individually and will, but ultimately it is hard for the players to perform well when they are not put in the best position to succeed. Coaching hasn’t been a glaring weakness in the first eight games, but it was really poor on Sunday night.
Offensively, the play calls by Byron Leftwich were puzzling at times, particularly designing plays where the running backs are primary targets. On a team loaded with wide receiver talent, it is inexcusable that Ronald Jones had four targets in the first half and Mike Evans had none.
Defensively, Todd Bowles was taken to the wood shed by Saints head coach Sean Payton. Continually playing a soft zone and hoping your front four could get to quarterback Drew Brees is football suicide. Is there a quarterback in NFL history that has proven to be better against zone coverage than Drew Brees? And maybe even more egregious was the lack of adjustments at any point in the first half, during which the Saints went up 31-0.
Lastly, head coach Bruce Arians didn’t have his team ready to play on Sunday. Whether it was the players enjoying their accolades a little too much, or just not being mentally sharp enough to perform well, at the end of the day it falls on the head coach.
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