The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been disappointing this season, but on Sunday they ran into a team that’s got disappointment down to a science.
The Buffalo Bills threw four interceptions, gave away a muffed punt, and committed 11 penalties for over 110 yards on their way to a miserable loss at the hands of the Buccaneers, who didn’t have a very good game either.
Bobby Rainey opened the scoring with an 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter on only the second play from scrimmage, and that would give the Buccaneers a lead they’d never relinquish. However, after Rainey’s big play, the Buccaneers did very little on offense.
A wounded duck of a deep throw to Vincent Jackson would turn into another Tampa Bay touchdown, as Mike Glennon gained 38 of his 90 yards on the day with a poor throw which Jackson adjusted to wonderfully. But at that point in the game, the Bills were in full self-destruct mode.
Tipped passes fell into the arms of Tampa Bay receivers, penalties called back big plays, and any chance at gaining momentum was met with an equally painful mistake for the Bills, who fell to 4-9 on the season.
Credit goes to the Tampa Bay defensive line, which was able to rush E.J. Manuel and sack him on several occasions, as the team totaled seven sacks on the afternoon. Kudos also go to Lavonte David, who tallied nine tackles, two for loss, to go with a sack and two interceptions. David has emerged as a superstar at linebacker, and will be a centerpiece of the Tampa Bay defense for years to come.
But the Buccaneers managed only 166 yards on the 60 plays run following the Rainey touchdown, and committed eight penalties of their own to kill drives and give the Bills every chance to gain momentum. Dropped passes by Tiquan Underwood and missed tackles by the defense also could have let the Buccaneers down if the opponent on the day were a better team.
The Buccaneers move to 4-9 on the year, and still sit among the 10 worst teams in the NFL in terms of record. The win damages the team’s draft position while failing to breed confidence that the rookie quarterback or embattled head coach have what it takes to earn another season in Tampa Bay in their current roles.
The next game for the Buccaneers will be the final home tilt of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.