The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dismal season has mercifully come to an end.
The Bucs were soundly beaten 42-17 in their final regular season game of the season by the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, leaving the Bucs with a disappointing 4-12 record in the 2013 season.
Drew Brees and the potent Saints offense tore apart the Bucs secondary all game long. Brees threw for four touchdowns, all of which came in the first half, while he also added a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Mike Glennon, in his final test before his future with the franchise is decided, completed 22 of 41 passes for 219 yards along with two touchdowns and a pick. Glennon hit Tiquan Underwood with a 48-yard bomb from a flea-flicker to tie the game at seven early on, before later hitting Tim Wright for a one-yard score towards the end of the first half.
Underwood, who wasn’t on the roster to begin the season, finished the game with 93 receiving yards on five catches to complete the best season of his young career.
However, the story of the game was Brees. He obliterated the Bucs secondary all game long, as he finished with 381 yards to go along with the four touchdown passes. Three of the four touchdown passes were longer than 40-yards, with the fourth one being a 76-yard bomb to Kenny Stills after the Bucs blew their coverage.
Mark Barron missed his second straight game, while Darrelle Revis was torched for two touchdown passes in one of his worst performances of the season which ultimately made for a long afternoon for the defense.
The Bucs rush defense was admiral, holding the Saints to 98 yards on 30 carries with Adrian Clayborn leading the charge with 10 tackles and one sack.
Lavonte David, fresh off his Pro-Bowl snub, was quiet today with only seven tackles, as was Gerald McCoy who only mustered two tackles without generating too much pressure on Brees.
But for the sixth straight season, the Bucs season ends after 16 games. In a season that began with so much promise ends with despair and disappointment once more.
With many questions left unanswered about the state of the franchise, the off-season will be nothing short of interesting as the Bucs look to rebound and push their way back into playoff contention.