No Need to Point Fingers, Buccaneers Lost as a Team Against the Vikings


Blame the offensive line! Doug Martin needs to go! Mike Glennon was terrible! Austin Seferian-Jenkins cost us a win! Following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-13 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Raymond James Stadium, anyone and everyone was culpable of the finger-pointing for the tough defeat yesterday. But, what’s getting lost in the fray of accusations is that everyone is at fault.

It’s very cliche to say that the Buccaneers lost as a team, but in this case, that’s exactly what happened yesterday. On the surface, it’s easy to blame Seferian-Jenkins, who coughed up the fumble which was returned by Anthony Barr for the game-winning touchdown, but the Buccaneers should have never let the game head into overtime. Who can you blame for that?

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Let’s start with the defense, who, for the most part, played a lot better than they have before. However, they were competing against a Vikings team who has a rookie, albeit talented, quarterback and running back and they still couldn’t record an interception or fumble recovery. Plus, the Bucs defense could only muster one sack. After seven games, the Buccaneers have a grand total of 10 sacks and four interceptions. You can rub and blink your eyes all you want, that is the reality of the situation. Limiting points is one thing, but they need to do more.

Since the Buccaneers’ offense is facing its own myriad of problems, it’s imperative for the team to force turnovers which could shorten the field and provide a better opportunity at putting points on the board. And while we’re on the topic of the offense, let’s talk about them. It’s been said time and time again, the offensive line is bad. It could be the root of the Buccaneers’ problems with Mike Glennon (and Josh McCown) and Doug Martin, but the team may start looking for solutions at the quarterback and running back positions before they repair the line.

With all that being said, should Glennon and Martin receive a portion of the blame for yesterday’s loss? Absolutely. Even though Glennon wasn’t able to get enough time to make his reads, there’s something about the second-year quarterback that leaves me wanting more. I can’t put my finger on it. There has been some talk on social media about pursuing a more mobile quarterback in next year’s draft, like Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, but I’m not sure if that is the solution. Glennon has been above-average so far and maybe he needs more time to develop into the passer that the Buccaneers need. I’m open to the idea of giving Glennon a few more chances to prove himself.

Doug Martin, on the other hand, should no longer be the starter. Last week, I expressed my excitement towards the return of rookie Charles Sims from his ankle surgery and another bad performance by Martin only intensified those feelings. I have heard the argument that Martin’s problems are the result of a poor offensive line, but since his breakout rookie year in 2012, the Muscle Hamster has eclipsed the 90-yard mark in a game twice while Bobby Rainey has done it three times in fewer games.

Going into yesterday’s game, Martin knew that his job was in jeopardy if he came with another dreadful performance. After rushing for 27 yards on 10 carries, should the Buccaneers continue to put their faith in him? They would be hard-pressed to do so, and rightfully so.

When one player gets interviewed because they made the big play or were the catalyst in a crucial moment, they usually don’t miss a beat in saying that it was a team effort because all the people involved played a part in getting the win. For the Buccaneers yesterday, the exact same sentiment should be shared because in order to get that debilitating loss, everyone played a part. No one player or unit should be the scapegoat. Everyone is at fault.

Next: Charles Sims Is Practicing, It's Time to Get Excited