It was a long day for the Buccaneers. The defense had no answers and the Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment came to an end. Take a look at the studs and duds of Week 4.
What a disaster. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were demolished by the Chicago Bears 48-10.
Overall, it was one of the worst performances in the history of the franchise. After a hot start, the Bucs are falling back to Earth.
In a game full of negatives, there were some positives, take a look at the studs, before moving on to the long list of duds.
WR DeSean Jackson
It was another solid day for DeSean Jackson.
He caught five passes for 112 yards and continued to connect with Ryan Fitzpatrick on deep passes. It didn’t make much of a difference, but Jackson has been pretty consistent, for such a hit-or-miss weapon.
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Coming into this game, Jackson was among the league leaders in receiving yards. The offense was shut down by the Bears on Sunday, but Jackson was able to make an impact.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Similar to Jackson, Jason Pierre-Paul was the lone bright spot on his side of the ball.
As Mitch Trubisky lit up the Bucs secondary, Pierre-Paul kept fighting even when the game was well out of reach. By the final whistle, Pierre-Paul led the team in tackles, had a sack and two tackles for loss.
However, his best highlight came on the sidelines. In the middle of the beatdown, Pierre-Paul got in his teammates’ faces to try and light a spark. He showed his leadership amidst the worst performance by a Buccaneers team in recent memory.
DC Mike Smith
Typically, when a fanbase calls for a coach’s job, its an overreaction. In this case, it’s warranted. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith needs to go. It’s simple as that.
Yes, Tampa Bay has an extremely young secondary and are battling injuries, but giving up almost 50 points to the Bears qualifies as a fireable offense.
The Buccaneers have the worst defense in the NFL through four weeks and just gave up six (!) touchdowns to a mediocre quarterback.
During Trubisky’s rookie year, he threw for seven touchdowns passes. He almost matched that mark on Sunday. That’s pathetic.
Trubisky wasn’t throwing through tight windows nor did Tarik Cohen didn’t make amazing grabs. Trubisky had his receivers running wide open for the entire game.
Smith made zero adjustments. A first-year head coach in Matt Nagy overmatched a veteran play-caller. It’s time for a new man to lead the Tampa Bay defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
This game shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t struggle against Chicago. He completed just 9-of-18 passes, for 126 yards and a TD.
Fitzpatrick missed high on some easy throws, which he did on multiple occasions in the week prior.
With the game out of reach at halftime, head coach Dirk Koetter decided to go with Jameis Winston for the first time this season. The move at quarterback made sense. Winston can get some reps in a blowout, a perfect opportunity to shake the rust off without any consequences.
Winston struggled at times as well. He missed on some short throws, but that’s expected. He’s not going to have the chemistry with some of the receivers yet.
He did provide some flash, leading a strong drive that ended with a Cameron Brate touchdown and escaping a handful of sacks.
Khalil Mack dominated the Buccaneers offensive line on Sunday. He embarrassed both tackles and Caleb Benenoch in particular. The pass protection which was so keen to start the season faltered against a top-tier Bears front.
Chicago sacked Tampa quarterbacks four times and hit them another six times.
The Bucs abandoned the run early, but even when it was still an option, the offensive line couldn’t generate any push up front.
The secondary and the linebackers
It’s hard to pinpoint a single culprit because every single defensive back and linebacker had issues in coverage.
Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen left every Bucs linebacker in the dust and the safeties were just as ineffective. On Burton’s first touchdown catch, Justin Evans fell flat on his face to leave Burton wide open in the end zone.
Giving up 48 points indicates a problem for the defensive unit as a whole.