Limit mental mistakes and errors
This one seems obvious, but sometimes it’s the simple things that work best. Last week we saw an example of what happens when the Bucs limit the mental mistakes and the result was the first win since the bye week.
It wasn’t a perfect game, as Tampa Bay still committed seven penalties, but it was both down from previous weeks and trending in the right direction. Over the course of the four game losing streak, the Bucs were flagged 34 times with things spiraling out of control after the loss to Detroit in Week 6.
- 9 penalties vs. Houston
- 11 penalties vs. Buffalo
- 9 penalties vs. Atlanta
That’s a really good way to lose football games, especially when the margin in those games was so thin. Tampa Bay lost by a combined 11 points, with two of the games featuring walk-off drives. Plenty of things went wrong elsewhere, but mistakes like holding penalties bringing back big offensive plays ended up making a big difference in the end.
We saw that out of the Bucs last year when they traveled out to San Francisco and it helped the game spiral out of control on them in a hurry. Not giving a good team like the Niners second chances will be paramount, and limiting the mistakes should keep the Bucs from standing in the way of momentum building.
A near-perfect game will be needed to pull off the upset, and mental mistakes will add up quickly like they have in the recent past.