Anyone who looks at the score of Thursday Night’s game and the highlight of Chris Godwin nearly catching a Hail Mary will think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave the Buffalo Bills a proper scare.
The Bucs almost pulled off a miracle, but the game was not as close as seemed. Buffalo outplayed Tampa Bay all night, and the Bucs once again played sloppy football that ended up costing them once they got their act together.
It marks the third straight week the Bucs should have walked away with a victory, but they couldn’t get out of their own way long enough to get any momentum going. A few things seem to be irreversibly broken, and changes are going to come over the long week Tampa Bay has ahead of itself.
Something else the team will be doing is looking back at what could have been, and the mistakes that were made that ultimately cost them a chance to pull off an upset win. Just like the two previous losses there was plenty of blame to go around but a few guys stood out as needing to wear more of if than others.
5 Buccaneers who deserve blame after 24-18 loss to Bills
Todd Bowles, Head Coach
Everything starts with the head coach, but there was one specific sequence of events that absolutely boggled the minds of everyone watching at home.
After the Bucs swung 10-points their way in under a minute to tie the game, they had the ball back with time on the clock to get points before halftime. What happened next was a combination of bad play calling and bad coaching to create one of the most bizarre decisions of the night.
On a 4th-and-3, Bowles sent out the field goal unit for a 59-yard attempt with 19 seconds left. Had Chase McLaughlin missed the kick, Buffalo would have gotten the ball back around midfield with a few timeouts and an outside chance at maybe getting a field goal of their own.
Bowles overthought this to absolutely epic proportions, and used his field goal unit to try and draw the Bills offsides. No kick was attempted, and the Bucs punted the ball away and the half ended a play later.
It was mind numbing at the time, but the decision came back to haunt the Bucs later. It was a long kick, but had McLaughlin made it the Bucs would have only needed to get into field goal range at the end of the game to try and win rather than needing a Hail Mary.
Absolutely brutal, but par for the course.