Ryan Neal gets beat and doesn’t finish on Jameson Williams TD
Momentum was killed by more than just what the offense did.
Overall the defense did what it could, bending until it couldn’t help but break under the stress of carrying the entire team. Tampa Bay allowed 20 points in the loss, and the defense remains in the Top 5 for points allowed this season but without the support of the offense the effort was in vain.
When the defense finally broke, Ryan Neal found himself holding the bag. In the third quarter Neal was beat in lone coverage by Jameson Willams who ended up reeling in a touchdown pass. That score extended the Lions lead to 17-6 and pretty much broke the Bucs back.
From that point on the Lions had absolutely no fear of the Tampa Bay defense and diced the secondary up to eat clock and put the game away.
Neal simply cannot allow this play to happen. He wasn’t the sole reason the Bucs lost on Sunday but he didn’t look good in any of the action he saw. His angles were bad, his coverage was questionable, and he was a total liability in the secondary all afternoon.
It’s not really a surprise that his blown play was the one that broke the game open, but it’s pretty disappointing. When he came to Tampa Bay he was expected to be a free agent steal and possibly form one of the best safety duos alongside Antoine Winfield Jr., but that didn’t happen on Sunday.
Neal failed on every level of the play, right up to the end. He had a chance to rip the ball out of Williams’ hands as he fell toward the goal line — which would have disrupted the process of the catch. Had this happened, and Neal finished the play, the touchdown likely doesn’t count and the score remains 10-6 and
It was yet another missed opportunity that Bucs fans will be thinking about what would have happened if it broke a slightly different way.