It's been a rough ride for Ryan Neal, and everyone who has had to watch him try to find a place in the Bucs defense.
There's an unsettling emphasis needed on Neal finding his way because Sunday marked back-to-back weeks where he looked to be wildly out of place. Last week Neal was on the wrong side of a massive Jameson Williams touchdown reception, as he failed at every level to stop the big play from happening. From being out of position to failing to find the ball, to not finishing his tackle and possibly ripping the ball out at the last second, Neal was a disaster and that performance carried over into Sunday's loss.
Neal's worst moment came on yet another big play, this time when Kyle Pitts caught a pass that put the Falcons in position to kick a game-winning field goal. It wasn't that Neal failed on initial coverage, he was so badly out of place and read the play so poorly that it turned what might have been a chunk yardage catch into a game-changing run.
It wasn't the catch that sealed the Bucs fate, it was the yards Pitts got after that ended up being fatal.
This isn't the first time Neal has looked this bad, and it feels like he's running out of chances to get things right. After the game Todd Bowles was asked if he knew what went wrong on the play and his answer was pretty cryptic.
It's not hard to read between the lines and determine who Bowles is talking about, which doesn't bode well for Neal's place on the team.