It's impossible to overstate just how bad of a spot the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in right now.
Since the team's bye week, the Bucs are 0-4 and have allowed a whopping 99 points on defense while averaging less than 14 points per game. Each week fans are told that the team practiced well but for some reason things aren't translating to game action, and folks are tired of hearing the excuse.
Sunday's loss to the Texans might be the worst loss the Buccaneers have suffered this decade. It's not just that the team was handed its fourth straight loss, rather it's how the Bucs lost that has fans both panicking and ready to watch ehads roll.
Twice the Bucs blew leads that looked like they should have stuck. First it was a 20-10 lead that Tampa Bay allowed to turn into a 30-23 deficit, but it was the final blown lead that has fans absolutely beside themselves.
Leading 37-33 with 0:40 left in the game, the Bucs defense allowed C.J. Stroud to march 75-yards in six plays to score a game-winning touchdown.
All of this is falling on the shoulders of head coach Todd Bowles, who is at the root of every complaint Bucs fans have after the way things went on Sunday. From his poor clock management to the way his defense was gashed by a rookie, fans aren't even trying to hide how they feel about Bowles following the loss.
Buccaneers fans want Todd Bowles fired after 39-37 loss at Houston
Everything went wrong for the Bucs on Sunday but there are some very specific things that Bowles did that are being called out by fans as fireable offenses.
Perhaps the biggest was his poor clock management, specifically in the fourth quarter. With the ball deep in Houston's redzone, the Texans were flagged with 0:49 second left which should have resulted in a ten second run off.
Rather than let the clock run, Bowles used a timeout. Tampa Bay scored on the very next play and those ten seconds ended up being the difference between the Texans having enough time to score a game-winning touchdown and not being able to get enough plays off.
That was the cherry on top of a day in which Bowles defense allowed a new single-game record for passing yards by a rookie quarterback and got gashed for 39 points. C.J. Stroudn ended his day with five touchdowns and the type of game that could end up winning him Rookie of the Year, all of which Bowles is being blamed for.
Earlier in the week Bowles was being defended by a vocal minority of fans who were pointing to his circumstances as a reason to lay off a bit. Bowles didn't get a full offseason his first year and is technically in his first full year as head coach of the Bucs -- a team that doesn't have all the right players in the right places.
It's a noble defense, and not one that is entirely wrong. After a loss like what happened on Sunday, though, it's going to be harder and harder to defend the Bucs coaching staff amid growing calls for things to drastically change.