Nothing went right for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, from the team falling into a 17-0 hole before halftime to Baker Mayfield getting injured late in the game.
Most of the mistakes were self-inflicted ad the Bucs turned the ball over four times including two mind-numbingly bad fumbles by Rachaad White and Trey Palmer. Both of the fumbles ended drives that were trending toward touchdowns that the Bucs desperately needed -- an might have been bale to swing the game had they happened.
What the Bucs didn't need was Mayfield getting hurt, which was perhaps the only thing that the team couldn't blame on themselves. After scoring a late touchdown, Mayfield was taken out by Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu, who launched himself into the quarterback's ribs at full force well after the ball had been thrown.
The hit was flagged for being dirty and it's something that has already had a lasting impact on the team. Mayfield needed x-rays on his ribs -- which were bruised -- and it seemed his status for a must-win game on Sunday was in doubt.
Mayfield is set to play against the Panthers in Week 18, but the hit is something that's still stuck in the craw of players in the Bucs locker room sick of the Saints continuing to play dirty each time the two teams meet.
Tristan Wirfs says he's tired of Saints playing dirty
One player still upset about the hit is offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. The usually laid-back Wirfs was asked about the extracurricular activity the Saints got into on Sunday and didn't try to hide how frustrated and upset he was with how things went down.
Not only did Wirfs call out Mathieu for his hit on Mayfield, he made sure to note that this wasn't a one-time occurance.
"Yeah, I am," Wirfs said when asked if he's tired of the cheap shots. "[Nathan Shepherd] did it the first game, and Tyrann Mathieu did this game and he's chirping at the refs saying that he didn't."
The other play Wirfs is referring to happened back in Week 4, when Saints defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd took a cheap shot at Mayfield during a touchdown pass. Baker was pinned down by Cam Jordan when Shepherd came high with a hit.
That cheap shot didn't stop Baker from throwing a touchdown in a win that will likely keep the Saints out of the playoffs, and the one on Sunday thankfully isn't going to keep him out of any action.
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