Bucs found a new way to screw up an old mistake against Falcons

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Victory Monday is particularly sweet this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a win over a division rival that moved them back into first place in the NFC South.

It was one of the biggest wins of the season for Tampa Bay. A loss would have effectively ended their season and begun the uncomfortable process of determining who won't be back next season as the team rebuilds.

Winning changed all of that and might have finally corrected course for a team that had veered way off the path. The Bucs now control their destiny in the final four games of the season, as their road to the playoff is as clear as it's ever been this year. Win out and get in, it's as simple as that.

It's easier said than done, something Bucs fans don't need to be reminded of. After starting the season 3-1, mistake-riddled football sunk the team to third place and they're still trying to claw back to .500. We saw some good things against the Falcons, but some mind-boggling mistakes almost cost them.

One of which stand above all others we've seen this season.

Buccaneers had less than 10 players on the field for Bijan Robinson TD

Things started to go off the rails when Zyon McCollum was called for a pretty soft pass interference penalty that negated a third-down stop.

From there the Falcons gashed the Bucs defense, going 50 yards in just five plays to reach the endzone. The low point seemed to be when Atlanta converted on third down with a 33-yard pass to Bijan Robinson but that merely set the Bucs up to sink even lower than that.

It was one of the worst defensive drives of the game for the Bucs, and it ended in the only way it possibly could have -- with only nine players defending the goal line.


Atlanta easily scored -- as one does when there are two fewer defenders to dodge -- and in the process snatched some momentum back. It's hard to look at this and not think it gave the Falcons confidence to march down the field and score again on their next drive.

Thankfully the Bucs had the right amount of players on defense but the momentum had already swung back in Atlanta's favor, starting with this touchdown.

This is the kind of stuff that fans point to when asked why Todd Bowles needs to go. It's one thing to have too many men on the field or to flub a substitution and have one fewer, but to be missing two guys is the sort of thing it feels only this Bucs team could screw up.

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