Just about everything that could go wrong did on Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In one of the team's laziest and most frustrating performances, the Bucs were walked off on a game-winning field goal that propelled the Atlanta Falcons to both a win and into first place.
Tampa Bay squandered a golden opportunity to rebound from an equally frustrating loss in Week 6, but failed to measure up in any form. The offense was horrid and the defense showed some potentially fatal flaws that further prove how far behind the rest of the league the team is.
Atlanta converted seven times on third down, which drops Bucs to dead last in the league in third down defense. For as bad as the offense played, Tampa Bay allowing opponents to convert 50 percent of the third downs it tries to defend is as much an issue as anything.
That being said, the defense did its job for the most part on Sunday. For the second time this year the Bucs lost a game in which the defense held an opponent to 20 or fewer points. Atlanta could only muster up three points for most of the second half, but the defense finally broke to allow the game-winning three in the final moments of the game.
Kyle Pitts reeled in a pass that ended up giving the Falcons enough distance to kick a 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.
It was a bad play by the Bucs defense, and Devin White tried to explain what happened after the game.
Devin White explains why Kyle Pitts was wide open on game-sealing catch
It appeared as though Ryan Neal was out of position and playing soft zone defense on Pitts when the catch was made. Making matters worse was the YAC that Pitts was able to rack up, which is what ended up being the difference between Atlanta needing another play to get into field goal range and already being there.
White was asked what happened on the play called out the defensive scheme as the reason Pitts was able to make the play.
"[Pitts] just found the hole in the zone defense," White explained. "Everybody knows when you play zone you've got a couple of holes in the defense and I think he just found the open spot."
White was also involved in the play but wasn't in a position to defend the pass or catch Pitts before he ripped off extra yardage. His explanation of what happened could be interpreted a few different ways, not the least of which is calling out Todd Bowles and the play call.
On Monday White clarified that he wasn't calling out Bowles, defending his coach by saying the players need to do a better job of executing the plays. He could have been talking about Neal, who has officially worn out his welcome with Bucs fans, or he could be taking accountibility for the poor coverage.
Searching for answers is an all too common theme so far this year, though.
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