When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field again on Sunday, they'll have had 10 days to think about what happened to cause two losses in less than five days.
Not only that, the Bucs will need to keep taking a long hard look at what has caused the team to go from a 3-1 surprise to a third place team that is free falling out of the playoff picture. Tampa Bay has been atrocious out of its bye week, losing three straight games and averaging fewer than two touchdowns per game.
Nothing is going right, from the run game continuing to be non-existent to mental mistakes now starting to cost the Bucs momentum building moments.
It's embarrassing considering where the team looked to be headed after the first four weeks of the season. Bucs fans aren't the only ones getting sick of what they're seeing, as national pundits like Rich Eisen are taking notice as well with similar dissapointment.
Rich Eisen isn't impressed Bucs coaches so far this year
There was this idea coming into the season that the national media was against the Bucs, which is largely true. Most of the offseason talk about about how the team was expected to tank this year, which is why the 3-1 start was extra sweet.
Folks like Rich Eisen gladly jumped aboard the Bucs hype train once is started leaving the station, but are now vocally concerned now that it appears to be headed straight for a cliff. The Bucs offense has been a major source of frustration the last three weeks, and Eisen called that side of the ball out on his radio show.
"That was like watching paint dry," Eisen said. “Some of the first downs were Baker and that moxie with his legs. I don’t know what’s up with that offense either because they do have some weapons.”
The paint drying comment was specifically about the Bucs penultimate drive in which they showed no sense of urgency and essentially ran the clock out on themselves. Had that not happened, there's a chance they have had more time to orchestrate a comeback drive at the end of the game rather than relying on a Hail Mary.
Eisen also called out the decision by Bowles at the end of the first half to try and use the field goal unit to draw the Bills offsides rather than use them to get points and shrink Buffalo's lead.
"I'm a fan of Todd Bowles, but what was going on at the end of the first half?" Eisen asked. "This whole business of ‘What if we don’t make it’ in 2023, you’ve got to have plays there.”
To be fair, the kick would have been a career-long for Chase McLaughlin, but that's a situation the Bucs brought him in for this offseason. Part of the reason the team moved on from Ryan Succop was because he couldn't hit long kicks, and that specific trait was something the Bucs looked for this offseason.
It was bad enough optically, but logically it didn't make a whole lot of sense either.
Eisen's comments hit especially hard because it shows how the narrative around the Bucs was starting to shift. We went from offseason talk of tanking to openly wondering whether experts were wrong about the team.
Three straight losses has most folks returning to their original opinion and Tampa Bay has a lot of work to do to pull itself out of the hole it has fallen into.