Sunday wasn’t a very fun day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team lost its sixth game in seven tries, falling to 1-6 since the bye week.
This comes after a hot 3-1 start that seemed to be putting the Bucs on a path to prove all of the offseason doubters wrong. Instead over the last seven games Tampa Bay has done nothing but vindicate the negativity and create brand new ways to frustrate fans.
While the loss in Indianapolis stung, not everything was terrible. Rookie tight end Payne Durham announced himself after several quite weeks with one of the most impressive catches we’ve seen all season.
Late in the game with the Bucs in need of a spark, Durham leapt over Colts defensive back Darrell Baker Jr., snatching the ball out of his hands. Not only did he save what looked to be a clear interception, but he nearly scored a touchdown.
It all made for one of the most incredible and thrilling plays of the season for the Bucs, and is something even Rob Gronkowski is still talking about.
Rob Gronkowski shouts out Payne Durham for insane catch in Week 12
Gronk’s name was invoked more than a few times after the play by fans who were still trying to pick their jaws up off the floor. It wasn’t just the way Durham snatched the ball out of Baker’s hands, it was watching a No. 87 make a Gronk-type play that brought back fond memories of happier times.
Bucs fans weren’t the only ones who thought the comparison was appropriate. Gronk himself took time to shout the rookie out for the incredible play.
It wouldn’t be a true Gronk tweet without some grammatical mistakes, which makes it an even more authentic reaction.
There was nothing idle about Durham’s play, even though he has sort of been that way for most of the season. Cade Otton has been the Bucs top tight end on the depth chart all season, with Durham even getting scratched for some games this year.
He’s been solid when he plays, though, and his catch against Indy was just more proof of how great Jason Licht has been with identifying key talent in the draft and having it pay off at the right time. Tampa Bay didn’t end up winning the game, but Durham’s catch set up a touchdown that brought them back into it, and Bucs fans would certainly like to see more of what they saw out of the rookie as his career develops.
Gronk sounds like he’d enjoy that too.