It's tough to nail down specific moments that cost a team in a game it lost by double digits, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are searching for answers in wake of what happened in Week 11.
Collectively the team failed -- again.
The Bucs followed an impressive performance last weekend by scoring just 14 points while folding like a cheap picnic chair on defense. To be fair, the 49ers high-powered offense only scored 27 points, but the Bucs allowed a slew of big plays that ended up digging a hole the team couldn't climb out of.
One of those plays came on the other side of halftime, and proved to be a total backbreaker.
Brandon Aiyuk torched Jamel Dean for a 76-yard touchdown that he scored to such an uncontested degree that he ran half the length of the goal line before crossing it. The play marked the second bad coverage play of the day for Dean, and also his last play of the game. He left with an injury -- something he also did after allowing a touchdown against Houston -- and the Bucs were similarly unable to fully recover from the goof.
After the game, head coach Todd Bowles didn't mince his words when talking about how much the blown play set the team back.
It sure sounds like Todd Bowles threw Jamel Dean under the bus
Bowles didn't call out Dean by name, but he mentioned the play he was cooked on as one of the plays that ended up costing Tampa Bay the game.
Dean went for a trifecta of terrible things on the play, from failing to play proper press coverage at the line to flailing for the ball and missing by a mile, to hurting himself as a result. Dean was helped to the sideline after the play and was eventually taken back to the locker room on a cart with his foot wrapped.
That didn't garner any sympathies from Bowles over the blown coverage, though.
It's actually refreshing to hear Bowles callout his defense as part of the problem. He got some flack a few weeks ago when we went to greater lengths than he probably should have to defend Ryan Neal. Bowles got terse with a reporter who questioned the quality of Neal's play, but he started cutting the safety's playing time not long after.
That probably won't happen with Dean, but it's also likely why Bowles doesn't have to have kiddie gloves on when talking about his snafu's. Dean is the Bucs top cornerback, and he's very well paid, but isn't delivering on his end of hte bargain.
It's not the first time Dean has been cooked this year, and it's clear that Bowles has seen enough of his top cornerback playing like anything but.
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