It was another embarrassing Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rather than go into Houston and get back to .500 in a very winnable game, the Bucs blew a 20-10 lead, gave up a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive, and allowed C.J. Stroud to have the type of game he might win Rookie of the Year because of.
The loss sinks the Bucs to 3-5 and firmly out of the playoff race. There's still a lot of season left but the Bucs continue to waste golden opportunities as the free fall down the NFC standings continues.
Atlanta blew a late lead against the Minnesota Vikings, something that would have catapulted the Bucs into second place if they would have been able to hold on in Houston. New Orleans also won on Sunday, beating the Chicago Bears at home, and now it's the Saints who control the NFC South by a pretty comfortable margin.
Tampa Bay owns the tie breaker over New Orleans -- for now -- but being two games back has rendered it completely meaningless.
Updated NFC South standings after Week 9
Coming into Sunday the Bucs had a chance to to get back to .500 and pull themselves back into the NFC South race. It's impossible to overstate how agressively the team went in the other direction, as the way the team lost is almost as bad as the loss itself.
Blowing a 10-point lead is one thing, but the 75-yard drive the defense barfed up at the end of the game is a potential backbreaker. The only thing that had been reliable was the play of the defense, and the unit by far had its worst game of the year on Sunday.
C.J. Stroud threw for five touchdowns and set a new single game rookie record for passing yards. He might very well have a legtimate case for Rookie of the Year based solely on how this game went, and if he loses this will be the game people point to as the reason he should have won.
That's all on the Bucs defense, and the coaching staff might officially be on the hot seat after the game they called on Sunday. How Dave Canales can't scheme Mike Evans and Chris Godwin open remains a mystery of the universe, and Todd Bowles is quickly losing the number of defenders he has.
Sunday was all about getting the season back on track, but now the Bucs face an uphill battle they've shown absolutely nothing to suggest they can handle the task.
Here's a look at how the NFC South stacks up after what happened on Sunday:
Week 10 Game
It's a little hard to get a real read on how things will shake out because the leads both Atlanta and New Orleans have are more hollow than they appear.
Neither team has gone on its bye week yet, which is why things look a little wonky right now. Both the Falcons and Saints go on their bye in Week 11, and after that things will look more accurate in the standings