Were We Wrong About The Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Sometimes, a team has an off night. It happens to the best of them. But what we witnessed on Sunday Night Football between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints might just be more than that.

The game was out of hand almost before it started.

Despite being home favorites, Tampa Bay got slapped around by New Orleans for four quarters. The final score was 38-3, and the Buccaneers didn’t put up those three points until they were midway through the fourth.

The offense was awful for Tampa Bay. They totaled under 200 yards (194) with only nine of those yards coming on the ground. They converted only one third- or fourth-down attempts and hold the ball for less than 20 minutes (19 minutes, 56 seconds).

Quarterback Tom Brady threw three interceptions, took three sacks and was hit a lot more.

The defense was not much better. The Saints were 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) on third down while racking up 38 points and 420 total yards. Drew Brees was efficient with four touchdowns. Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill proved to be effective as a passer, runner and receiver (123 total yards).

It was like everything went right for New Orleans while everything went wrong for Tampa Bay.

But guys, this isn’t the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Jets. This is a Bucs team that was 6-2 and heavy favorites to win the NFC South heading into this game. Yet, they were dominated in every facet of the game — even with new wide receiver Antonio Brown finally seeing the field.

Bruce Arians and company had zero answers.

Does this mean that power is shifting in the NFC South? Should the now 6-2 Saints be considered the favorites? They have beaten Tampa Bay on two separate occasions after all.

It is hard to count out Brady. He has had rough games in the past, but this one still feels different.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.


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  1. The Bucs might look good on paper but as a team they still don’t know how to win consistently. They aren’t used to being favored or showing up every week to take the other good team’s best shot. They don’t have that team swagger like a champion does. They’re still learning who they are. They got away with taking teams by surprise the first half of the season, but that’s over.

  2. It’s an ebb and flo league, as the Cowboys proved nearly beating the Steelers yesterday – “Any given Sunday.” The regular season is about getting to the double digit win mark, winning your division if possible, and the best teams will be decided in January.

    Even the playoffs are not a perfect evaluation, injuries happen, and an inevitable bad bounce here or there. There have been plenty of seasons where the best team on paper is not crowned champion.

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