Looking back on Bucs’ loss to L.A. Rams

by Gary Shelton on November 25, 2020

in general

Arians is barely above .500./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Sure, it's the play-calling. I blame Bruce Arians for not being able to come up with a better plan for an offense that can't block, can't run and can't catch the ball out of the backfield.

2. Todd Bowles, on the other hand, should be on the hot seat for having a team that can't cover, can't tackle and can't build a consistent rush.

3. Donovan Smith is still not very good as a football player.

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4. If the Bucs do somehow beat Patrick Mahomes, will they get hate mail from State Farm? They beat Aaron Rodgers earlier.

5. Here I thought the Bucs were going to try to copy the Lightning. Turns out, there are nights they look a lot like USF.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On why the Bucs have sputtered against good defenses this year): “I think in this one – second half, especially – we got ourselves out of manageable third downs. [In the] first half we were able to stay in good, manageable down-and-distances and completed a lot of third-down balls to keep the chains moving. In the second half, we did not. When we took shots, we missed them. I think they did a good job of staying in manageable third downs or we got them off the field – we didn’t. I think two things – we got a big turnover [and] kicked a field goal, [but] they got a turnover and scored a touchdown. Big, big plays. The play before the half on the screen – those three points. In those type of games, those are the type of plays that are going to beat you.”

(On the team's secondary): "Our secondary – for the first time – I thought we tackled as poorly as we’ve ever tackled in that ballgame. Especially in the first half, we gave up like 70 yards run-after-catch on five-yard routes twice. That’s un-Buc-like for us. I’m not used to seeing that. We’ve got to get back. [In the] second half we did a much better job of it. We’ve got to play like that the whole time, especially against this team.”

(On four dropped passes by running backs Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette): “The one to RoJo (Ronald Jones II) was not (a drop) – that screen hadn’t even developed yet. We turned the guy loose on the right side with a mental error and threw the screen way too fast. Leonard [Fournette] – he can catch two of those three. Tom [Brady] can throw a better ball, too, so it’s combination of both.”

(On the belief that the Tampa Bay offense has too many weapons)

“I don’t think there’s such a thing. It’s better to have them all spring and all summer than to throw them all together in the middle of the season. [When] you don’t have a spring at all or a real training camp, it’s hard on a quarterback, especially when you’ve done something [the same way] for 20 years and then throw all these guys at him. I don’t think you can have too many good players, no. Looking at the team coming in here this week, I don’t think they have a problem with having too many really good players.”

“Other than the deep ball, I think he’s getting confused a few times with coverage that might be causing some inaccurate balls. I don’t see it at all in practice. We’re not missing the deep ball at all in practice – that’s for sure. It’s just a matter on Sundays of hitting them.”


Offense: Tackle Tristan Wirfs continues to have a good rookie season. He was largely responsible for holding Rams' star Aaron Donald without a tackle.

Defense: Jason Pierre Paul had six tackles and an interception.

Special teams: Bradley Pinion averaged 48 yards on five punts, including two inside the 20.


Quarterback: It has gone from disturbing to alarming. Tom Brady can't hit anything deep. Often, he isn't close. Grade: D.

Running back: Im the have and have-not world of Bucs' backs, Monday was a have-not. Some days, Ronald Jones looks like he belongs in the Pro Bowl. Sometimes, in the toilet bowl. Grade: F.

Offensive line: The Rams had constant pressure on the Bucs and the team averaged 2.3 yards per rush. Grade: F.

Defensive line: The Rams couldn't run, either. But where was the pass rush? Grade: D.

Linebackers: Lavonte David and Devin White had tackles, but no impact plays. Grade: C+.

Secondary: The Bucs simply don't cover anyone. Two receivers with 130 yards or more for the Rams. Grade: F-.

Kicking: Ryan Succop continues to be accurate, and Pinion is hidden money. But no one returns anything. Grade: C.

NFL Power Rankings


CBS.com 10

NFL.com 6

Bleacher Report 9

Pro Football Talk 13

NFL Stats

Passing Yards Brady 4

Rushing Yards Jones 5

Receptions Evans 31

Tackles White 3

Sacks Pierre-Paul 8

After 27 Games

  1. Jon Gruden 17-10

2. Tony Dungy 14-13

Bruce Arians 14-13

4. Greg Schiano 10-17

Raheem Morris 10-17

5 More Thoughts

  1. I'm pulling for both John Lynch and Ronde Barber, two of my favorite Bucs ever, to reach the Hall of Fame. But with Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Torry Holt and Tony Boselli on the ballot, the slots are going to be tough to come by.

2. It's fair to criticize Tom Brady. He's had a lifetime of praise when he's played well, and now that he's not, he isn't above having it pointed out. But give me a break on ripping the guy for not loitering on the field to shake hands after he's had his head handed to him. What? Was he supposed to bring flowers?

3. There is always waste when a team loses, but the Bucs lost despite highlight reel scores from Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

4. Man, do the Bucs miss Vita Vea and Ali Marpet, two guys who don't get nearly enough credit.

5. Anyone still think Brady is the MVP?

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