Looking back on Bucs’ loss to Detroit

by Gary Shelton on January 23, 2024

in general

5 Thoughts

  1. They are not a bad team, like the pundits predicted. They are not a great team, despite the fans' expectations . That leaves the Bucs somewhere between competitive and contenders. In the NFL, it can be harder to climb from the middle to the top than the bottom.

2. Here's an idea for Mike Evans. Throw a lot of dollars at him, and whatever he catches, he keeps.

3. I guess Sunday proved it. Jared Goff with 11 secocnds to throw is better than Baker Mayfield with three.

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4. If most of us are honest, the Bucs won about twice as many games as we expected. Ten wins is pretty good, especially with a team's secondary on fire.

5. Say you had $500 to wager. Would you take the over or the under on the Bucs winning 10 games next season?


(From Todd Bowles' day-after press conference)

(On what stands out to him when he looks back on Sunday’s game against Detroit): “We fought. I thought we made some mistakes in the fourth quarter that got the game away from us that we normally didn’t make. We fought hard. We didn’t play smart in the fourth quarter.”

(On what he’s most proud of from the 2023 season): “Just the fight and the effort. Those guys stayed together. I’m proud of the coaching staff and proud of all of the departments that took care of the players – the equipment staff, the trainers, the nutritionists, the strength staff. The building completely came together as a group. It was enjoyable to come to work every day. Everybody worked hard. Everybody worked hard to have a hand in this. I’m sorry we couldn’t see it through, but I’m very proud of the effort everybody put in.”

(On Detroit QB Jared Goff not being pressured very much on Sunday): “We did a little of both [blitzing and playing coverage]. The biggest thing was the underneath coverage. Like I said earlier, they didn’t get as much. They got out late. Going into the fourth quarter, we held them down pretty good and they started making some plays in the fourth quarter. I give them a lot of credit, they’ve got a lot of talent. Some things we didn’t do as well in the fourth quarter that we did well in the first three quarters. He’s a great quarterback [and] they have a very good football team. The better team won yesterday.”

(On LB Lavonte David turning 34 years old on Tuesday and if he’d like to have David back)" “I’d love to have him back. He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached. I don’t even look at his age – he plays timeless. He plays timeless football, he plays it the right way, he prepares the right way. He’s the ultimate professional.”

(On how much demand QB Baker Mayfield will have on the open market): “It’s a good question. I’m pretty sure he’d be in demand. I don’t know to what aspect he would be in demand. Obviously, money plays a lot of part of free agency and loyalty plays a lot of part in free agency, and who actually wants you and where you can go and what you can afford plays a lot, and how you see yourself in certain systems. It’ll be a tricky thing. He was great here, we love him to death. Hopefully it works out for us.”

Game Balls

Offense: Yes, he threw two picks (one off of a receiver), but Baker Mayfield threw for 349 yards.

Defense: If it was his last game, Lavonte Daid went out with a bang. Lavonte David had 13 tackles and a sack.

Special teams: Jake Camarda averaged 51.8 yards per punt and had two inside the 20.


Quarterback: Mayfield keeps making arguments for a new deal. Grade: B.

Running backs: The Bucs need to run better, but don’tyou like Rachaad White in the passing game? Grade: B.

Offensive line: Too much pressure to give Mayfield a chance. Grade: D.

Wide receivers: The Lions receivers were quicker than the Bucs: Grade: B-.

Defensive line: Simply not enough pressure. Grade: C-.

Linebackers: David and K.J. Britt combined for 25 tackles. Grade: A-/

Defensive backs: Continued to be the most overrated part of the Bucs' team: Grade: F.

Power Rankings

  1. Baltimore

2. San Francisco

3. Kansas City

4. Detroit

5. 1985 Bears

Bottom 5

32. Carolina

31. New England


29/ Washington

28. L.A. Chargers

5 free agents to Retain

  1. Antoine Winfield

2. Baker Mayfield

3. Mike Evans

4. Lavonte David

5. Chase McLaughlin

5 Bucs' Mock Draftees

5 Bucs' mock draft projections

NFL.com Keon Coleman, WR, FSU

Sports Illustrated Bralin Trice, Edge, Washington

Pro Football Focus Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

CBS Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Pro Football Network Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Most Bucs season wins

(Counting playoffs)

15 2020

15 2002

14 2021

11. 1997

11 1979

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