Browns beat punchless Bucs in overtime

by Gary Shelton on November 28, 2022

in general

Godwin caught 12 passes for Bucs./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

The offense died. Right there in the middle of the field, in the middle of the game, the supposedly potent offense of the Tampa Bay Bucs fell over sideways.

At the time, things were going well. They had just taken a 17-10 lead over the woeful Cleveland Browns, and while things were a struggle, it appeared the Bucs would manage their third straight win.

And then, death.

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Kieft scored his first touchdown./TIM WIRT

Gasping, flailing, suffocating death. The Bucs went the second half of the third quarter without scoring. They went the entire fourth quarter without scoring. They went the almost 10 minutes of overtime without scoring.

The Bucs played slow Sunday. They lacked imagination. They tried to attack in sips and nibbles, and as such, a touchdown drive was usually too much to ask.

This was against the Browns, mind you, a team that has given up 30 points or more in five games. But the Bucs lack the ability to put away a game this season.

And in the end, they lost 23-17. With it, they fell to 5-6 on the season.

"Seventeen points isn't going to do it," said Brady. "It's been the same thing all year. We're not scoring enough points. Every play is an individual win or loss, and we're losing too many. There were too many plays where we were not on the right page, and we've got to correct that."

It was a return to the struggles that most Bucs followers thought had ended with two straight wins. But the low-scoring Bucs continued to struggle. Tom Brady threw for 246 yards, but he was unable to throw deep.

“We had so much in all three phases that lost this ballgame,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “We didn’t play smart. We didn’t play good football. We didn’t play sound football and we let things go.”

The Bucs have now lost to Pittsburgh, Carolina and Cleveland, teams with 11 wins and 22 losses among them.

The Bucs took a 17-10 lead on Brady's second touchdown pass (to Ko Krieft). But the Bucs couldn't block the Browns, and the receivers struggled to get separation, and they couldn't block Myles Garrett, and they gave up 116 yards to Nick Chubb.

The Browns also finished strong. In the second half, the Browns scored with 32 seconds to play on a terrific catch by tight end David Njoku.

In overtime, they scored with 19 seconds to play on a three-yard run by Chubb. That score was set up when the Bucs' secondary blew a coverage and Amari Cooper caught a 45-yard pass.

After their go-ahead touchdown, the Bucs had six possessions without scoring.

Chris Godwin caught 12 passes for 110 yards, but Mike Evans had just two catches.

It has been a problem all year. Only once have the Bucs scored more than 22 points in a game.

The Bucs are home against New Orleans on Sunday at 8:15 p.m.

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