Looking back on Bucs’ loss to New Orleans

by Gary Shelton on January 2, 2024

in general

Has Mayfield satisfied you?/TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Do the math. A third of Bucs’ fans think Todd Bowles is mediocre, a third think the roster is mediocre and a third think both of the other thirds are right. Yeah, that adds up to 8-8, all right.

2. At what point did the Bucs’ coaches think that game plan was going to work. “We won’t move the ball an inch, we won’t pass the rusher and we’ll expose our weak secondary. Yeah, we have them right where we want them,”

3. Key question: Do you think next year’s record will be any better than this one?

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4. Another key question: Does this team play smart? Strong? Bold? Creative? Efficient? Ruthless? And if not, who do you blame for that?

5.  Does it strike anyone else that the Bucs are the USF of pro football?


(From Todd Bowles’ Monday press conference)

(On what he learned from Sunday’s game): “The effort is there, you know. I thought we started slow. In all phases, we started slow. Defensively, we didn’t get off the field. [We] didn’t get going, offensively. [We] knew what to do, we were just in a daze the first quarter and a half before we could get anything going, and by then it’s too late against a good football team. You watch it, you analyze it, you talk about it, [and] you work at it in practice. We know we need to start faster. We know we have one more game to get in, and we have to do everything it takes.” 

(On if the New Orleans Saints had a greater motivation to win the game as they would have been eliminated from playoff contention with a loss):  Not really. I mean, I can’t tell you their motivation. Our motivation is to get in [the playoffs]. We won four out of five. We did a hell of a job winning four out of five, and [if] we win five out of six, we get in. That’s the reality of it. Winning six in a row would have been outstanding, winning five out of six isn’t bad either. We’ve just got to buckle down and win the last one.” 

On what he thinks the coaching staff could have done differently) : “Anytime you lose, you can coach better and you can play better. We all know what we could have done better – we talk about it in the meetings, and we move forward from there.” 

(On if he thinks the Saints were the more physical team on Sunday as they made a point to practice with pads on Wednesday): “No, I thought they played a heck of a ball game. I mean, they had an extra rest day, because they played on Thursday, so they were allowed to do that and get people healthy. We’re playing with people that we are trying to get to the game on Sunday, so you really can’t afford to be in pads [during the week], but we’ve been like that during the whole four-game win streak. So, that didn’t have anything to do with us, we just didn’t play well.” 

(On the Saints targeting their tight end 15 times on Sunday): “No, we tried to shut down the deep game with [Rashid] Shaheed and [Chris] Olave, which have been doing great this year, and you [have] [Alvin] Kamara. You [have] to give up something. The tight ends were there. I thought they got to them in critical situations on third-and-6. There were a couple of things we could have played better, but for the most part, the ball wasn’t down the field. They [had] some catch and runs and those are two decent players, but they didn’t kill us. I mean, I think they had 202 yards passing, we just have to get it off the field on third down.”

Game Balls

Offense: Almost every Buc who had a big play also had a turnover (or two). Which leaves us with Chris Godwin, Again,

Defense: Lavonte David is always solid. He had 11 more tackles Sunday.

Special teams: Not even Jake Camarda was decent. No winner.


Quarterback: Mayfield finished strong, but he was awful in the first half. Grade: D.

Running back: Rachaad White had 42 yards. Whee. Grade: D.

Offensive line:  Two sacks and less than four yards a carry. They were bullied. Grade: F.

Defensive line: The Saints’ third-team tackle was good. Grade:D.

Linebackers:  Devin White was average at best. Grade: C.

Secondary: Derek Carr turned into a real quarterback. Grade: F.

Coaching: The play-calling wasn’t good, the inspiration was worse. Grade: F.

Power Rankings

  1. Baltimore

2. San Francisco

3. Dallas

4. Detroit

5. Philadelphia


16. Tampa Bay

Bottom 5

32. Carolina

31. New England

30. Washington

29. Arizona

28. N.Y. Giants

5 Best Bucs’ Wins

  1. New Orleans

2. Green Bay

3. Atlanta

4. Jacksonville

5. Minnesota

5 Worst Bucs Losses

  1. New Orleans

2.   Atlanta

3. Houston

4. Indianapolis

5. Buffalo

Best Opposing  Quarterbacks

  1. Brock Purdy, San Francisco                      158.3

2.  C.J. Stroud, Houston                                  147.8

3. Jordan Love, Green Bay                              111.5

4. Derrick Carr, New Orleans                            111.1

5. Jarod Goff, Detroit                                        107.5

NFL Stats

Passing Yards                Baker Mayfield                 8

Rushing Yards               Rachaad White               15

Receiving Yards            Mike Evans                     10

Penalties                     Luke Goedeke                6 (t)

Punting                          Jake Camarda                  8

Nearing Plateaus

Player                               Goal                         Needed

Baker Mayfield                4,000 Yards                  93

Rachaad White                1,000 Yards                 85

Mike Evans                       1,300 Yards                67

Chris Godwin                    1,000 Yards               27

Lavonte David                  125 Tackles                  1

Team Statistics

Rushing 31

Defense 25

Passing Defense 32

Points 19

Penalties 12

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