Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Bills

October 22nd, 2017


I can’t put it any better than Dirk Koetter:

“We let this one slip away.”

This was a galling setback, in some ways more hurtful than the embarrassment in the Arizona desert. The Bucs simply didn’t man up against the Cardinals. On Sunday, they didn’t smarten up against a Buffalo team that was there for the taking.

This one stings like a yellow jacket, so let us count the ways:

* You can’t roll up 27 points against the NFL’s stingiest scoring defense and come away with a loss. That simply can’t happen. Jameis Winston and his talented targets did an outstanding job facing a defense that had allowed only six touchdowns through the first five games.

* Koetter’s career record as an NFL head coach fell to 11-11 as the Bucs remain in the NFC South basement following their fifth consecutive road loss. Those days were supposed to be over, but there they are, bringing up the rear with the start of division play dead ahead.

* I haven’t forgotten about you, Mike Smith. Your group couldn’t hold a 27-20 lead with 3:14 remaining. By the time I asked for a cup of coffee at Abe’s Place in Clearwater, the Bills were sitting pretty, deep in Buc territory. Koetter said the defense failed to cover a wheel route. Why, Mr. Smith, why?

* Great TD catch and toe-tap by Mike Evans while Tampa Bay was reeling off a 21-3 spurt that appeared to give the Bucs control of this matchup. O.J. Howard capitalized on imaginative play calls and Cameron Brate, as usual, was a dynamic force over the middle.

* The Bucs were outgained 173-69 on the ground and Doug Martin’s 20 carries were largely ineffective. I know Tyrod Taylor’s 53 yards padded Buffalo’s run stats, but that doesn’t explain why Martin averaged less than 2.5 yards per attempt. This was an ugly throwback to Martin’s forgettable 2016 season.

* Martin’s not the only culprit in a ground game that is now averaging a paltry 3.6 yards per carry on the season. Left tackle Donovan Smith seems to be regressing in front of our eyes and Ali Marpet’s growing pains at center continue to frustrate the coaching staff.

* You can’t say the Bills didn’t do their part to hand the Bucs a victory. Buffalo missed a 41-yard FG and screwed up the final seconds of the first half with awful clock management, potentially costing the home team another three points.

* It was good to see Lavonte David come up big with 14 tackles and a fumble recovery, but Kwon Alexander kept missing tackles and the Bucs allowed a popgun attack to complete six passes of at least 22 yards. Guess the soft coverage wasn’t all the fault of Vernon Hargreaves.

* Hard to believe, but the Bucs brought basically a fully healthy team to Orchard Park, then left sick to their stomach as the Bills converted 10-for-16 on third down and rolled up 434 yards. All this from the No. 31 offense in a 32-team league. At this rate, that 3-4 defensive alignment hinted at by Koetter last week can’t come soon enough.

* After 58 minutes, it all came down to stopping Buffalo on third-and-9 from the Tampa Bay 32. The Bucs couldn’t do it as a flip pass and sloppy tackling allowed the Bills to move the chains and run the clock down. A stop there would have given Winston the ball back with 1:50 remaining — and he was feeling it. One stop. One third-down stop. Couldn’t do it. Ballgame.

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also see Ira every football Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on FOX-13, Scott Smith’s Tailgate Sunday.

36 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Bills”

  1. Bculaw Says:

    PLEASE make the adjustment to 3-4. We can’t keep going to the same passive, ineffective scheme we’ve been running all season. Think about it. Take away the last few games of last season, and this defense has been among the worst in NFL history. Make an adjustment. PLEASE.

  2. NJBucsFan Says:

    At least Ira isn’t blindfully oblivious to crap that we put out there at LT

  3. DB55 Says:

    10 articles and not one mention of the future hof DT disappearing yet again. 173 yards rushing. When you need a 1st down or a score simply run to gmcs gap and you’re good to go.

  4. James Walker Says:

    The Bucs lost because Hump fumbled. It happens. If he made the catch Bucs win….

  5. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    I love you Ira. You are seriously, no joke, the only reason that I can stay invested in this team each and every week despite the results on the scoreboard. It used to be hard for me to pay attention to football media the week following a loss. Now I cannot wait to hear your take through your articles and podcast every week. I can’t get enough Ira! Beet salad and happy Rieslings to you my friend.

  6. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Very deflated

  7. Bucn Frustrated Says:

    Love Ira’s takes. As I watch this team I can’t figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a talent thing. We supposedly have talent at each level of the defense ( McCoy, Kwon/Lavonte, Grimes) but as I watch this defense it never seems to enforce its will on the other team. One time today the D actually looked like it was on fire and it was flying around when they stopped Buffalo deep in their own territory. All the other times they’re running around like they don’t have a clue. I thought we were told that these guys all “got” Mike Smith’s defense and didn’t have to think but only react. Sure doesn’t seem that way now.

  8. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Paging Mike Smith, U of Illinois AD is on Line 1.

  9. Rrsrq Says:

    Yep, a stop on 3rd and 9

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    We can talk about all the rEason we lost but it’s the same story. Cancer93 = Soft defense. Msmith did a nice job building this defense around him tho

  11. cometowin2 Says:

    I started a Go Fund Me campaign. Search purchase- Fire Mike Smith billboard.

  12. JonBuc Says:

    Ira deserves better than covering this perpetually disappointing team. It’s impossible to try and buff the pile of manure this team trots out on a consistent basis. A few more games like this one and he’ll be holding a press conference announcing his retirement in order to spend more time with Dante the Dog and polish off riesling 🍷.

  13. OBXPirate Says:

    Please add an off topic board for TMaxipad, Lamaria, and douchebag55. They are so full of knowledge criticizing professional media about GMC they deserve their own special topic area and stop subjecting the rest of us to their ignorant BS. It is beyond getting old.

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    Ira knows deep down that u can’t have loser culture hold overs or get them from other teams. Joe knows this also.


    U will be losing sponsor and funds if this problem persist year in year out. That’s just silly talk right there. You do realize this site grows annually yet has never existed when the Bucs had a playoff team.–Joe Cut the BS licht and convince us that players from losing are hard to teach to win. It will rub off on others

  15. B Coburn Says:

    Just watched highlights again. Sucks Hump fumbled but in all honesty was pretty good defensive play. You could see Hump clearly clutch the ball with both hands when running into defenders and was running hard. Didn’t everything he could to protect it short of falling down… arguably maybe he should have. If it weren’t for the defence it never comes down to that play

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    This coaching staff is killing this team….we just witnessed Smitty using VHG in the wrong way…. forcing him to play off…. Spence being wasted….marpet and Smith regressing… this coaching staff fails to adjust…. Dirk is on the hot seat!!!!…GO BUCS!!!

  17. B Coburn Says:

    *did. And yeah still think he’s a solid player

  18. OBXPirate Says:

    Sponsors will be lost because of trolls like you!

  19. Lamarcus Says:

    On a positive note. It was a good entertainin game. Probably better than the rest of these games. Football perhaps is a game of inches. That fumble is very unfortunate for hump. It blew the WHOLE game. Usually I would give him the “needs to go ” list throw to him but hump is overachieving and a solid player for us.

  20. Chris Says:

    Our running game was invisible…. again. Our running game averages a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. Perhaps what they need is a game against the Bucs D. They make any runner look like Walter Payton.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ira … “but Kwon Alexander kept missing tackles.” Shame on you Ira; you know you can’t say that about Kwon, the leader of our defense. (He did get blocked out of plays in the middle far too easily though). He wasn’t the only one however who was missing tackles. I just kept shaking my head at what I was seeing in terms of tackling. Bills were playing smash-mouth football; Bucs weren’t. Simple as that.

    Oh by the way, what’s happened to Gholston, Ayers & Spence this year? Both Will and Robert were excellent at containment last year. This year they’re both getting blocked out so easily I can’t believe they’re the same players. I feel sorry for Smitty … this defense is just plain talent-deficient. If you can’t stop the pass, and you can’t stop the run … aaah never mind.

  22. 813bucboi Says:

    Don’t Hide!!!!


    Tell us how this is all part of the process!!!!….tell us how Dirk and Smitty are still coaching the Lovie out of players!!!!…..tell us how much you saw this coming!!!!… tell us how the sheep are clueless!!!!!…. tell us how this staff knows exactly what they’re doing!!!!…BS!!!…GO BUCS!!!!

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    No coach Koetter. You let 4 slip away. You are 2-4. Not 3-1. And if you and Smitty don’t fix the Defense, You’re gonna be 2-5 next week. And how come you ain’t usin that Big Stick Coach? Where is it? After all many fans here annoited you as the 2nd coming. Fix this Sh..! Nobody feels sorry for you. Carolina an
    Riverboat Flores certainly will not. The HARD life..of a Bucs fan.

  24. Shane Says:

    Up 27-20 with 3 minutes left we still manage to lose. They score in 40seconds. It’s just piss poor. This defense HAS to be fixed in a hurry.

  25. destinjohnny Says:

    Guys you cant win on the nfl without talent.
    We slimply dont have it on the defensive line and in the secondary.
    We arent going to the playoffs with our defensive talent.
    7-7 8-8
    In the deepest d lineman draft in 20 years we take vh3 draft a 235 pound end and trade up for a flipping kicker.
    We use those 3 picks properly and Tyrod takes 30 minutes to get out of bed tomorrow.

  26. Jim Says:

    But, but…didn’t we just change the coaching staff? Is this the plan, sack the coaches every other year?

  27. NewTampaChris Says:

    10 takeaways, 20 takeaways…whatever.

    I’m going to go back to the way fans communed before the internet. When our team lost the way the Bucs did today, we got together at work on Monday morning, we said, “The Bucs suck” and we got back to work. Not the need, the time nor the means to communicate with others.

    Perhaps we should just leave it at that, “The Bucs suck.”

  28. Rob Says:

    On a positive note, at least we don’t have to worry about someone trying to woo our vaunted defensive coordinator, Mike Smith, as a head coach. I don’t think he could coach any worse. I take that back, we are the 31st worst defense out of 32 teams. People get fired over giving up the booty like that today. He cannot fix this mess…Clearly. Wish I knew the answer and now I’m pissed off for the next few days, like I have been after each of the other stupid losses this year. This was not supposed to be a regressing year and now we get to look to the GD draft. I am so pissed off.

  29. Jeffbuc Says:

    @joe is there any rule that says dirk can’t pull all the receivers and jameis during practice. And have them come to another field and run fly routes the whole practice over and over again every week until jameis can do it. That’s the way it was with me for sports growing up if someone couldn’t do something and kept messing up at it in basketball and football we would all have to run suicides and gassers until the problem was fixed. I don’t see why an nfl head coach couldn’t do it also. Because I guarantee you jameis would get really good at it really quick when the receivers are throwing up and bitching at him. Cause I know it cured the problems for my high school teams really quick when we had to run and run for someone else’s mistakes. They take accountability and fix that problem really quick. Or is the nfl to soft to allow that.

  30. German Buc Says:

    @Jeffbuc: In practice our offense is playing our defense. So it’s nearly guaranteed every deep ball hits the receiver…

  31. Realbucfan Says:

    You know why we lose games like this? Because our fans, lots post on here, have a losers mentality. We put up 30 points on the best d in NFL, a team thats previous high was 20. Our offense did their job today and I applaud them. This defense is way to talented to be playing this bad. Our Defense line and linebackers are better suited for a 3-4. The down lineman being DE McCoy NT Baker DE Ayers, OLB spence, OLB Beckwith, and David and Kwon roaming the center. That is nasty there. But when you put that in a 4-3 it’s not working. Stop dogging the team, we where a worse football team last year and won 5 or 6 straight. We do that now we are 7-4, with 5 to go. The talent is there, we will be just fine.

  32. Duke Says:


    Gassers??? It worked in High school…….lol
    Awesome idea!

  33. Season Is Over Says:

    Loser mentality is thinking 15 years without a playoff win is acceptable. People invest time, money and energy following the team by their own choice. They have the right/choice to be upset at a commercial product after all this time. You can’t quell public sentiment and this team is not beyond reproach. We can clearly see what the coddling has done. This team created these fans and to blame them is ludicrous. The team can now reap the benefits of that creation. Good or bad.

  34. johnnybuc Says:

    donovan smith regressing really? do we not remember against the broncos and rams last season when he was getting beat every single play? and you’re going to say he’s regressing? cmon ira your better than that he didn’t have his best game. he gave up 1 sack that happened to be a fumble. ok sacks happen sometimes. that penalty he was called for on the deep ball to d jax was a phantom penalty the refs really wanted to be apart of the game in the 2nd half… to say the least. smith is not a bad LT by any stretch if u do t believe me just watch some other teams play. there might be 10 better LT in the game than smith and that might be pushing it. we remember what happens when let go of donald penn when u have a pretty good blind side protector you don’t get rid of them

  35. PistolPete Says:

    Have to wonder if not being highlighted on Hard Knocks may have impacted some fragile ego’s on the team starting the season?

  36. Dirty Bucs Says:

    Thank God for the lightning. That’s the gold standard in Tampa now. Glazers, take note.