Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Packers

December 3rd, 2017


They played hard, they played physical … and they lost.

Blame this setback on lack of football smarts. Tampa Bay kicked Green Bay’s rump up and down Lambeau Field all afternoon in a game the Packers simply had to have.

In the end, the home squad capitalized on critical mental errors to stay alive in the NFC wild-card chase while denying the visitors any chance at a winning record.

The Bucs have now dropped 10 of 15 games since last season’s 8-5 start, including a 1-8 mark on the road. The Packers walked off the field knowing the Bucs lost this game just as much as Green Bay won it.

* Mistakes, they made a few. Try another Jameis Winston turnover as he is being sacked. Try a blown blocking scheme that allowed a free Green Bay defender to block a punt by racing down the middle untouched. Try some key penalties that helped the Packers prevail on a day they barely had the ball. Try an errant snap down near the Green Bay end zone.

* Winston continues to be plagued by fumbles, and that’s a problem because he should know better after 41 starts. He has fumbled 26 times as a pro, losing 11, and when you add 39 interceptions, that makes 50 giveaways. Unless you’re Brett Favre, that’s too many turnovers and an unacceptable burden on your teammates to bail you out.

* A strange day for Tampa Bay’s offensive line, which had provided stout protection most of the year. Winston was sacked seven times and hit on 13 occasions as Clay Matthews enjoyed a field day. The veteran linebacker posted 2 1-2 sacks and three hits, disrupting the Buc backfield with little opposition.

* After struggling to open running lanes for three months, the men in front of Winston led the way for a 165-yard ground attack that helped Tampa Bay maintain possession for more than 37 minutes. In the middle two quarters, the Bucs controlled the clock for 22:27, compared to only 7:33 for the home team.

* And now we come to the strange case of young Peyton Barber, who ran 23 times for 102 yards and added 41 yards on 4 receptions. While Doug Martin kept running on empty, Barber was placed in mothballs after opening the season with 47 yards on 10 carries against Chicago. In the ensuing six weeks, Barber was granted only 2 rushing attempts. That, my friends, is an inexplicable travesty.

* Need another example of dumb football? Knowing Brett Hundley can do more damage with his legs than his right arm, the Bucs continually let him escape the pocket as defensive ends kept knifing inside. On a day when Hundley threw for 84 yards and registered a dismal passer rating of 48.3, he burned Tampa Bay for 66 yards on the ground. Mike Smith’s defense forgot Rule No.1 — keep this inexperienced backup in the pocket.

* The defense in overtime was a joke, and it’s not like Gerald McCoy and company were exhausted from being on the field all day. Hundley scrambled around right end for seven yards on 3rd-and-4, then ran right again for 18 yards only two plays later. Let’s skip any discussion of the atrocious run fits on the winning touchdown, shall we?

* The rookie class did a nice job overall. Chris Godwin, a precise route runner, looks like a keeper. O.J. Howard’s blocking was instrumental in the success of the run game and Justin Evans continues to showcase his range and athleticism.

* This setback was particularly galling because the Bucs were the better team. They converted 9-of-16 on third down and had 21 more snaps than Green Bay, even with that OT drive factored in. The Bucs had been 7-0 under Koetter when running the ball more than 30 times, but all that good work was wasted because Tampa Bay didn’t play intelligent football.

* The Bucs took another step toward securing residence in the division basement for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. That’s tough to do, even if you’re trying. Many Tampa Bay fans are already thinking about the April draft — that’s never a good thing in early December.

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.

23 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Packers”

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Ira, I agree, why the hell was Barber not given a chance sooner? Licht paid Martin all that $ for nothing, what a waste. And thank you for pointing out Winston and his give aways. I am told I am a hater, I want Jameis to do well,but her can NOT keep giving the ball up at that rate. I know the O Line was bad, but his decision making is terrible at time, and I do not see it getting any better. Koetter keeping 2 timeouts in his pocket when you had GB 3rd and 12 was also a mess. Last place again… what a damn mess. You see Tenn, PHL, LAR all with young QB’s making playoff pushes, and this team throws up.

  2. Season Is Over Says:

    At least the Gruden hope is still alive.

  3. D-Rome Says:

    Today is the first time I have wondered whether Jameis is the future. No other QB in the NFL makes so many bone-headed plays. Winston is a big reason why the Bucs lost.

    I don’t ever want to hear “It’s only pre-season” ever again. We saw the same kind of stuff in August and everybody said to not worry about it.

  4. Nick2 Says:

    All of this ineptitude goes further to prove that a lack of talent is not this teams problem. Your best running back sitting on the bench all year, Chris Godwin well out playing Adam Humphrey yet not seeing the field, Jameis hasn’t just regressed but it’s clear the message of ball security is not sinking in. These issues are all on offense. The smart thing to do would make Jameis earn the starting job because he certainly has thrown it away all year. Why does the stern image of Gruden running this offense seem like the right thing? Koetter has taken Jameis only so far and now stern leadership needs to be at the helm. Gruden is the guy to straighten

  5. BucTrooper Says:

    We were thinking about the draft before Halloween

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    Come on IRA, you’ve been to many a Buc rodeo, Bad teams do bad things. Bucs went away from there calling card Defense about 3 yrs ago, Until we get a Defense, A DC, and a no nonsense head coach, we are gonna be one of the top 5 laughing stocks in the NFL. I said Koetter should have stayed in his lane as an OC. I still say that. Hopefully he takes his road dog.. DC PressBox Smitty with him
    when he leaves either this year or the next. Its quite inevitable. Handwritings on the wall. Put these 2 clowns out of their misery..and ours!

  7. uckinator Says:

    1st round pick (I don’t care if you trade up) Kick ass pass rusher disrupter ! He is as important to the team as a quarterback.

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    Getting tiresome hearing about one play. Take that play away and we proved how bad this team is win or lose. Give me flawless QB play and this team is still nowhere close to being a legit contender.

    There’s nothing but holes on this team. Problems so much deeper then one play it’s sickening.

    I’ve seen other teams win with boneheaded plays before but our team is incapable. There has to be accountability from more then just the QB here.

  9. #fireDirk Says:

    We’re not thinking about the draft, we’re dreaming of a new coaching staff.

  10. Hodad Says:

    Ira, get with the calendar. I started thinking draft, and new staff before Halloween!

  11. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    Thinking draft in early December? Try thinking draft in early November. So, who finishes with the best overall record in the last 4 games. 2-10 49ers or 4-8 Bucs?

  12. darin Says:

    You know what loses games like this more than anything? Coaching. This coaching staff is getting their asses handed to them every week. Mike Zimmer even trolled them before the vikes played the falcons. He was asked how he was gona stop julio which he replied. We are definitely going to defend him much differently than tampa did. Aha press coverage and blitz. Novel concept. N no it doesnt take xavier rhodes to do that. Fire them all.

  13. BrianBucs Says:

    Ira, the Bucs were the better team? If Aaron Rogers was playing the Bucs would have lost by four TD’s . What game were you watching?

  14. tmaxcon Says:

    Any team captained by cancer93 is thinking draft before pre season is over.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Fire Dirk is right. Draft won’t fix the team. We need better coaching. Four years building an offense and then blowing your wad on DJax and we can’t protect or complete the seven step deep drop backs like intended…….That is a complete miss valuation of your team…..Same thing in the running game where each player on the line was built to run block and they are incapable of opening up holes to pave the way for the poorly evaluated and overpaid stud RB……It shouldn’t take multiple injuries along the front to get the rush game going……..that screams personnel packaging miscues.

    Defense is a train wreck with the wrong coach coaching the wrong players. Make any excuse you wish but it doesn’t take more then four probowler type players to get more the a league worst defense.

    This team has been mismanaged at every level of the game. We couldn’t adjust to stopping one player on defense today and gave him the game of his career. We don’t adjust because we are not prepared are mismanaged and have been misevaluated.

    I’m ashamed in myself for even caring about this team tonight. I hope we have an interim by morning.

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    Tmax now is not the time to blame Gerald. Get with the times and start seeing the realit6 that it was was a complete and disgusting evaluation of this team to build their team around McCoy.

    We need real leadership on this team to recognize that McCoy is nothing more then a double-team swelling decoy for this defense.

    I realized years ago that McCoy was not the game changing play maker that leads a line and his team to victories. The only evidence that has shown was that Dominick was a dud for investing in him and that Licht is a dud for building around him. Your true beef should be with mismanagement of the team not with the player who has been grossly overvalued.

  17. yrbndr Says:

    @tmaxx Obviously GMC stole a teddy bear intended for your son with your ridiculous bellicosity! Get a grip it is not a good look! There are many other issues to gripe about!

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Good teams aren’t bad because they do bad things. Bad teams do bad things.

    These guys are a disaster and painful to watch.

  19. Thomas Says:

    Name one thing the Bucs do well? I’ll wait. A very long time because there is nothing.

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    Thomas our rush attack was good today and that’s it. Funny how it takes several injuries for this team to get it going……One would thing the HC would know his team well enough to know how to get that personnel on the field without being forced to.

  21. FortMyersDave Says:

    This L should get Koetter fired for several reasons including that the playcalling is suspect, Martin is forced to the bench and Barber has a field day exposing a major gaffe in Koetter’s logic in sticking with Dougie, and simply the fact that the Bucs are an undisciplined sloppy team under Koetter. Mistakes compounding mistakes.

    I bet the Browns beat this bunch of Packers next week just to illustrate how bad the Pack is and how pathetic the Bucs are for letting an easy W get away….. Is there a team not in NY or South Florida the Bucs can beat? I do not think so. Pathetic football and the Glazers have to be initiating the candidate vetting and searches at the GM and Head Coaching positions. No way Koetter survives after this ugly L. Tough to cheer for such an inept franchise….

  22. Joe west Says:

    Well when you pick the wrong qb and a kicker in the second round ! Oh yeah and not address your defense line in free agency your going to be in the basement for awhile . Trade Winston and fire everyone

  23. Kyle Says:

    Job Gruden mob 2018