Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Patriots

October 6th, 2017

Ira fires off his sage wisdom and takes you inside the postgame locker room


The dejected look on the faces of Tampa Bay players said it all after Thursday night’s heartbreaker.

You win and lose as a team, but on this evening, the Buc defense deserved a better fate. And while Nick Folk was clearly the chief culprit, there was plenty of blame to go around as the Bucs came close to knocking off a historic NFL franchise for the second time in five days.

Cameron Brate sat at his locker with his head down. He wasn’t thinking about the sensational 18-yard TD catch between two defenders. Instead, he was thinking about the four times he was targeted and came up short.

A national audience saw the Bucs play hard and compete with the defending champs. But in the end, they failed to capitalize on 12 penalties and a plus-2 mark in the turnover department.

That’s hard to stomach.

* Dirk Koetter and Buc players talk often about playing “complementary football,” but it didn’t happen Thursday. A New England attack that had scored 15 touchdowns in the first four weeks reached the end zone only once. That should have been good enough to ensure a victory.

* Rookie Kendell Beckwith continues to stake a credible claim for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Making 14 tackles on a national stage can’t hurt his stature and he has already starred at two positions. Speaking of linebackers, Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander told me they expect to return for the Arizona game.

* What’s left to say about Folk, who carved out a distinguished career before joining the Bucs? It’s a cold, production-based business and he hasn’t produced. The fact Koetter didn’t go out of his way to defend his beleaguered kicker after the game speaks volumes about Folk’s future in Tampa.

* Tom Brady was a little off when the game began, but those struggles didn’t last long. Appreciate him while he’s here, folks, because you may never see the likes of this man again.

* Doug Martin looked like a guy who was sprung from a cage, full of energy and fury. He took advantage of some nice holes and flashed the burst and elusiveness that made him the league’s No. 2 rusher in 2015. Going forward, he will be a critical factor in providing balance for Koetter’s offense.

* The pass rush was better … a lot better. Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Chris Baker provided steady pressure up the middle and Brady rarely had an opportunity to step up in the pocket. Robert Ayers, who is starting to come on, led all players with three QB hits.

* Don’t be fooled by Jameis Winston’s final stats, which were impressive on the surface. He couldn’t convert on third down for most of the game and 225 of his 334 yards came in the final quarter. Bottom line … not good enough.

* Through the first three quarters, the Bucs averaged only 4.3 yards per snap, compared to 6.9 yards for the Brady Bunch. That’s unacceptable when you’re facing any defense, let alone a reeling one.

* Let’s not forget the Patriots played without Rob Gronkowski, the best tight end in football. Brady marched on, shredding the Bucs for 30 completions. Anybody want to cover Danny Amendola?

* Speaking of quarters, the Bucs are 2-2 at the quarter-pole. Sure, they wanted to do better, but at least they haven’t dug the same deep hole that has buried this team for the past five seasons. The schedule softens a bit, but six of the next eight games are on the road. All in all, they’ve gotten what they deserve.

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 Bucs football Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on FOX-13, Scott Smith’s Tailgate Sunday.

29 Responses to “Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Patriots”

  1. HarlemBuc Says:

    Thanks Ira… this was a tough one tonight
    Way to wrap it up Sage of Tampa Bay… can’t wait for tomorrow’s Show

  2. DallasBuc Says:

    Well said Ira. Tough night tho

  3. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    All good points..said it better than I could have..

  4. DiscoYak Says:

    This is a young team still finding their feet. It blows dead bears that they lost tonight, but watching a competitive bucs team is so much more satisfying than the painful squads we’ve had to endure over the last decade plus.

  5. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Winston for the most part absolutely stunk. Pair that with a so called NFL kicker who blew it when Winston actually did by some miracle get us within scoring range. Winston and Evans we’re not the usual threats.

    Our defense considering the injuries and who they were facing played OK but the offense which is supposed to be a strength is really a liability. Winston Salem much as I like him, just is not the answer with his poor choices on the field.

    Finally, where is the great play calling so we can have a bad ass team. Yes they are bad and they did show their asses but they are not bad asses and quite frankly, the offensive play calling be is also extremely foolish. We got out played and out coached and still should have won. If not for leaving 9 points on the board and a QB who can’t get TD’s in the red zone rather than forcing missed FG’s.

    Yes, I am very bent with this team. Some players played well but as a whole, we stunk.

    Why can’t we call passing plays that play into our players strengths?
    No, we keep calling long bombs that Winston clearly can’t complete. How about more seam passes, slants etc. We use the sidelines too much and it just becomes another defender in essence.

    This game plan and execution was a joke. If these Bucs want to sniff a playoff appearance.

    One last thing. The stadium being called the den of depression is about right. Now just drop America’s QB for Winston. He has not earned that title and my money is on him never becoming truly America’s QB.

  6. CautiousOptimism Says:

    When do we start asking for more accountability from our GM for horribly unreliable kicking?

  7. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Well reasoned and well spoken as always there Ira.

    If Vonte and Kwon were speaking the truth, next week should be a fun game to watch. The defense is actually coming together quite nicely after the way #21 played tonight.

    Now the Offense needs to step up, and we are in dire need of a new kicking specialist…

  8. AlexBucsFan Says:

    Tough, heartbreaking loss tonight and yet things are still trending upwards for this team.

    Always appreciate the takeaways – another great one, Ira.

  9. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    The Patriots won a Super Bowl without Gronkowski, not to mention they added Cooks. Our defense stepped up to the challenge. The D-Line wasn’t great, but they got enough pressure to keep Brady uncomfortable. Hopefully we’ll be fully healthy for Arizona, and we can put a full game together and give them a little payback for last year’s beat down.

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    Spot on observations there Ira. But I say to you and all of my hometownies there in TB, Koetter and Smith were released ny Mr. Banks in ATL for a reason. And Nobody wants to say it so I will..Dirk Koetter sucks at making game adjustments to his game plans. With the elite receiving corp we have? We should be eating teams alive..and we are not. You never know which Jameis is going to show up (reference slow molasses starts) And he could not convert on 3rd downs until late in the game. He’s FAR..from elite and has a long way to go. And I’m sorry But..Mr Folk? Get the Folk out of Tampa Bay!! I can see missing one of those FG. But 2 of them were..Chip shots!! Us ole schoolers Know our Bucs..Its the SOB’S (the same ole Bucs!) And Koetter has got to do better game adjustments. because Bruce Arians of the AZ Cardinals? HE’s like Bellacheat, .. HE finds ways to win games!! Good luck in AZ my Bucs..You’re gonna need every ounce of it in that house packed loud stadium!

  11. Dano74 Says:

    Just a Tough, tough loss. The offense really sucked on 3rd down . The ONLY positive I can take from this game is Dougie. And we didn’t use him enough! I’m a Noles & Jameis fan but man he has to improve his accuracy!! I’m not exactly thrilled with the Playcalling from Koetter. He didn’t seem to adjust from what Bellicheats defense was doing ! Then Folk happened to seal the game. If we get Kwon & David back next game it will be Huge. Jameis has to play better, no excuses with the weapons he has now!

  12. German Buc Says:

    Sorry guys, but that was a heartbreaker with the ability to end our season.

    Nice to have LVD and Kwon back – but that wouldn’t have helped last night either.
    The Pats tried hard to lose, but we tried harder! Our estimated strength became our weakness. AZ is a must win now.

  13. DC_BUC_FAN Says:

    A lot of positive things to point at in the game, but WE gotta start pulling these type of victories out if we want to be a playoff team for years to come

  14. darin Says:

    That one is on dirk. Terrible play calling against a bad defense. Even tho folks outa here I hope he didnt defend dirks play calling after the game either. Winston played pooy too for 3 plus quarters. Gota fine tune that offense and play calling. Go bucs

  15. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Why can’t Jameis find the open receiver.? Somebody has to be open somewhere. They can’t all be double covered. His accuracy and timing is not what it should be. Nobody would question the play calling if the execution was where it should be. I have no doubt that Jameis will have a great career with the Bucs, but I do doubt he will ever be “elite “. Oh yeah….bring Roberto back. At least he has the possibility of improvement.

  16. Ndog Says:

    For you folks that are saying Jameis was horrible clearly were not at the game. He missed Brate and Doug in the flat and Djax deep. Othere than those throws he was very good. Heck Brady threw a horrible pick and missed a wide open receiver on a busted coverage. So they played about the same. We threw to much and could not kick fgs that was the game period. Jameis did not turn the ball over and some of those “bad” throws he was only giving his guys a chance so he was being careful which everyone has been begging for! We were and ton of man beaters into their zone coverage so

  17. Ndog Says:

    Not many guys were open in the first half.

  18. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Koetter had a really bad night. Sending out Shakes the Clown to try and kick a 56 harder, not going for it on 4th and 2 so that he could again send out Shakes to try and make a 50 harder, and last but certainly not least, sending out Shakes the Clown to make an onside kick rather that pinning the Patriots deep and taking advantage of their two timeouts and the two minute warning. If they had kicked off and made a stop they would have been able to keep the game within 2. Shakes probably would have missed his fourth field goal this way but at least it would have been an option vs needing a touchdown. I think that was the big mistake of the night.

  19. Dreambig Says:

    This is the NFL and we just stood toe to toe with the world champions. In prior years we would have lost this game in a blowout. This offense will get better. Young Jameis is still going through some growing pains but 2nd game in a row with no picks. Thats an improvement. Hopefully as the year goes on, the offense will start clicking. One huge concern is how all the media talking heads last night were talking about how inadequate Koetter’s play calling was. That shouldn’t be happening at this point.

  20. JameisWin55 Says:

    I agree the onside kick was terrible decision our head coach seems to play out of fear rather than the big stick mentality we suppose to be seeing as head coach 4th and 2 for momentum you should have confidence that your team will convert you should have confidence that your defense will stop them and give one last opportunity he doesn’t wasn’t shows he really don’t believe the team is good so why should fans believe something the own head coach doesn’t believe?

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    Dreambig says, we just stood toe to toe with champions? PLEASE!!! WE lost.There are no moral victories sir. We’ve been standin toe to toe with a lot of teams for decades! That don’t cut the mustard. You lost and are looked at as the loser..period!! Lombardi once daid, Winning is all that matters. By any means necessary. Improvement my A..!!! We were defeated by a team we should have beaten easily. IF..our coach and QB are as good as the media says they are. Defense played well enough to win. New England racked up world penalties. What more can they give you? Sorry performance by the 2 annoited ones..Koetter and Jameis. And Folk is a Folk up!! Het him the Folk outta here!!

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Good analysis Ira, but why are you letting our OC off the hook? I still love Dirk Koetter as a HC, but as an OC? Last night was truly painful to watch, and I’ve seen a LOT of Bucs’ beatdowns. Jameis didn’t lose the game … coaching did. Folk didn’t lose the game either … coaching did. Koetter seems to insist on calling plays on 1st & 2nd down that put us behind the 8-ball. P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E is a word that seems to elude him week after week.

    Everyone in RayJay last night (including the announcers) knew exactly how to beat the Patriots this year: develop an effective run game & short passing game to pile up 1st downs & control the clock, then strike deep when the Pats adjust. Martin looked awesome, but was barely used except for 1 drive (where he piled up the yds). Instead, Koetter insisted on having Jameis take 7-step drops & throw intermediate & deep passes play after play. Those play-calls continually played to Jameis’ weaknesses (inaccuracy at that depth?) & not effectively using our run game put everything squarely on Jameis’ shoulders. Our RBs only ran the ball 17 times (Martin got most of those with almost 6 yds/carry). Jameis short game (mostly in the 4th qtr) was actually very effective, but his deep stuff was abysmal (4-for-14). In short, we played to New England’s strengths & it bit us in the arse.

    With several rookies playing on defense, we held Brady & company to 1 TD & 4 FGs … awesome! Ya our defense gave up a lot of yardage, but Brady was doing to us what we should’ve been doing to the Pats. Kudos to Mike Smith & our defense. STs were horrific last night, and so was the Bucs offense … we lost the game in quarters 1-3. And yet we still could’ve potentially won with some decent play-calling in the 4th qtr. Heart-breaking loss, no way around it. But it’s not on Jameis or Folk. It’s on Koetter.

  23. Mike in LOL Says:

    I do think Jameis has some improvement to go before being considered elite.

    But the calls in this game were terrible!! Why in the world do you send your kicker out for a 56 yard field goal when you don’t trust him to make 40 consistently… how about the blow to his confidence after his sorry attempt at that field goal before the half. And why the onside kick??

    It’s true that listening to tony romo, he sounds like he knew exactly what to do to beat the patriots. maybe we should consider romo as a OC

  24. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Shakes The Clown – LOL – now that is a great movie!!

    Where were the slant passes??? There was one, and it was the biggest play of the night. Hell, I was yelling at the screen most of the game for a damn slant pass. Not good enough. BUT… I’ve watched way too many blowouts of the Bucs on National TV to be sitting here crying in my coffee about our Bucs almost beating the Super Bowl Champs.

  25. buc15 Says:

    good article Ira. We lost & it sucks, but there are some bright spots that make me feel not so sucky today. Hopefully we get our kicking figured out soon. It may have not been pretty, but we hung in there with the champs & had plenty of chances to take the W. Defense is slowly coming around and should be getting healthy by the next game. As far as offense, we got Doug back & I think the offense will start to build momentum with more time of all the weapons to gel together. The 10 day break until our next game should be considered our bye week, which comes at a good time. I fully expect a winning streak starting in Arizona and no reason we shouldn’t go 3-1 in our next 4 games.

  26. uckinator Says:

    German Buc – I agree with your assessment that Pats tried to give away the game, but the Bucs wouldn’t accept it. Like last weeks game against NY, bad teams find ways to lose. And so it was last night.

  27. Tom Says:

    Romo for QB. Tebow for backup.

  28. Bucamania Says:

    jameis HAS to be better. Dirk’s playcalling HAS to be better. The entire offense was out of sync for 3 quarters. o for 7 on 3rd downs?! This can’t keep happening. Get your sh1t together man.

  29. firethecannons Says:

    What the hell was Dirk Koetter doing last night? Can we not get a playcaller that uses Winstons skills better and why not use Martin when he was hot, Folk lost us the game-stop blaming it all on Jameis, wide recievers couldn’t catch either, yet somehow it is all Jameis fault? Ridiculous–Koetter should explain so many of his calls–need a 3rd down and that is the time he decides to go for Charles Sims 50 yd rocket or 3 yards needed –lets go for Deshaun way way up there now–of course we didn’t get a 3rd down–Koetter called a bad game. He could of used Martin way way more.