Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Seahawks

November 4th, 2019

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This loss stung, but it felt different.

The Bucs did a lot of things well Sunday in Seattle, acquitting themselves with distinction in the trenches against one of the league’s more physical clubs. Sometimes, you’ve just got to give the other guy credit and in this case, the other guy was MVP front-runner Russell Wilson.

Jameis Winston was very good, but Wilson was great in shredding a secondary that has emerged as the primary culprit during this disheartening 2-6 start. He has now thrown 22 TD passes and one interception this season, a historic ratio.

If the 7-2 Seahawks had to play without Wilson, you’re looking at a 4-5 football team, perhaps even a 3-6 club. He’s that good.

Tampa Bay hustled, played hard and made plays. The Bucs didn’t give this one away — the Seahawks took it. No shame there, but this 4-game tailspin has sucked the life out of a loyal fan base.

Apathy is starting to set in and you will see that manifested in the turnout at Raymond James Stadium against the 5 1/2-point underdog Cardinals as Bruce Arians welcomes some familiar faces to Tampa.

Here’s how the Bucs fell short in the final leg of their spin around the NFL globe:

* In the past two weeks, Mike Evans has reclaimed his stature as one of the league’s elite receivers. The Titans and Seahawks chose to cover him with one defender and paid a harsh price. It will be interesting to see if Arizona assigns perennial Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson to shadow Evans, who is on pace for 100 catches, 1,684 yards and 14 TDs.

* Wilson is at the peak of his prodigious powers. He has the experience, the smarts and the athleticism to win games virtually by himself and Sunday was a graphic example. On paper, the Seahawks don’t have the manpower to roll up 31 first downs and 492 yards, but Wilson just turned D.K. Metcalf into a serious weapon.

* Props to the Buc offensive line for giving Winston a clean pocket most of the day. Both of Seattle’s sacks came from linebackers and the Seahawks added only 3 QB hits, compared to 11 hits and 3 sacks against Wilson. The blocking in front of Ronald Jones on that opening-drive TD run was superb.

* We have to be honest here — the Bucs caught major breaks. Bobby Wagner, one of the NFL’s premier linebackers, virtually handed Tampa Bay four points when he inexplicably hit Winston following a third-down incompletion. Jones scored on the next snap. Breshad Perriman’s first TD catch as a Buc came off a ricochet on a ball that should have been intercepted. Finally, Jason Myers missed a 40-yard FG that would have won the game for Seattle in regulation.

* Got to love the hustle by Evans and Devin White. Evans ran down Rasheem Green as he returned a fumble from midfield to the Tampa Bay 15. Seattle settled for a field goal, so that was a 4-point tackle. White, who finished with 12 stops, ran down Chris Carson during a long run and punched the ball out of his hands. The Seahawks maintained possession as the ball skittered out of bounds, but White’s closing speed and determination were on full display.

* After a 2-week turnover fest, Winston played under control and gave his team a chance to win. His 5-yard scramble on fourth-and-5 late in regulation was clutch and he remained poised in a noisy venue known for rattling quarterbacks. It’s hard to ask more out of an offense that went 6-for-14 on third down, 4-for-4 in the red zone and maintained possession for 35:25.

* Tampa Bay almost paid the ultimate price for poor time management late in regulation. A pass to Evans gave the Bucs a first down at the 1-yard line with less than a minute remaining, but the Bucs used a quick snap and tied the score with 46 seconds left, plenty of time for Wilson to set up Myers for a potential game-winning FG. When you go against a franchise QB, playing the clock is as important as playing the score.

* Vita Vea was a major force inside, time and again. Although he’s unlikely to accumulate a lot of sacks, Vea’s power and quick feet make him a critical part of Tampa Bay’s pass rush.

* White and Lavonte David took turns spying on Wilson, with some success. Wilson didn’t hurt the Bucs as a runner until late in the game, but his ability to get outside the pocket helped him extend plays and torment the Bucs downfield.

* Saving the worst for last … what can you say about this secondary? Wilson made his share of terrific throws, but too many busted coverages and mis-communications throughout kept those chains moving. At some point, Todd Bowles may have to abandon his aggressive instincts and turn away from man coverage. It’s not working, and it’s not getting better. In the past six games, Buc opponents are averaging 34.5 points. On Sunday, Winston and company deserved better.

Ira Kaufman launched his professional NFL coverage in 1979, back when Earl Campbell was the toast of the league and Lee Roy Selmon was defensive player of the year. After a lifetime at The Tampa Tribune, “The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports” joined in July of 2016. His twice-weekly podcast and three columns per week appear here year-round and are presented by Bill Currie Ford. Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter is a regular on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio and a part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday show, in addition to his other appearances. You can hang out with Ira during every Bucs road games at Buffalo Wild Wings. His schedule is linked here.

38 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Seahawks”

  1. TJ Tillman Says:

    I think Bowles is predictable

  2. D-Rome Says:

    Apathy is a good way to put it.

  3. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    It sucks we lost but at least it wasn’t embarrassing, for once.

  4. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Just hoping for the franchise to stay in Tampa at this point….it could get worse..

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Good writeup Ira. Bucs defense had no answer to Russell Wilson. Simple as that.

  6. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Talk about apathy…Can’t even get excited about the draft with Licht picking them.

  7. JJV Says:

    At least we can feel good for moral victories according to our beloved head coach. It like saying ” at least it was a quick death and he did not suffer ” when they cut Ned Stark’s head off and killed him.

  8. Figures Says:

    Whoever said Evan was overrated shouldn’t be allowed to comment ever again.

    And ANONYMOUS as well for saying Evans is “good” not great.


  9. JJV Says:

    Here is a quote from Jedi Master Yoda that our leader Bucco Bruce can use to guide him. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Either you win or not. Nothing else matters. Enough of the BS please.

  10. Hank Rearden Says:

    Breaking news….Ira leaves JBF to start a Russell Wilson fan site.
    Good lord…we get it. You love him.
    In other news…Scotty Miller stinks.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Good Jameis” shows up and we still can’t win. Seahawks fans are probably railing on their defense this morning as well. It took a perfect game from Wilson to win this one.

  12. JJV Says:

    Being close only works for horseshoes and grenades. Excuses are for losers. Winners do not use them. Actions speak louder than words.

  13. Justafan Says:

    Did you type “loyal fanbase”? That’s laughable, the Cleveland Browns are a loyal fanbase. Those fans are there win or lose, that’s loyalty.

  14. Nick2 Says:

    Ira Mr Dekemper is missing the boat let him know Winston is on a pace to eclipse Jay Cutlers combined fumble interception totals through five years and we are only HALFWAY through year 5. In 11 seasons Cutler made the playoffs once and was eliminated after two games. His pocket awareness is terrible and until the London game I had been an ardent Winston supporter!!! Keep up the great work Ira I love your columns and podcast your the man! My first Buc game I went to Spurrier was the QB diehard ever since.

  15. Nick2 Says:

    Justafan take your opinions to Cleveland your wrong but you will love it there!! Delta is ready when you are!!!

  16. Ed Says:

    If you watch football for entertainment you could say it was a good game to watch. If you watch football because you are rooting for your team to have a chance to get into the 12 team tournament to view for the SuperBowl you have to look at every loss the Bucs get, is one step further back from getting into the tournament.

    The Bucs are a sorry ass team because there are enough good players on the team for them to be in the race yet they continue to be a 4-6 win team.

    You can’t blame a single reason for the failures of the team other than the architect of the building himself. Relying on young players from secondary college programs to become solid starters is a foolish bet by the GM.

    The drafting of poor secondary players without any solid vets has cost this team dearly. The foolish money spent on average offensive lineman is not good value for the team.

    Most of all, the faith entrusted in Jameis Winston to rescue a franchise is a repeat of history from Testaverde to Dilfer to Freeman to Winston.

    All of these quarterbacks were physically similar but none had the smarts to know how to win. The most successful quarterbacks that won for this team in the 21st Century, Brad Johnson and Jeff Garcia had won or taken previous teams to the playoffs. Winners aren’t developed because of athletic ability, they have it in their heads, it’s a mental state they possess.

    Stop drafting potential with faith it will turn out. Take the sure bet and find winners that have the right demeanor and smarts to improve this teams chance of getting into the playoffs.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    Let’s be real…lol…

    In the beginning of the season, who thought e would win this game?…


  18. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    I watched but at no time did I think they’d win. I hoped they would but I know this team, they aren’t clutch and tease you just enough to have hope but rarely close a win out.

    Maybe they beat the Cards, and Falcons twice but can’t see any other wins. Arians and his “friend” Licht are gonna fail with their awful team building

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We, as fans can be as negative as we like…..bash players….complain about constant losing….and that’s perfectly acceptable…..
    But….we need our HC to be as positive as he can be under the circumstances….
    We have the 2nd youngest team in the NFL and I suspect it will get even younger…..they need encouragement from their leader and got it….thanks BA.

    Now….the Seahawks were penalized only 3 times in the entire game…..think about that….seems impossible unless the refs simply wanted to please the home team.

    And Russell Wilson……22 TDs …..1 interception……wow!!! Try to beat that with rookies.

  20. Barbosa Says:

    I was so angry and yelling during the second half and overtime, that I’ve decided to not watch anymore Bucs games this year. I care so much that it affects me physically and it is better to step away. I look forward to the draft talk, no more Bucs for me in 2019 #TakingbackSundays

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Hank Rearden Says:
    November 4th, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Breaking news….Ira leaves JBF to start a Russell Wilson fan site.
    Good lord…we get it. You love him.
    In other news…Scotty Miller stinks.

    I would not worry about IRA leaving at his advantaged age and lack of football credibility he is probably confusing Russell Wilson with Brian Wilson from a beach boy flashback from his college days.

  22. tmaxcon Says:

    ^^^^^^^advanced age….

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    only takeaway needed it’s the same old bucs outside of sapp and gurden’s year they have been losing games like this for decades…. dungy the clown gave away 3 to 4 loses per year every just like this one….

  24. snookman Says:

    I lowered my expectations. All I can ask is that the team shows effort and has a chance to win. Realistically our secondary and offensive line are so bad that winning is almost impossible. Jameis is an inigima. Half the games this year he looks elite, The other half he looks horrible. That basically is his career. All I ask is that the team plays hard and has a chance to win. I wasn’t angry because I knew even if we did win this game we are still not going anywhere. I was content that we were able to give ourselves a chance to win despite the worst secondary in the NFL.

  25. ancientasbuc Says:

    Bowles’ blitzes have no effect at all. When 54 or 45 blitzed mot often was the opportunity for Wilson take off and make a play. Not sure why. Seattle blitzes and gets to Winston. Man coverage and bad blitzing kills them every week,

  26. Nick2 Says:

    We blitz more than any team in the league it was stated on NFL network Saturday. They also stated that the Seahawks had endured the 3rd most blitzes of any team in the league and Wilsons rating on the blitz plays was 118. Somebody didnt pass the memo to Bowles. Obviously Seattle is great at picking up the blitz and everytime we blitzed them we were leaving huge holes for Metcalf and Lockett to roam free and blowup the 4th quarter. I think our front four is adequate enough now for us to sit back at least put a little bit of coverage over the middle. Hopefully our 2 d lineman who were injured yesterday make it back quickly.

  27. NOLES Says:

    FSU did what they had to.. NOW it’s your turn Glazers…. Fire this clown Jason Licht who has the worst draft history of any GM i can remember in recent history. As mentioned earlier in this chain… WE CANT EVEN GET EXCITED ABOUT THE DRAFT With Licht picking. Now that’s sad, as A life long Bucs fan that is usually all we had to get excited about. What a bummer…. 9 picks at DB & you get one good pick…Whitehead in 4th.. MJ is a healthy scratch in yr 2 and was a second rounder that is UFB….. He should look for a new profession bc he sucks at his current job…

  28. Says:

    Meh it was a entertaining game we were competitive if we won coin flip @ end we probably march down the field and score.

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Imagine I stupidly actually read a TMAX post which I normally scroll past.

    But today he’s in unusually form even for the blogs well known arsehole.

    “I would not worry about IRA leaving at his advantaged age and lack of football credibility he is probably confusing Russell Wilson with Brian Wilson from a beach boy flashback from his college days.”

    IRA has forgotten more football than you’ve ever learned TMAX.
    Cheap shots are easy. Repetition of the same BS over and over again is easy….and it’s getting too familiar in this nation!

    What’s next…juvenile nicknames like “little” Ira…”old” Ira?

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW I totally RESPECT Ira’s work even when I disagree with his takes.

    Today I happen to think he is spot on in every area.

  31. Tom Romaniak Says:

    In the words of the late, great John McKay if asked about the execution of the secondary, “I’m all for it”!

  32. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tmax had it right the first time as advantaged age for Ira. There ain’t no fool like a young fool.

  33. NPRSageBoy Says:

    Close games satisfy the loser. Winners get the spoils.

    This just in: this BA Bucs squad are losers

  34. unbelievable Says:

    Just can’t ever get a complete game from this team.

    Last week the defense plays good but the offense chits all over itself.

    This week the offense plays great but the defense can’t stop anything.


    I also see no mention of the 3 TDs in a row that were negated due to dumb penalties by the Bucs players. Yup, Bucs beating Bucs.

  35. TexBuc Says:

    We need to disguise our coverages a bit and play 50% zone yesterday seattle had almost nothing but man busting crossing routes.

  36. Sport Says:

    Joes – Your continued allowance of derogatory statements of a protected class must stop. Race, Sex and Age are treated the same. But you don’t seem to see it that way. If Troll Min were using words against those other protected classes, I suspect you would be blocking their posts.

    Enough with allowing illegal comments about our coaches and now our cherished, classy, respected HOF Fame Rep Writer.

    End it Now!

    In BA I Trust!

  37. Donkc Says:

    First hand report by a Bucs fan at the Link:

    1) Heard it before, but the noise levels are actually comical. Bucs have the ball – cacophony. Seahawks have the ball – silence. One of those 4th down Bucs plays near the goal line rattled my teeth.
    2) Surprising number of Bucs-geared fans in attendance. Got away with a good number of surreptitious fist bumps throughout the day. No one threatened to beat me up.
    3) Bucs secondary always seemed two steps behind from my vantage point. Especially crossing routes. #35 (Dean?) was always in loose trail formation.
    4) Speaking of Air Force references, really cool pre-game 12th man stuff saluting the military. C-17 flyover not exactly thrilling, but “A” for effort. Overall atmosphere before and during game was great.

  38. stpetebucsfan Says:


    EXACTLY! But I confess to prejudice since I’ve reached that “advantaged” age.