Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Saints

November 9th, 2020

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Let’s go to the highlights.

Ryan Succop didn’t suck. Blaine Gabbert took a knee without tripping.

The rain held off, for the most part.

What else ya got?

The most lopsided loss in the unparalleled career of Tom Brady left two announcers and a national TV audience wondering why the Bucs have been generating so much hype. After two weeks of slop, even Tampa Bay’s most passionate supporters are questioning the players and coaches operating out of One Buc Place.

After the Week 1 loss in New Orleans, Bruce Arians could credibly say it was the Bucs beating the Bucs. After the Monday night loss at Chicago, mental mistakes and penalties were deemed the primary culprits.

Not this time.

This time, the Bucs were physically manhandled. The trench battle was so lopsided, you couldn’t even blame the disparity on Vita Vea and Ali Marpet being sidelined.

The 2020 season isn’t over, but it is in jeopardy. And if you think winning in Charlotte will be easy, check out the tape of Carolina’s 33-31 loss at Arrowhead, where Teddy Bridgewater and crew just rolled up 30 first downs on a solid KC defense.

While Drew Brees had time to order up a few Cuban sandwiches from Ybor City, Brady was under siege from the start. New Orleans receivers were open all night, with Buc defenders perfecting the art of social distancing. “It’s poetry in motion when it gets going like that,” said Alvin Kamara.

The 3-and-out award goes to Byron Leftwich’s crew, which can’t seem to get its groove on under the lights. As poorly as these guys played, Leftwich deserves his share of heat. The Bucs went 1-for-9 on third down and couldn’t score in four cracks from the 1-yard line against a lousy red zone defense.

If the Bucs had New Orleans on their minds during that sleepwalk win in the Meadowlands, they somehow forgot about what it takes to beat the Saints. It takes a pass rush. It takes coverage. It takes a mindset to impose your will.

On one forgettable Sunday evening in November, it all came crashing down. The cannons didn’t fire. Brady looked 43. Leftwich and Todd Bowles appeared overmatched. It’s hard to believe this team could look so awful in a game this meaningful.

The Saints are now clear favorites to win their fourth consecutive division title. At 6-3, the Bucs are still in good shape to end that 12-year playoff drought. This was a left hook to the chin, but it doesn’t have to be a knockout blow. Before the Saints boarded the bus for the drive to the airport, they danced jubilantly in the locker room. Sean Payton and yes, Jameis Winston, showed off their moves while the demoralized Bucs hit the shower.

Brees didn’t need one.

Here’s how New Orleans toyed with the Bucs while living up to its nickname: The Big Easy.

* When you don’t pressure a Hall of Fame quarterback, you get your rear end kicked. Brees had way too much time to survey the field and Bowles didn’t help with a soft game plan. The Bucs thought they could get there with four pass rushers … they thought wrong. New Orleans has two of the premier offensive tackles in the NFL and they helped keep the pocket clean while Brees methodically went through his progressions.

* On the flip side, Brady was hounded all night. Marpet’s absence hurt, but Joe Haeg played alright. As for Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs, no such luck. Wirfs is a rookie, going against Cameron Jordan. Let’s cut him some slack. After a brutal performance like that, Smith deserves to be cut — period.

* Rob Gronkowski was targeted six times and caught one pass. I don’t care if you flunked algebra, do the math.

* Tampa Bay’s pass rush was inadequate, but the coverage was just as lacking. Jason Pierre-Paul and Mike Edwards were credited with the only two passes defended. Somebody needs to tell this suddenly beleaguered secondary that off coverage doesn’t mean you need to be way off.

* The Saints just threw a perfect game. After a string of close victories, their fifth consecutive win was decided early and they never let up. They did anything they wanted and they did it very well.

This was that rare game where the losing coach can’t lament, “A play here and a play there and it’s a different result.” You can’t do that after your opponent has possession for more than 40 minutes.

* If Daniel Jones was a better downfield passer, the Bucs would be 5-4 with a 2-game losing streak. That’s a sobering thought for everyone working out of the team facility, including the Glazer family.

* The failure to score from the 1-yard line was a travesty. Run the football, Mr. Leftwich.

* The Giants ran the ball well in the opening half against Tampa Bay and New Orleans just rushed for 138 yards. When the Bucs weren’t getting pushed around, their tackling was atrocious. They just made Taysom Hill look like Derrick Henry. New Orleans converted 9-of-14 on third down, begging the question: how did the Buc defense make five stops?

* Arians doesn’t need to say much this week. All he has to do is blow up an image of Winston eating W’s and place one in everyone’s locker — including the coaches. If there’s ample pride in this organization, the midseason lull will give way to a renewed focus.

* Antonio Brown is quiet, for now. He caught three balls but was no factor in this rout. If Brady has time, there will be plays to be made downfield in Carolina. Suddenly, painfully, that’s a big if.

Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape from Bill Currie Ford. It really is a sweet, luxurious ride.

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of ford. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. Find his email at

49 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Saints”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    BA, BL, Bowles all failed….

    simple as that….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  2. Cannon Says:

    My buddy and I stopped watching halfway through the 3rd quarter. That’s pretty sad with this roster.

  3. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Bucs should refund the fans who attended due to false advertising. They advertised a game not a Saints practice.

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    Shameful showing for a team you said Ira was the best in the NFC South. Bet you don’t think so now huh?

  5. adam from ny Says:

    BA doesn’t really seem to be coaching much anymore…

    he looks very confused most of the time on the sidelines now…

    no longer carries a play sheet and wears a mask…

    he seems completely disengaged out there on the sidelines at times – when cameras cut to him…

    he looks more like an old tourist just standing there in a big clear safety visor and a small army type communication box hanging between his chest and stomach…

    why the sudden change the past 2 games?…

    did something happen the media is unaware of?…

    has bruce lost or give team power away on gameday?

    is BA ok ?

  6. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    I love how we draft tall physical man corners but for some reason every time we play the saints it’s time to go play soft zone.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    It’s on the coaches. Can they learn and adjust? I wonder.

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    The game was so sloppy even LVD almost broke his leg that look crazy.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Overall good assessment of a BAD game. Oh and one other thing, why was Brady in there so late in the game, with no chance to actually win. That would be the biggest disaster of all. Just thankful he was not hurt for nothing and then the season being over. On to the Panthers. GO BUCS!!!

  10. Scottish BucBob Says:

    Try waking up at 1.20am to watch game.
    I was done when we couldn’t score from the 1.
    Very embarrassing.

  11. Barbosa Says:

    2002-2003 championship season, the Steelers whipped the Bucs ass during the regular season. That was a turning point in waking up the team on it’s run into San Diego. I hope this beat down does the same.

  12. TOM Says:

    That’s the trouble he is HC in name only. Seems more like an observer than a HC. I think its time to take over the OC duties from Leftwitch but knowing him it wasn’t Leftwitch’s fault at all, because he thinks he’s a great OC & will be a great HC. Enough of the BS already. We heard it all before. And God’s sake get rid of or at least bench MR. lazy ass D. Smith. He’s just here for the paycheck. Thank you Mr. loser Licht.

  13. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Great article as always. We got manhandled in everyway possible. I was hoping Monday night was a let down/fluke but the Giants imposed their will on us in many ways upfront and you hit the nail on the head. If Daniel Jones was a decent passer down the field that night were on a two game skid. The Saints dominated us at every level. We got outcoached and out played. Don’t get me wrong I love Jpp and Shaq. But we do not have a consistent pass rusher who can win his one on matchups. Our sacks are schemed with with the speed we have coming from all angles. Sitting back in zone isn’t the answer when playing Brees. We live by playing physical at the line, press, and blitzing. Why lay back and let them dictate what we do when we clearly do not cover well at the second level and get a consistent pass rush with four lineman?

  14. Danny C Says:

    People are going to say…It’s only one game we’ll be alright. Well, it wasn’t one game it’s actually 2 games in a row. We were just lucky that it was the hopeless Giants last week, but we should be 5-4 not 6-3.

    I’m not going to claim that I have followed the Bucs since the 70’s like a lot of people do, but I have followed them since 1998 and this was the worst loss that I have ever seen. This was worst than that Raiders loss we had that one year of like 45-0. This is a much better team than that one.

    Not going to talk about Donovan Smith, I’ve moaned about him too many times.

  15. LJsDaddy Says:

    @cannon…you made it to the 3rd? I quit after the first half when we were on pace to get beat 75-zip. So tired of this. Prime time embarrassment…Bucs. What a fraud. I should know better to ever think my team is worth a sh#t.

  16. SlyPirate Says:

    All those worried about losing our coaches this offseason … their phones just stopped ringing.

  17. Frank Pillow Says:

    This O attempts to survive on talent alone…there’s simply zero innovation happening at any level of the coaching staff. Zero. You want to see innovation, look across the field at Sean Peyton or even Jason Garrett who both dissected Bowles D to pieces. Rhule’s Panthers play harder and smarter than BAs Bucs. Next week’s game will be a struggle. The Rams will out scheme us too. This is a 6-6 football team at the bye, based on coaching alone.

  18. NVMatt Says:

    This game harkened back to the Monday night debacle against Carolina that signaled the beginning of the end for Gruden (2008 I think?). Two 9-3 teams, a huge game with the division on the line. Bucs got trampled for over 300 yards on the ground and never won another game.

  19. Coburn Says:

    Sadly I question if there is much pride after lying down for a division rival competing for the lead. Seems we are average at best. Food teams don’t do this and we have more weaknesses than we thought. I think the games our online looked good was against teams with poor pass rush.. but could be wrong.have to fact check that one. We never seem to get much pass rush with just the front four either.

  20. Coburn Says:

    It’s what some people have been trying to tell us for a while. We spent too much on skill positions and need more emphasis on the trenches.built the wrong way

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    This wasn’t one of those flukes in an otherwise dominant season. This is coaches putting together a garbage game plan and not being able to adjust at all.
    This offense has no identity again and nobody who they can count on to just go out there and win one on one match up’s. Until they figure out how to win in the middle of the field, all of these receivers on the outside don’t mean didly poop. Four called runs, no matter the score, is ridiculous.

    On defense, you drafted man to man corners. Let them play man to man. I can handle losing if you go down swinging, but if you’re just going to roll over and bite the pillow then get the hell out of town. If Devin White can’t cover the pass, get him out of there on 3rd down and put another safety in there. JPP is a left defensive end. Shaq Barrett is a right defensive end. How can nobody on this staff correct this?

    The bottom line is this, if they don’t know how to get one of either Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, or even Scotty Miller open on any given play, the guy designing and calling plays should be fired. There is zero excuse for not being able to move the chains with that cast. Zero. It shouldn’t be a question of if they score points, it should be a question of how many above 35 per week.

    If this season goes down the toilet, with this group, I am done.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    AB caught 3…..ME…..4……CG……3

    Am I wrong or has anyone noticed that Brady almost never throws to a back to his right….it seemed like every play to Fournette was over to the right side.

    Something is dreadfully wrong with our offense……6 points in the 2nd half vs Bears, 6 points in 1st half vs Giants…..and 3 points all game vs Saints…

    And, yes our young defensive backs need to be turned loose….let them cover man to man and jam receivers… could that be any worse?

    Things may be getting set up to trade Evans and replace him with a cheaper AB… heard it here first…..

    Brady simply doesn’t like to throw to Evans except for the red zone…

  23. Brad Says:

    Let’s put aside the coaching malpractice once again(Chicago). This defense isn’t the same without Vita. The big freak show in the middle who demands a double on both runs and passes is what makes this thing work. He frees up everyone. You can’t just replace him. Let me know the other guy in the NFL that does what he can and has that combination of size, strength, and quickness. I’ll wait….D has been blown off the ball in consecutive weeks.

    It’s not a surprise that that Smith looked like crap against who ever the Saints line up. This makes 10 games in a row vs them. Also not a surprise that Payton has a better game plan, or that Mike Evans can’t get open. We’ve lost before the teams get to the stadium when it comes to the saints.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    Leftwich is utter garbage as a play caller. Predictable and basic with zero, I mean zero, creativity.

    The sheer level of talent and playmakers is what has rolled up points this season, not his scheme.

    Complete garbage.

  25. 43IsOnlyOldInHumanYears Says:

    Problem is we are not a team, we are just a collection of talent. Some good, some pass their prime, some salvaged.

  26. Bucluck Says:

    HUMBLE PIE, they were getting full of themselves. They should off made them walk Himes to MLK and right to the practice field. Embarrassing

  27. timbucs2 Says:

    New faces.

    Same old Bucs.

  28. adam from ny Says:

    @ Tampabaybucfan :

    been saying it too in threads…

    they are looking to replace evans and use his salary elsewhere…

    they have godwin and they like tyler johnson and are looking for an cheaper evans replacement and they’re good…

    the real problem with evans is:

    i have talked about it years ago…

    evans is a big dude…and he was going to slow down a tad at some point midway thru his career, and then he’s a different dude…

    interestingly enough he has become a workout maven, kept his weight down, etc…so to keep on top of his game…

    but reality is he’s hitting that point in his career where he is going to slip a fraction…

    and because he’s not a speedster and isn’t a great route runner, they want to get rid of him and his huge sale]ary…

    also brady isn’t feeling me13 for whatever reason…and won’t throw him open at all…it’s clearly obvious…

    in fact brady could be part of this dislodging of evans…

    they are at a point where mike might even quietly ask for a trade after the season…

    to like the texans or something…he’s a texas guy

    been saying there are issues with evans for a while…

    and he is one of my favorite bucs…

    but business is seeming to become more apparent than favoritism

  29. adam from ny Says:

    i could see him playing with deshaun watson for the next 5 years and have huge seasons too

  30. TheMechanik Says:

    BL’s scheme was fine. The problem was the offensive line got that ass whooped! The Saints had the exact game plan on defense the Bucs had(drop 7, rush 4). The only difference, their 4 applied heavy pressure, our 4 got smacked around.

    Todd Bowles dropped the ball on this one. Our strength on defense this year has been exotic blitzes paired with tight man coverage. I get it, the assumption is if you blitz Brees and you don’t get there, he’ll pick you apart. Well, sitting back in zone, with no pass rush is suicide also. Once they put up 14, it was time to go tight man and blitz his ass. If he beat us doing what we do best, hats off to him. I believe we gave him too much respect…

    The offensive line needs a come to Jesus meeting. That was totally unacceptable.

    How they respond to a tough and game Panthers team, on the road will speak volumes about where this team is going…

  31. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree 100%…

    well said…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  32. Pelbuc Says:

    It’s quite obvious this offense only goes as far as the oline plays Nd BL calls plays. Both have been woefully inconsistent to say the least. As for the defense, they are horribly overrated and also play soft zone . Every game i watch the QB has tons of time to pass the ball and the receivers are always wide open, not just a little open. And yet our receivers can’t get any separation. This team is being outcoached every single game.

  33. Williejes Says:

    I think Brady thought he was the new owner, coach and savior of the Bucs. He looked pitiful last night. Worried to much about his friend AB getting touches and getting hurt. Once he gets hit the man just does not want to play. Time to think 2021 because there is too much baggage at ONE BUC PLACE

  34. Upthegut Says:

    Here is a big factor that we are NOT factoring in. In the 1st quarter RoJo spun ahead for 7 yards. Next carry he was met at the line and got only a small gain. On his next carry he slashed his way to an 8 yard gain only to be negated by a holding call on
    #76 Donovan Smith. That is an 18 yard swing when the Buc’s were still min the game. On that one infraction, we lost momentum, 18 yards, and field position. Before we could recover we were down another score and were forced into a totally one dimensional offense. If Smith didn’t commit that holding infraction the entire complecxion of the game may have been different.
    Smith knows he will be axed after this year and is going through the motions. Leftwitch is unqualified to be an O.C. His game planning sucks, His scripted plays are predictable, lacks any imagination (ever see us run a sweep?how about a reverse?
    even a pitch out is excluded from his playbook)
    Could we execute better? Certainly. But when the D knows what’s coming you are fighting awful odds.

  35. Alanbucsfan Says:

    This was a long time ago, but on a November Monday night in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys lost to St Louis Cardinals, 38-0.

    The Cowboys won their next 7 games , before losing in Super Bowl to Baltimore Colts. Then they won the Super Bowl the next year vs Dolphins.

    Have faith Bucs fans

  36. Papa578 Says:

    After 42 years, I am throughly confounded and confused by this “team”. As far as I am concerned, they can disband this enigmatic mess. I don’t normally buy into the whole “they are cursed” mantra, but I don’t know what else to think. How in the hell do you lay an egg like that knowing what is at stake?!
    It is clear Arians and company are not the answer. No one ever is. Who in the hell can get this team to perform well… consistently?!

  37. Bucs4821 Says:

    Not that this means anything but the 1979 team that reached the NFC Championship lost to New Orleans 42-14. The 1999 team that reached the NFC Championship lost to John Gruden’s Raiders 45-0. (The Gruden-Dungy matchup no one talks about).

  38. ArmandoG Says:

    Arians only contribution all night was wasting TO on a challenge play everyone knew couldn’t be and wouldn’t be overturned. We tied a record in NFL history for fewest rushes in a game. Frankly I would rather have Brady calling his own plays

  39. Bucs4821 Says:

    NFC Championship ‘game’

  40. LakelandSteve Says:

    Here’s a thought. I’m not a fan of Buc penalties but it would have been well worth a 15 yard penalty or two for someone to get pissed and knock a Saint on his behind before, during or even after the play. Where is their pride? There is an old saying, ‘we may not win the game but we will win the fight after the game.’ Evidently not so in the Bucs case, not only did they lose the game but the Saints would have won the fight after the game. The Saints came in our house, ate our food, slapped our Mama and beat our Azz. The Bucs just hid in the corner and let them.

  41. Sumosam Says:

    When did all this start happening? As soon as we started talking about AB. Our team is not our team anymore. It’s Tom’s team and the Bucs that have been here working are getting pissed that they are not in the discussion any more. It’s natural. Think about it. You bust hump at work and all of a sudden, the new guy comes in and gets all of the pub. It’s a mental let down.

  42. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I thought that the reason why the Bucs weren’t ready for the Giants was that they were looking ahead to the Saints. I may have proprioception, but I don’t think that’s true.

  43. bojim Says:

    Thought I saw Hargreaves out there.

  44. Destinjohnny Says:

    It all goes back to Jason’s drafting

  45. Kevbeth5 Says:

    I’ll be an internal optimist…after all we are all live the “Bucs Life”. 45 to zip at Oakland the Super bowl year.

  46. Kevbeth5 Says:


  47. REDZONE BA Says:

    ArmandoG Says: November 9th, 2020 at 3:09 pm
    Arians only contribution all night was wasting TO on a challenge play everyone knew couldn’t be and wouldn’t be overturned. We tied a record in NFL history for fewest rushes in a game. Frankly I would rather have Brady calling his own plays

    Great observation ArmandoG – BA tends to throw Challenge Flags at worst time. Did the same last year challenging OPI’s or PI’s that were NEVER going to be overturned!….Is anyone in booth helping him???? EVERY time BA throws a flag and we lose the challenge, Bucs lose the game. Ugly coincidence.

  48. Boltsfan17 Says:


  49. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    OK, let’s all panic and tear this team and coaching staff apart for this loss! Ya’ll probably never even played football, but yet you are such experts! This team has many new parts, had no preseason, limited summer practices and is still finding its way. Losing to the Saints, who have been together a long time, sucks, but we are 6-3 and this will be a wake-up. Relax and quit hand-wringing, creating fake internal problems, and speculating….just enjoy as this talent comes together when it matters: the 2nd half of the season!