Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Packers

September 25th, 2022

Click on through to shop at Bill Currie Ford GM Sean Sullivan is ready to help you PERSONALLY and give you the Ira Kaufman discount. Just ask!


They played hard, they played physical, but in the end, they didn’t play smart.

Despite a suffocating defensive effort in the final 42 minutes, the Bucs dropped a 14-12 decision to Green Bay. They unleashed a storm of miscues just days before the storm that threatens Tampa Bay.

On the surface, six penalties for 40 yards doesn’t look too bad, particularly when the Packers were flagged eight times for 65 yards. But dig a little deeper and you realize the timing of some of those Buc penalties couldn’t have been much worse.

For instance, how about a too many men on the field flag that nullified a Jamel Dean interception?

How about a holding call against Brandon Walton that wiped out Tom Brady’s 18-yard scramble? And worst of all, how about a delay of the game flag just as Tampa Bay was attempting a potential 2-point conversion that could have sent the game into overtime?

No wonder Todd Bowles keeps talking about being focused on the details. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, he cautions his players. In a winnable game in late September, against a quality opponent, the Bucs misfired in key moments.

It’s too simple to say the Bucs beat themselves, but they didn’t help themselves with sloppy play.

Green Bay’s first two possessions were long drives that ended with touchdowns. That 14-3 deficit proved too difficult to overcome, despite a brilliant Brady drive that started on the Tampa Bay 11 and ate up clock and yardage.

So where does this leave the Bucs after three weeks? They’re still alone atop the NFC as they prepare for a fearsome hurricane and an angry Patrick Mahomes. Tampa Bay can be no worse than 2-2 after a challenging opening month and reinforcements are on the way.

At the very least, Mike Evans will return for the Sunday night matchup against the Chiefs. Don’t be shocked if Julio Jones joins the party as Byron Leftwich looks to jump-start a listless attack.

Here’s how the Bucs came up a bit short in their home opener.

* This coaching staff has to find a way to get Leonard Fournette going again. Fournette gashed the Cowboys for 127 yards in Week 1, averaging six yards per carry, but the past two weeks have been a slog. New Orleans limited Fournette to 65 yards on the ground and he was spinning his wheels Sunday with 12 carries for 35 yards. Fournette’s 2.8 average the past two weeks has to make this offensive line cringe. Donovan Smith can’t get back soon enough.

* Mike Edwards is taking his game to the next level. He had a pick-6 to seal the victory in New Orleans and he was credited with 13 tackles against Green Bay, six more than any teammate.

* Russell Gage’s longest reception was only 15 yards, but he caught 12-of-13 targets, including a 1-yard TD grab with 14 seconds remaining that created the dramatic ending. He also fumbled at midfield to end a third-quarter drive. Still, he’s earning Brady’s trust.

* The Bucs registered only one sack — but it was a big one. On Green Bay’s final possession, rookie Logan Hall dropped Aaron Rodgers on third down to force a punt. Hall displayed his athleticism and his motor on a play that could earn him more snaps.

* Kenny Clark, one of the league’s better nose tackles, was proud of Green Bay’s defensive effort after the game. “I feel great about everything we did and I thought our pass rush did a great job,” Clark said. “That’s a great quarterback over there and that’s a great team. We were in his face, hitting him all game.” Clark dropped Brady twice with pressure up the middle.

* Tampa Bay’s defense wasn’t on point at the start as Rodgers converted his first five third-down opportunities. Facing his first money down, Rodgers hit Randall Cobb, who spun away from Carlton Davis and Devin White for a 17-yard gain. The Bucs had been resolute about minimizing yards after the catch through the first two weeks, but some cracks began to show in the opening half.

* The game could have gotten out of hand late in the second quarter as Rodgers began a drive with a 40-yard completion to Cobb. But on third-and-goal, Vita Vea and Lavonte David crunched Aaron Jones, forcing a fumble at the 2-yard line and keeping it 14-3 at the half.

* Memo to Leftwich: 2-for-11 on third down won’t get it done.

* Here’s how Green Bay’s nine possessions went after the Packers took a 14-3 lead: fumble, punt, punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, punt. That, my friends, is called defense.

* The Bucs have scored three offensive touchdowns in three games. There are a slew of injuries on that side of the ball, but Brady is relatively healthy. Bowles says he’s concerned. Buc Nation is downright distressed. Something’s got to change … in a hurry.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

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

  1. Evans for Pres. Says:

    Ol copy paste job

  2. Oh no here we suck again Says:


  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Tough crowd. –Joe

  4. snookman Says:

    We have issues but im so not concerned. I was hoping the defense would not hold us back in 2022 like it did in 2021……..Check. We will be ok. We will have setbacks and progress. We have 14 more games to get better before the playoffs……The Defense is there……………The offense is not there but will be eventullay…….Brady is dialed in he looked great today………..Our WRs and OL and RBs need to get better………..They will.

    We need to get to 12-13 wins

  5. Darin Says:

    The dean int was only because there was a flag thrown. Can’t count that play as a flag taking back an int. Many mistakes were made. Mostly the play calling. How about a double reverse flea flicker one play after finally gaining any traction all game. Bone headed. On to the next one

  6. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    Terrific column as usual, Ira. This team will be fine when they get their main guys back. The double reverse was abominable. Gadget plays generally only work when they are set up and other areas of you offense are working.

  7. LVMYBUCS Says:

    The change is the playbook and Leftwitch.

  8. Rob3810 Says:

    Offensive Coordinator is pitiful. Now that Arians is out he’s getting exposed BIG TIME

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    Any word on the Cappa knee rehab?

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    The Dean pick was only a pick because Kaaron knew he had a free play.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We shouldn’t forget the good ST performance…….remember how awful we thought our special teams were in preseason.

    Camarda had 6 punts for 297 yards…..nearly 50 yard average…..only 2 of the 6 were returned for an average of 10 yards……Camarda has some hang time.

    Darden ran back 3 punts of an average of 9 yards per return.

    Succopp was 2 for 2….

    Packers had no kick returns because Camarda kicked all for touchbacks…

    It’s been a good year so far for ST.

  12. ElioT Says:

    Byron is horrible. Beyond bad…

  13. Miller5252 Says:

    The best thing we’ve seen since game 1 is the D. If they can stay healthy, the Bucs will be in every game! I just hope when the offense gets healthy, they can sync with Brady. If they do, it’ll be fun to watch a complete team.

    Anyone else seeing Neal blowing people up on special teams?!?! Oh man!! I wouldn’t want to get hit by that man!!

    Joes or Ira…. What’s the deal on Rudolph? Is he hurt? Is he playing the Sherman role this year? Does he just want good seats to watch the games??? What’s the deal?!?!

  14. Leighroy Says:

    I can’t pin it all on Byron just yet. Brady showed up to this gun fight with a pea shooter, a paper clip and a rubber band. If the team remains this inept with the big 3, or even 2 of them, healthy then it’s cause for alarm.

  15. Bucs Win Says:

    I was drinking at the game but I seem to remember usrunning a draw play on first and twenty. SMF

  16. adam from ny Says:

    omg i think tom i losing his mojo without gronkie by his side…

    it’s like batman is missing his robin…

    gotta gret the gronkster back in the building asap

  17. Buddha Says:

    This is the NFL. The competition is fierce. Ask KC, ask San Diego, ask Buffalo. Three weeks in and only two undefeated teams neither of which were considered elite teams prior to the start of the season. What team do you fear? Injuries and suspensions aside, no other team has a better roster.

  18. Buczilla Says:

    It’s going to be a rough few days, but even though our offense and the offensive coaches sucked hard this game, it’s still early and we have the talent to overcome this.

  19. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles Prevent Offense. Ugly.

  20. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Our first 1st down play was a wicked finger-tip grab by Beasly that Tom almost threw out of his reach. Then he pretty much disappeared for the rest of the game. I hope he gets the play book down this week.

    When did Brady start wearing a knee brace again? Was his knee re-injured?

    Defense showed some crazy coverages. I even saw Dean playing a deep safety look and covering middle zone on a blitz.

    White overran badly an outside screen play, and continues to tackle with high pad level. On the other hand, he looks more under control this year rushing the passer, and has improved in coverage.

    Darden caught a ball for a first down. Yay!

    Gage, who wasn’t ever expected to be our #1 receiver, did a fine job. He should blow up when going against #3 corners if everyone ever gets healthy.

    Bowles has his defense making good halftime adjustments so far this year. Love the D.

  21. Packers Fan Says:

    Hey TB fans, just wanted to say good game to you all. I know it wasn’t the outcome you wanted but it was a hell of a football game if you like defense. Both teams had a lot of injuries and you never want that, you want your best against our best. Let’s just hope that we’re able to meet again in the playoffs with everyone good to go. Good luck the rest of the way (unless it hurts the Packers. An old black and blue division rival.

  22. Christos Says:

    Defense is playing really really good.They gave GB 3 good drives to start the game (mostly because the tackling was bad) but to have 9 possesions in the 2nd half (many of them starting around the 50) and not give up a point was outstanding.
    Offense looks bad, really bad. Yes some players are missing but there is no rhythm and no flow in playcalling and execution. I dont know but 3 games now with these performances and that results 3 games 3 TDs there is a concern. A serious concern

  23. Jerseybuc Says:

    Them 2 fumbles on the plus side of the field were killer! Perrimans was on there 20 ish that’s points. That was before half than after half gage coughs it up little pass midfield. Killer killer fumbles

  24. Craig Says:

    The biggest problem I have with the defense is Devin White. He needs to learn how to tackle running backs.

    The offense is full of little problems that seem to pop up on every other play. They need to get a solid floor under them and quit making snowballs.

  25. John Sinclear Says:

    One-touchdown-per-game. Just one, by this offense, per game. THAT is the problem!!