Fake Punt Should Expose Todd Bowles

December 18th, 2022

Yes, the same guy who wouldn’t let Tom Brady try to beat the Browns in regulation with timeouts in his pocket presided over a fake punt today with the Bucs leading 17-3 and the ball on the Tampa Bay 26 yard line.

Shame on you, Todd Bowles.

Christmas came early for the Bengals. The fake punt attempt on 4th-and-1 hit a seemingly surprised Giovani Bernard in the shoulder.

It was a massive momentum-changer.

Why did it happen? Frankly, Joe doesn’t want to hear the official team response. It was a horrible call with a two-touchdown lead at home in the third quarter.

If you’re so desperate to go for it on 4th-and-1, then line up and run the damn ball.

Bowles has made too many bad decisions this season, and it feels like they are a reason the Bucs are 6-8. Joe would love to see any career football man or woman explain the logic of that call. And to top it off, it looked like Bernard would have had little shot to make it if he even caught the ball.

Sad times in Tampa.

71 Responses to “Fake Punt Should Expose Todd Bowles”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    Another Blunder of the First Magnitude.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    It seemed like not every one knew about the play call. ???

  3. FrontFour Says:

    Joe can’t help himself. It was a great call but Gino has his head up his arse. If he just catches the ball he walks to a first down.

    This game is on Brady. Call him out Joe.

  4. Tucker Says:

    Hard to believe they just don’t fire the entire coaching staff after this season so many bad decisions throughout the year it’s criminal what they have put out this season.

  5. Mike Johnson Says:

    Thats not what loss the game. Our defense stayed on the field to long and there were 4. Count’em..4 key mistakes by the God Brady. Thats what lost the game.

  6. HC Grover Says:

    Bad Hike?

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If your number is called on a fake punt…..how in the world can you not be ready for the snap?

    Regardless…..it was a horrible call because of the field position….much to lose and very little to gain.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Even Brandon Staley thought that was a bad 4th down call.

  9. Lakeland Says:

    I don’t believe the BUCS can get a decent head coach. The BUCS will ruin the careers of top assistant coaches. And experience, qualified coaches will avoid Tampa like the plague!!

  10. Will Says:

    Stupid call from a stupid coaching staff

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Bernard was supposed to drop kick it 80 yards. It’s not Todd’s fault

  12. deiter Says:


  13. Miller5252 Says:

    It sure seems like the Bucs had plays scripted in the first half and once they ran out of those plays, the wheels came off the Apple cart and it ended up on its roof in the ditch. These coaches have no idea how to get these turned around once they have a few bad plays. Once they start going down the hill, it catches on fire and no one can stop it. This coaching staff used to be one of the best in the league and would run 2 fields of practice to get these guys improving. Now they’re just a joke anymore. Who ever answers the Joe’s polling questions about faith in Bowles with anything better then no confidence must be a coach on this team. They’re a joke and don’t deserve the playoffs

  14. BucsBro Says:

    This is the guy too scared to give the ball to Brady with 30 seconds, but he’s ok to fake a punt from his own 26?

    So many strange things in this game and season.

  15. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Bucs put on a football clinic today: “How to have a nice lead, and get blown out”

  16. Lamarcus Says:

    At least Brady got his 3 tds lol 😂

  17. Cc13wr Says:

    I disagree, Joe. It showed Todd trying to come out of his shell and live a little. Unfortunately and ironically, it instead spotlighted a complete lack of attention to detail, which is a key feature of this season’s failure and his head coaching persona (after 14 games, a team is what their HC has built) in general.

  18. RuKa_44 Says:

    The Bucs did it: it took 3 seasons but they finally broke Tom Brady!!

  19. Hodad Says:

    The better team won. You are what you’re record says you are. Todd Bowles is a bad head coach, look at his record. Brady looked like an old man, and Burrow looked like a young Brady. The season will come down to beating Carolina. Lose that game, all bets are off as to what will happen this off season starting with Bowles.

  20. kyle Says:

    i actually appreciated bowles aggressiveness tonight…. poor execution on the fake period.. bernard didnt know what was going on.

  21. kyle Says:

    thats not on bowles..

  22. BucU Says:

    I have nothing but contempt for the 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  23. Sean Says:

    Bowels is not content to win. He wants to win “his way.” It’s an ego thing and the sign of a bad coach.

  24. Cc13wr Says:

    … and it would’ve worked. The blocking was there. But how the guy who calls the snap count and is supposed to receive the ball on a fake punt has no idea that he’s the guy that is supposed to receive a direct snap and run with it is a clear indictment on the way the Bucs operate.

  25. EA Says:

    This team has a disease that you don’t want in sports in any way shape or form and that is ……….they are mentally weak.
    They need a coach to inspire this team and make them believe, they don’t have it right now, yes even with Tom Brady at the helm.
    I’m hoping we can land a disciplinary coach like a Harbaugh or a Sean Payton to make these millionaires believe in themselves.

  26. Cc13wr Says:

    Gio Bernard is a long time veteran who has had a lot of success in this league. He’s not gonna mess that up, unless there’s some severely crappy preparation or communication. That’s on Coach Bowles.

  27. Chris from Gainesville Says:

    I disagree. He had the 1st down. We were clearing being ultra aggressive. Bad execution but I don’t hate the call. At the end of the day, we didn’t execute dispute a decent game called. That ones in Tom in my eyes.

  28. BitcoinTom Says:

    I agree with this one. Momentum shifted after that blunder. Then Brady turned into jameis

  29. T REX Says:

    D was playing well.

    You punt from there.

    Horrible call from the worst staff in the NFL

    Thanks BA. The gift that keeps on giving.

  30. BuxfaninTX Says:

    No one really expected us to win, did they?

  31. Mattttt Says:

    The answer is easy

    Bowles is scared and ultra conservative

    He wants to prove to people he is not. So he waited until a seemingly “safe” time to be creative

  32. Phil Says:

    If the Tampa Bays Ownership does not fire coach Todd Bowles this week, then clearly the problem is with ownership……….

  33. RuKa_44 Says:

    Another fact: second half their D was all-over Brady, pressuring him the whole second half. On the other hand, our D could not press Burrow the whole second half. Trenches win games.

    At half time Bengals coaching staff made adjustments that worked, Bowles and Leftwich didn’t. Game over

  34. kyle Says:

    coaches didnt turn the ball over 4 times phil…

  35. kyle Says:

    you sound like a moron.. stop drinking

  36. Frank Pillow Says:

    It’s almost like Todd wants to be fired. I mean holy heck, what we saw out there after halftime ranks up there with the top 10 most putrid performances in franchise history.

  37. Frank Says:

    Penalties hurt us yet again, one negating a long sack and another bullsh#t face mask where his hand just brushed it..

  38. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Licht is bringing this staff back. Only logical explanation for this garbage. He’s saying idc about this year.

  39. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Kyle you know that’s on the coaches as well? The players have stopped playing. This coaching staff is a cancer.

  40. Orlando Kevin Says:

    Stunned. The second has was as bad as Bucks football I’ve ever seen.

  41. Orlando Kevin Says:

    I’m so stunned, I can’t form sentences correctly or spell per my last post above. 🙂

  42. Crack3rK Says:

    Joe, Is it time to use the moniker “Failing Head Coach Todd Bowles?”

  43. BuckyLove Says:

    I kept wondering who game planned the first half. Good stuff. Maybe Arians put it together. Sure was not the usual clown show that works there.

  44. seandonjuan24 Says:

    Sucks for Bowles but being a HC ain’t for him. This team is way too talented to be this bad. Less than 25 carries with this back field?

  45. Show Me the TDs Says:

    This team is completely undisciplined. No accountability. In the last few years we had a man as a head coach. Bowels is a scared little boy.

  46. Bucschamp Says:

    Tod No Balls wanted to be cute decided fake punt is better than running 4th & 1.


  47. Darin Says:

    They be who they be those Bucs coaches. I can’t even waste time taking about it anymore until the clown show has been cancelled.

  48. bucs4life Says:

    Nothing will expose him. If anything Arians will just pop out of the woodwork and do some rambling to explain why it’s everyone else’s fault. He calls the shots and runs the bingo in our ballclub, unfortunately.

  49. Buczilla Says:

    It’s time for fresh start whether Brady stays (hopefully!) or not. We still have a lot of good, young players on this team like Evans, Godwin, Wirfs, and Winfield. Cut bait with the rest unless our new (I beseech thee oh gods!) head coach thinks that he can salvage someone like Devin and a few others. We have some quality ingredients, but these coaches can’t even boil water.

  50. MadMax Says:

    Ive figured it out….Bowles eats crayons for breakfast!

  51. MadMax Says:

    But not as many as Byron.

  52. Bucobill999 Says:

    Toilet bowles is in over his head team has no back bone like HC

  53. Tony Says:

    There was no reason for them to call that. Just punt the ball. You had everything going right for you in that game until that. Teams & coaches need to get out of this stupid analytics mindset & stop gambling when there’s no reason to. Just punt it.

  54. Craig Says:

    I think they flip coins to decide on this crud. I know a few things about football, but nothing about what floats around in Leftie’s or Bowles cleaner’s minds.

    They took the Best effort of the team and turned it off. I wish the rest of television didn’t bow to football, so I didn’t have to watch the rest of this horrid season. I hope Trask found a way to be ready for next season.

  55. Defense Rules Says:

    FrontFour … ‘ It was a great call but Gino has his head up his arse.’

    Thanks for having the guts to call it like it is. So danged tired of supposed fans chastising Todd Bowles for not taking chances, then chastising him for going for it. Bunch of whiners. The ENTIRE TEAM but ONE did what they were supposed to do on that play. It wasn’t a miscommunication on Bowles part. That was an easy 1st down IF #25 had done what he was supposed to do.

    And BTW, Bowles also didn’t throw 2 INTs resulting in short fields for Cincy. He also didn’t fumble while being sacked, nor did he let the ball slip out of his hand while attempting a handoff. Some of you need to stop with the emotional crap & start evaluating the actual play execution on the field. Today the Bucs looked like champs in the 1st half and like chumps in the 2nd half.

  56. orlbucfan Says:

    That’s right, DR, Tom Brady committed those turnovers in the second half which killed the heroics our Defense and Offense were doing. Bench this old fart!! At least Trask is young, and he can scramble and run plays like bootleg options.

  57. Crickett Baker Says:

    With the great momentum, why did they decide to not put the 3 sec back on the clock at the end of the first half just to run one more play?

  58. MadMax Says:

    Yeah DR, Bowles is never the blame….i see where you stand….even last week going for a 55 yd fg with a player well known for not having a big leg for long kicks, and his longest in warm ups that say was 51 (since you like stats so much)…naaaa, none of this is on Bowles, I got you.

  59. Pewter Power Says:

    I checked the score and even with a 17-3 lead I didn’t expect them to win and glad I didn’t watch, it’s like at some point you knew Lovie was killing the team so you didn’t expect much in terms of wins

    Regardless of the comments posted here a fake punt is the dumbest play you could possibly call. I mean are they really practicing something that pathetic. In your own territory you have to consider what if it goes wrong. What happened to all that trust in his defense?

  60. Stormy Says:

    It’s WHEN he decides to be aggressive.

    Punting on 4th down when you’re behind and on their side of the 50 is dumb.

    Faking a punt on your side of the 50 when you’re ahead is also infinitely stupid.

    That is the issue with Bowles. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he cannot manage a game. Both here and in NY. Look it up – same complaints and it’s what got him canned then, and should get him canned after this season.

    At least he went for it on 4th and goal. That was the right time. When you’re down a couple scores and your defense is gassed is a good time to fake or go for it.

  61. gotbbucs Says:

    Confusing call, no doubt, but I’m not going to kill Bowles for making it. The closest I would call a fake punt would be a few yards beyond of where the other teams’ kicker can make a field goal from. That way you can still get a stop and avoid points.
    I can’t figure out if it’s the move of a desperate coach trying to save his job, or if it’s a coach throwing caution to the wind because he’s been assured his job is safe. Either way, this team is dead in the water.

  62. Patches Says:

    Horrible call. horrible coaching second half. I almost think this is a power thing…Brady says, let me play my game first half then we play yours second half. HUGE difference. Two plays I feel should have been challenged also ( i didnt see a reply at the game) An interception in the 4th as well as a catch I caught a glimpse that looked like one foot down…it was awful to watch. Season ticket holder no more. Sad!

  63. Jimmy Vegas Says:

    Gio Bernard seemingly unaware he was hot on a fake punt reminds me of the Playoff Game last year against the Rams. The long pass at the end of the game to Cooper Kupp, Bowles called a 0 coverage blitz that after the game some Bucs players on defense they didn’t hear the call… Whatever Bowles and his Staff are trying to do nobody is listening. That gets coaches fired.

  64. captivajim Says:

    we should just not try cute , trick plays ……

  65. Guillermo Bonilla Says:

    Fire Everybody!

  66. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    In my opinion the fake punt is what really changed the game. Thanks once again Bowles for another stupid call. Or maybe your devoted OC whispered the play in your ear. Either way you both suck. Oh by the way I thank you since I.m a Bengal fan first.

  67. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    I forgot to add its really to be a Bucs fan.

  68. BOAT Says:

    At this point, it’s actually reached the level of being ludicrous that Bowles hasn’t been fired yet. It’s like there’s absolutely nothing he could do to get fired at this point.

    Most other teams would have already fired him like 5 times this season.

  69. Captain Vic Says:

    I totally agree with Joe and others re: the fake punt. The operative word is “desperate”; it was ill-timed (even if it worked), and sent the wrong message.. to both teams! So, the Bucs were up 17 – 3, very early and the 2nd half, Bucs D was playing lights out, the offense was in the best Rhythm maybe all season, and a very elite Bengals team looked rattled. Bucs had a 4th and 1 on their own 20 something yard line, you PUNT the ball, try and pin the Bengals inside their own 20, and play defense!! When the Bucs lined up to punt, I went to take a leak, then I come back and I see a close-up of Gio Bernard on the screen, looking very confused. So was I! Then they show a replay & Springs pop out of my head. You don’t do that! You don’t need to do that at that point. You keep the fake punt in your back pocket in case the game gets tight later, or you save it for some point and the next several games, when you’re in a tight game or trailing. You don’t make that risky call with a two touchdown lead, and take a chance on giving a great offense the gift of a possession deep in your own territory. Plus did they even practice that play during the week?! The only person in the stadium who looked more surprised than me was Bernard, the ball almost clipped him right on the chin. Momentum and confidence are funny things, and that sent the message that the coaches didn’t trust the Bucs players to hold that lead w/o trick plays. Then the s*** show was on

  70. BOAT Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    December 18th, 2022 at 9:01 pm
    FrontFour … ‘ It was a great call but Gino has his head up his arse.’

    Thanks for having the guts to call it like it is. So danged tired of supposed fans chastising Todd Bowles for not taking chances, then chastising him for going for it. Bunch of whiners. The ENTIRE TEAM but ONE did what they were supposed to do on that play. It wasn’t a miscommunication on Bowles part. That was an easy 1st down IF #25 had done what he was supposed to do.

    And BTW, Bowles also didn’t throw 2 INTs resulting in short fields for Cincy. He also didn’t fumble while being sacked, nor did he let the ball slip out of his hand while attempting a handoff. Some of you need to stop with the emotional crap & start evaluating the actual play execution on the field. Today the Bucs looked like champs in the 1st half and like chumps in the 2nd half.


    Hi Todd. How are you today?

  71. ViSyl Says:

    Why do you try a fake punt in the 26 yard line??????