Worst Loss

February 11th, 2023

Joe hates to bring up bad memories but here we are.

The Bucs won their division and even had a primetime playoff game at home. How cool was that?

But then, when you have Tom Brady as your quarterback and a team full of Pro Bowlers and some All-Pros, present or past, you figure another Super Bowl run was in the making.

Or that’s at least what fans expected.

Alas, the Bucs had a losing season — with Brady! How in the heck does that happen?

That has Bucs fans in a depression of sorts, along with Brady retiring after the season and the Bucs could be saying goodbye to key starters in the next few weeks.

So why did the Bucs have such a bad season, especially for a team that was dominant the prior two years? One could say it began with an irresponsible gameplan against the Steelers. Others will say it was a gutless performance by the offense at the Stinking Panthers. Still others would say how the Bucs gave a game away against the Browns did the Bucs in.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com, who has scoured the best wins and worst losses for each team this season, points to the Bucs getting their arses handed to them by the 49ers as their worst loss.

Worst loss: 35-7 to San Francisco 49ers (Week 14)

In his return to the Bay Area, the G.O.A.T. put up a horrific performance. The Niners picked off the future Hall of Famer twice, and Tampa didn’t score a point until it was already 35-0. The Bucs allowed seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy — who was making his first career start — to dice them up; he threw for two TDs and compiled a 134.0 passer rating. The contest showed the Niners and Bucs were playing in two different weight classes.

Well, who knows how that game turns out if Brady’s early bomb to Mike Evans wasn’t called back on a Donovan Smith penalty and the NFL didn’t have a dumbass sack rule that negated Keanu Neal’s textbook sack of Brock Purdy on the opening series.

That San Francisco loss sure reminded Joe of the time the Bucs traveled to Minnesota in 2017 and got their clocks cleaned by the Vikings. The Bucs quite literally got their asses alley beaten that day.

The 49ers’ loss was almost as bad. The Bucs simply got curb-stomped, physically.

If Joe had to pick the Bucs’ worst loss, it was likely Cleveland, though Pittsburgh and Carolina on the road are right up there. That overtime loss to Cleveland was given away. Who takes the ball out of Brady’s hands when he’s marching for a win?

And because the Bucs needlessly played for overtime, two of their best players got hurt, right tackle Tristan Wirfs and safety Antoine Winfield. Joe isn’t sure if Winfield ever fully recovered from that high-ankle sprain.

53 Responses to “Worst Loss”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Darek Sharp stick in the eye !

  2. geno711 Says:

    San Fran was worst loss to me.

  3. DJB Says:

    I think it was Neal who was the dumbass on that sack of Purdy. He had all day to line him up and avoid the helmet-to-helmet contact. Hope they let Neal walk, I see why the Cowboys tried to turn him into a linebacker.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    The WHOLE season was depressing!

    Fire Todd Bowles !

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Isn’t Brock Purdy a free agent?

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Worst loss- tie between Ryan Jensen, Rob Gronkowski and Shaq Barrett

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Purdy has 3 years left on his rookie contract.

    Our worst loss was our last one…..none of the others count that much since we made the playoffs…….soundly defeated by the Cowboys at home in prime time…..eliminated.

    It doesn’t get worse than that.

  8. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Best loss?

    Cutting Durable Donnie soon.

  9. Stebobucsfan Says:

    You know Joe I watched every Bucs game this past season. The team had a lot of issues. Many games we were a head by double digits at the half and still lost I saw multiple big plays only to get call back because of a holding penalty. I saw my main guy Brady throw an interception when we’re like 3 yards from scoring or he fumbled when the team was in bad field position and a multitude of other things that cause that 8 & 9 record. We can blame Bowles because he’s head guy we can blame Leftwich but we all know something was going on at one Bucs place last season. I wondering if we had a lot of in fighting as Arians hinted at.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    The whole blame lies with the head coach. Why is he still here?

  11. Aceofaerospace Says:

    No excuse for not firing Bowles and leftwich at the bye. If we were truly all in, heads would have rolled early. Bowles’ ignorant play calling cost us a back to back Super Bowl opportunity. He should have had a short leash starting the season because of that. Actually that game should have negated his head coach opportunity. I don’t believe the Bucs will ever get anywhere with him and his eventual firing is no more than 17 games away. Another season is about to be wasted. Tanking the entire season is out of the question and we have too much talent to lose naturally to get a top 2 pick. Sad times.

  12. stpetebucfan Says:

    The past season was a perfect storm. We’ve dissected ALL the manifest problems.

    I’m thinking of this moment! This moment we need a new OC, a plan for a QB and a plan for keeping the D intact and healthy. And how are we going to manage the salary cap? The only good news is that the only team in worse position than the Bucs is the hated Saints.

  13. BucU Says:

    This article describes exactly why us fans want Bowles gone. Not only did we go 6-10 after the 2-0 start but the lack of energy and enthusiasm every single week was disgusting. Every F’n game I watched I’d see the same lethargic garbage.
    Bowles does not deserve another year and neither do we. I have very little interest in watching a Bowles led team ever again. Not to mention the horrendous game plans and complete lack of scheming for an individual opponent. Same template week after week after week. Nah. I’ll go mow the lawn on game days.

  14. Oddball Says:

    In games which we played backup/rookie QB’s how many did we lose?

    All of them I think. Steelers, 9er’s, Panthers, Ravens?, Atlanta.

    It’s one of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    The Niner game was when I finally had to come to terms with reality – Tom Brady was done and the Bucs needed to rebuild…

    SF could have scored way more than 35 if they wanted to. It was a total embarrassment.

  16. FortMyersDave Says:

    Cleveland for 2 reasons. First on the 4th down Cleveland got back into the game where were Vea and the starters, on the bench? Idiotic! Then add in Toilet Bowels lack of clock management and not trusting Brady in the final minute of the 4th quarter! Bowels should have been launched on that loss alone but I guess the brain trust has settled on blaming Leftwich and he deserved to be fired and should have been after the Pitt or Carolina game!. 2nd choice: Pittsburgh: a winnable game, Bucs almost tied it but Bowels and Leftwich chose to run the ball when Pitt had no secondary starting. Idiotic again. Glazers should have fired Bowels along with Leftwich, what a wasted year!

  17. Letsbuccingo Says:

    The Thomas Brown interview is because Bowles wants to run the ball 75% of the time. So far there hasn’t been an offensive coordinator to commit to that. No one else has interviewed him because he is basically a running back coach.

  18. Cchead Says:

    Worst loss Bruce Arians, best loss Leftwich. Add Todd Blowes to the loss column would be a bonus best loss.

  19. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Unless Bowles improves exponentially, it will be more of the same and to expect different for the upcoming season is folly.

  20. Dooley Says:

    The Bengals game was a bad one too. Up two scores at the half, held Cincy to 3 points in the first half in a season where that team was 0-3 when scoring less than 6 pts in the first half, and we gave the game away in the 3rd quarter. 2nd half starts the Bengals scored 3 pts off the Gio Bernard botched snap, another 6pts off the Brady pass to Brate that was picked off and the sack-fumble Brady lost turned into got turned off another 8 pts. 17 unanswered and assisted points by our poor play on both sides of the ball in 15 minutes of game time, absolutely terrible in comparison to SF just out playing us from the jump.

  21. Winky Says:

    Oddball- So true!

  22. NYbucsfan Says:

    The worst loss of last season was the day they made Todd Bowles the head coach. And there is not even a close second.

  23. Dooley Says:


    FWIW, We beat was Trace McSorely lol

  24. Larrd Says:

    Whichever loss led Bowles to first point the finger at the players. “No one blitzed” last year to “we installed that on day one,” etc etc

  25. BrianBucs Says:

    So why did the Bucs have such a bad season, especially for a team that had been so dominant the prior two seasons?
    Two Words – Todd Bowles

  26. Steve Says:

    A head coach who managed to drive out Tom Brady, that’s the worse loss!

  27. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Ryan jensen was the worst loss.

  28. August 1976 Buc Says:

    New Head Coach and New Talent cycle, when that happens, then hope begins anew.

    Until then, the den of depression is back in full bloom.

    Double Digit losses returned again this year

    Again….New Head Coach and new Talent cycle

    Sorry Joe but that is the reality for the foreseeable future, just hope this down cycle does not last as long as they have in the past in Tampa.

    GO BUCS!!!

  29. Craig Says:

    The only decent game was the Cowboys in week 1. After that the team got worse every week. The 9ers game was the culmination of the season coming apart.

    The whole season was a continual sign that the coaching was incapable of making a team progress. That progression is necessary because the training camps are now too short to make a team in.

  30. NEfan Says:

    Dooley, I don’t think I ever agreed with you until today. Bar for the Bengals, Bucs had a chance to prove they were still a team to be feared. Brady’s turnovers, Blows stupid FG & fake FG call and D giving up 34 points. Pathetic. But the utmost worst day was when BA decided to wait to retire and stick the team with a proven loser HC. BA killed the Bucs, Blows killed the Goat!

  31. Aceofaerospace Says:

    The only thing I look forward to next year is the inevitable firing of Bowles. Nothing else seems realistic.

  32. Goatfarmer Says:

    Fire. Toad. Blowes.


  33. Dooley Says:

    It’s alright @NEfan, I’m not here to satiate any confirmation biases of mine and generally respect the right to disagree or be disagreed with. Only get irked by the constant complaining visiting this site, but for the most part it’s also pretty hilairous. Like I think Goatfarmer is the Mark Twain of JoeBucsfan with the verbage and hints of comedy in almost all his comments. While I don’t agree with everything he/she says, I do find how he says things are is usually hilarious

  34. gotbbucs Says:

    At what point can we move on to next season? After the Super Bowl? Can we quit talking about last season’s abortion after tomorrow night?

  35. Joe Says:

    At what point can we move on to next season?

    When next season arrives.

    The 2022 league year isn’t even finished. Hell the 2022 season isn’t finished. The 2023 league year doesn’t start until March 15.

    Last season’s games and moves directly affect the 2023 Bucs. But since the 2023 games are months away, all that remains is dissecting the 2022 season.

    In a couple of weeks the combine will hit and Joe will shift some focus to the 2023 season as then there will be news.

  36. HC Grover Says:

    Who wants Bowles to remain as HC? Anyone?

  37. BucsfanFred Says:

    For me the Cleveland “mistake by the lake” was the worst and most unforgivable, but you brought back a whole big steaming heap of bad memories.

  38. Infomeplease Says:

    My choice ” all of the above” it’s so hard for a team to want to “play to win” when their head coach always plays ” not to lose”!! Not the right philosophy for a winning team!!!!!!! That’s why the losing season! That’s why coach Bowles has so many losing seasons!!!! Things improve once he is removed!!

  39. FlBoy84 Says:

    It’s amazing how many Bowles apologists completely fail to mention the MANY poor, and sometimes gutless, decisions he made during last season. Some could be excused if he were a 1st year HC… but he’s not.

  40. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe, you make a great point about the Cleveland game!! Bowles, by taking the ball out of TB12’s hand and the comments about ” not wanting TB12 to throw an interception”, Bowles destroyed what confidence TB12 had to that point in the season!! Furthermore, if the head coach has no confidence in your qb, what is that saying to the other players on the team?? It’s no surprise that the players quit playing!!

  41. NEfan Says:

    Info@ I am not sure it was a confidence thing but more of the spur of the moment panic call. He needed more time to process what was going on an was probably overwhelmed. That is the only reason he would call the TO soon after. Joe maybe right, the Cleveland game did prove Bowles is still not ready for prime time and after 5 years of losing he probably never will be.

  42. sasquatch Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    February 11th, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    Who wants Bowles to remain as HC? Anyone?

    I do. For one thing, he’s not getting fired. He’s our coach for 2023. I also do not believe in firing a coach after one year. That makes your organization look like a clownshow. I believe he deserves a fair shake selecting his own staff.

  43. Infomeplease Says:

    NEFan, OK maybe I was pushing it a bit, but putting in a little doubt into the players and TB12 surely is a negative! A little doubt can be the difference between making a big play or not!!

    You do make a point that’s hard to argue with, Bowles is and probably will never be ready for prime time as a HC!!

  44. NEfan Says:

    sasquash he coached the Bucs D with this staff for 4 years.

  45. Texas Tony Says:

    I don’t think Todd Bowles can lead us to the promised land. Keeping Keith Armstrong WTF!

  46. Cobraboy Says:

    I expected the 9ers to dismantle the Bucs. No surprise at all when it happened.

    IMO, Browns, Stillers, Kitties, Packers, and Ravens were all worse.

    Heck, only two wins all season were only moderately impressive.

    This was a weak, middlin’, piddlin’, badly underachieving team…

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs were losing that 49ers game no matter what, so that wasn’t even close to their worse loss.

    The worst loss was Pittsburgh, that was the game where Leftwich went full tard. It was completely obvious after that game that the Bucs were going nowhere unless they dumped Leftwich, and instead, they just keep that loser around and keep losing games they should have easily won.

  48. DFW Buc Says:

    Biggest loss was the players confidence in their offensive and defensive coaches. It showed on offense and defense play. I agree with the earlier comment that they should have cleaned those two out earlier in the year. Whether it was decisions made, comments made, or not trusting skilled players, those coaches lost this team it should have had a winning record at least been able to get to the second round of the playoffs if not beyond. Trying to blame injuries when they are part of the game and not having coached well enough replacements showed a lot about this coaching staff.

  49. SKBucsFan Says:

    They were all bad. A loss is a loss. They hurt just as much from one game to another. Even worse in the playoffs. Just ask the Chiefs tomorrow.

  50. Buccos Says:

    I’m going to go with worst loss at home versus the Bengals. It was a complete meltdown in the 2nd half. That botched fake punt was awful. If you’re going to call a play like that you should probably practice it a few times first. Don’t you think?

  51. steele Says:

    It was the worst beatdown. But it was expected, at the hands of the most physical and (at the time probably) the best team in the NFL.

    Worse are the ones that they should have won. There are many of those stinkers.

  52. Joe Says:


    Thank you.

  53. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    So many of these posters up here all whined and cried about the same things all season long, calling names and what not but infomeplease hit the proverbial nail on the head with a non biased prognosis of why we sucked so badly as a team, Todd Bowles coaches not to lose. I would never call the man a loser like so many of you who could never achieve the things he has a man but that mentality right there is a losing one. What player could ever get past that when even the GOAT couldn’t? Our team took on his mentality from day one so there wasn’t any one game that was the pinnacle for our losing season because even our wins were sorely missing any positives that gave us any belief this team could “turn the corner”. The biggest difference between him and Mike Tomlin a truly great defensive minded coach. We will suffer this same thing every year Bowles is our head coach.