Rookie Mistake

November 21st, 2023

Joe has watched the condensed replay of the Bucs-49ers game three times now in search of reasons to believe in the Bucs — and looking for signs that Tampa Bay is spiraling to the NFC cellar.

While Joe is a Baker Mayfield believer because he’s been playing good football, every time Joe sees Mayfield’s first-quarter fumble on a pointless 1st-and-5 scramble in 49ers territory, Joe needs more TUMS and a calming pillow.

What a rookie mistake it was, and it was so costly. Damn, it was 1st-and-5 at the 49ers’ 33 yard line. Mayfield could have eaten the sack easily at 36 yard line, but he tried to play Michael Vick and scrambled back into gut of the Niners defense and lowered his head and took two hits, one that sprung the ball.

That just can’t happen. A veteran quarterback isn’t supposed to screw up that badly.

The 49ers responded with a field goal. The Bucs countered with a long touchdown drive and halftime was next.

Joe is not like Todd Bowles, pounding the “win the turnover battle” drum, but those kinds of senseless turnovers are absolute killers.

41 Responses to “Rookie Mistake”

  1. Oz Len Says:

    There you go Rod Mulch and Seattle Butts, all teed up for you!

  2. EC Buc Says:

    I did love TB12 just eating it to get to the next down. Veteran guys got to know where you are at. Protect the ball better but appreciate the effort.

  3. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Has Bowles been fired yet?

  4. Couch Fan Says:

    If you like pretty 5 yard passes, 3 and outs and low scoring football games then yes Mayfield is playing well. I prefer actual points though.

  5. Pewter Power Says:

    Coaching is the main killer for this team

  6. tbbucs3 Says:

    Perhaps if the Bucs had a real running back Mayfield wouldnt have to run so much?

  7. tbbucs3 Says:

    Licht should be on the phone with Darrell Henderson Jr.

  8. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Haha JOE sacks are drive killers but a sack is better than a fumble. Lol oh man I didn’t realize it was 1st n 5 when that happened. Throw the ball away avoid sack and the fumble. I’m a believer in baker to but Joe if the niners could caught they would have had 3 ints that game. Not bakers best game but the fans calling for him to be benched is ridiculous right now. Trask wouldn’t do better. Baker has the pocket awareness that only comes from playing the game which trask hasn’t. If the Bucs keep losing tho I wouldn’t mind seeing what we have in trask later in the season.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Part of me wants to cut Mayfield some slack……he is a warrior and is not the reason this team is 4-6……

    But, yep…..only Desmond Ridder, Joe’s favorite opposing QB (who, Joe, has beat us twice) and Jameis fumble like that….Baker should know better and he’ll be the first to admit it.

  10. D Cone Says:

    Can’t have it both ways. Throw praise when he wiggles loose and picks up 3 or 31 and then call it a Rookie Mistake when it fails and the ball is taken away.

    Mayfield makes Good decisions. Making his read and checking it down. When he starts making the Best decision the Bucs will start scoring more.

    Always making Good decisions will get you stats and on the upper half of QB’s and working.

    Consistently making the Best decision puts them at the top and competing for Championships.

    Perhaps that is why the QB looks good and the offense looks mediocre as a whole.

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    He knows if he doesn’t make the play, no one else on Todd’s offense will. He’s getting very little help.

  12. Irish Laughter Says:

    The formula for failure once again. Last year Brady had no running attack, (last in the NFL), a mediocre defense, and tons of injuries along the way, and Joe put the finger on him for being the problem. This year Mayfield has no running attack, (last in the NFL) and below average defense and the team is relatively healthy. Joe is a believer in Mayfield. Wow, what a difference a year makes. I have the Bucs finishing 10-7 and winning the division.

  13. DBS Says:

    WTF? Calling it a rookie mistake was the same as calling it STUPID. An experienced QB should not be making that kind of mistake. What more do you want?

  14. Seattle Buc Says:

    It’s Trask Time, baby!

  15. Watch More All-22 Before Commenting Says:

    I’ve watched the fumble a dozen times on ALL22.

    It was a routine scramble and a great defensive play by two All Pros.

    Let it go.

    The team lost on defense and dropped TDs.

  16. Vegasbuccaneer Says:

    The hardest thing in the world is being a bucks fan

  17. Hunter Says:

    “Vegasbuccaneer Says:
    November 21st, 2023 at 8:47 pm
    The hardest thing in the world is being a bucks fan”

    Why is that? Y’all have Giannis and Damian Lillard!

    Being a Bucs fan does suck a lot of the time though 😉

  18. Couch Fan Says:

    So everybody elses fault but Bakers. “Let it go” to all of Mayfields mistakes but nobody elses. Got to love it. At least Joe is admitting to his stupid mistakes. The cheerleaders never will. The drive could of/should of resulted iin points. Just like the dropped TD but lets let it go but not the dropped passes, which was inaccurate btw.

  19. Fred Says:

    Frankly, Fred is tired of excuses. It’s time for the Buc higher management to step in. Having been a true Buc fan since ‘76, Fred has seen this all before and Fred doesn’t like it. Time to make some not so difficult decisions. If not, next year could be even worse.

  20. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    For the record, I am NOT a traskie fanboi.

    Once we are out of the playoffs, I would like to see him start a game or two.

    You need to see what you have. If he stinks, he stinks.

    Someone will offer Baker a lot of money. He’s just good enough to generate a glimmer of hope but in the end…he’s just mediocre.

  21. Red86 Says:

    Golf clap.

    (Standing ovation is reserved for mentioning the other stuff great vets doesn’t do often. Like stare downs, missing open guys to throw questionable passes, no eyes manipulation, throwing to double and triple coverage unsuccessfully, and etc.)

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t have an issue with the fumble on the play – he’s trying to make something happen, and fails, but trying hard is what counts.

    The problem on the series was that this was like the 19th play of the drive (no, not really), every play was 3 or 4 yards, and when you have that many plays, sooner or later someone is going to screw up, the odds are just not in your favor. I know what the Bucs were trying to do, to be ultra boring and control the clock, because Bowles still thinks it’s 1970 and that’s how you win games, but you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

  23. Beeej Says:

    Trask wouldn’t have done that

  24. Jack Clark Says:

    When I read the title “Rookie Mistake” I thought Joe was talking about Dave Canales not designing plays to use Rachaad White like how Kyle Shanohan uses Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey and White are similar style, finesse, pass catching running backs who are better at making people miss tackles in open space and catching the football than running straight through people.

    Kyle Shanohan designed run plays for McCaffrey to run towards the sidelines (e.g. off tackle, end runs, sweeps, toss plays) until he sees a hole open up and then make a cut to sprint straight through it. He also kept sending players in motion to them to keep the defense honest because they didn’t know if the run play was going to the right, left, or center. Dave Canales needs to start doing that with jet sweeping Devin Tompkins to the left and running Rachaad to the the right. Running plays like that that will loosen up defenses enough to run up the middle every now because they will think we’re running to the left or right. That will help Baker Mayfield throw more touchdowns and turn the ball over less.

  25. stpetebucfan Says:

    They pay the other guys too and the Niners actually earn their money.

    I can’t quibble with opinions about simply eating it or advancing it but CMON now…fumbles happen all the time to EVERY player in the league and the Niners did a great job of punching the ball out when they had him wrapped up. That fumble could have occured even if BAKER did simply decide to eat it if somebody had stood him up and the second guy punched it out. Fumbles happen on sacks as frequently, maybe more so, than on scrambles.

    I agree with Bakers view of incomplete and sometimes intercepted passes. Sometimes its a stupid decision on his part, sometimes it’s just a bad throw.
    One is more correctable than the other. IF people want Baker to crumple to the ground like Brady last year the first instant of pressure…it’s just not going to happen. In that case Trask probably is your QB…far more conventional…although I do recall ONE run where he gutted it out. Still Trask is not the physical player that Mayfield is…much more like TB style player.

  26. Larrd Says:

    He is not Joe Montana but Baker played well enough to win, as has done about seven times this season. The 49ers are good and the Bucs didn’t fall apart. If they finish strong all is good!

  27. WyomingJoe Says:

    You’re writing an article about an early fumble? Really? Ok, in retrospect, I agree with you Joe that he should have been brown the ball away. But with our nonexistent running game, if I were Baker I’d be taking off too. I’d much rather hear about the TD passes that were dropped or the CBs that my wife could burn. Like you Joe, I believe in Baker. I also believe the Bucs will win the their division and the first game in the playoffs. I’ve said it before, resign Baker, draft/trade for a center and guard as well as a RB.

  28. David Says:

    Joe, congratulations
    Finally reflecting one of Baker’s many mistakes in your article. I don’t have any issue with Baker’s hussle plays but I have problems with four sure dropped Baker’s passes by 49ers defenders. Throwing a pick in the end zone when Bucs needed 7 points the most. Baker always play just good enough for a 7 to 8 wins per season.
    Toilet Bowl should be fired on the way back to Tampa.

  29. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Like Fred, I’ve been a true fan since 76. Seen plenty of losing and bad players. This team has more talent but worse coaching. Also, it’s time to let go of Evans, D. White, Davis, trade Dean, dump JTS and Barrett and draft a QB, center, RB and load up on the Dline and Oline. But most of all, get an entire new coaching staff. If Bowles ruined Brady’s last year, imagine what he would do with a rookie QB!

  30. WyomingJoe Says:

    David: You still don’t know anything about what Baker has accomplished, do you? Do your homework.

  31. Hodad Says:

    If Baker played well enough to win, we woulda won. Stop it, he had 4 picks dropped!! Baker is playing just well enough to lose, more like it.

  32. Brandonbucc Says:

    Honestly, the coaching and play calling is horrendous. The team isn’t bad

  33. 76 bucsfan46 Says:

    Daryl Henderson is available and has more twitch than our RB

  34. Seattle Buc Says:

    1#bucsfan Says: “Trask wouldn’t do better.”

    Given the fact that neither you nor anyone else has ever seen Kyle Trask in a game with the starting offense, you know this how?

  35. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    If Mayfield doesn’t workout here, we should make a move for Desmond Ridder. I’ve only seen him play the Bucs, but he looked like a fusion of Dan Marino and Lamar Jackson against us, so he’s gotta be great, right? ~Sarcasm font~

  36. David Says:

    I just found a near drug store.

  37. Oneilbuc Says:

    Baker Mayfield should have had 5 picks and Joe refused to talk about it. Lol 🤣🤣 !!

  38. Falconrap Says:

    What will really burn you hide, Joe, is when you look at the all-22 and realize that all Baker had to do was step up into the pocket, in the middle, and uncork the ball to the middle of the endzone has Otton had beaten his man and was turning in toward the middle of the endzone when Baker decided to pull the ball down and run. He also briefly had Godwin open past the sticks, but the safety closed on him shortly after he started coming back toward the line on what looked like a hitch route. Bottom line is that Baker had two targets he could have hit, one for a TD, and he failed to make the throw and coughed it up. It’s what he does. Fails to make the right reads and let the ball go on way too many occasions. Trask would have thrown to Otton before his break back in and likely scored the TD. Why? Because he throws with anticipation, something Baker struggles with. But let’s keep on, keeping on. We’re going nowhere and making the Trask pick a waste without finding out how he can play with the starters. Brilliance in action.

  39. Deadwood South Dakota Says:

    Coaching sucks.. has there been a good feeling abt this coaching since Minnesota.. every week a screw up or the same bs about we have to coach and play better.. I mean when the defense gives up on its coach.. it’s tough for the offense ..
    I wonder what coach we will have next year?

  40. Scott Says:

    I’m very tired of baker having to throw to his dump off pass because he doesn’t even get enough time for a long pass to develop. If he had a better OLine, he could be throwing some very impressive passes. I’m pro Baker and using your draft pics to actually fix problem areas and overall increase the quality of the team. This team has a few stars that are being wasted by the rest of the team is substandard.

  41. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Look at Cleveland’s record and look at ours. They got rid of Baker and we picked him up go figure. He makes just enough good to great plays to make hopeful fans say ooh and aahh I told you so! Then makes those mistakes that former teams say that’s why we let him go. Having Basket the Bucs will never be as they could be but not as good as they could be either. He is only slightly better than Shameis Winsnot