Turnovers plague the Bucs in loss to Panthers

By Ken Filler
Dec. 25, 2017

The Bucs continue to find ways to give away games and Sunday afternoon in Charlotte just continued a season long trend. It is just like watching the movie Groundhog Day. The Bucs are making the same mistakes over and over and the same issues keep cropping up to cost the Bucs the game.

The Bucs have now lost the last four games by a total of 15 points. Three of the four losses were in the last minute of play due to a missed FG, or the opposing team making a FG to win the game.

Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy said after the game “We’re not a bad football team, we just don’t have a lot going our way”.

McCoy played his rear end off yesterday as did the majority of his teammates for 59 minutes. McCoy registered his team leading sixth sack of the season on a team that has just 20 sacks on the season.

Let’s count the different ways this Bucs team game it away yesterday to Carolina. Jameis Winston fumbled the ball three times that directly led to 10 Carolina points. Good teams and elite QB’s don’t turn the ball over at the rate Winston has this season. Yes you will have the occasional fumble. It’s football. It happens. But this has become the new norm for Winston. He now has fifteen fumbles on the season and has lost seven. 31 Fumbles for his career.

if you look at Winston’s stat line, he has had the best stats of any QB the last two weeks with a QBR of 130.0 . Both games however were losses for the Bucs due to turnovers and The inability of the defense to get a stop.

The special teams were again atrocious yesterday. They allowed a 103 yard kick return for a TD, and were victims of a fake punt that put Carolina in FG range. Let’s also not let Pat Murray slide in this this as well as he misssed a 51 yard FG attempt which would have given the Bucs a seven point lead at the time. This is the second week in a row that Murray has missed a critical FG that determined the outcome of the game. Good teams have kickers that can make the kicks at key points in the game. The Bucs kicking has been disastrous all season.

How about inoppurtune penalties which have plagued the Bucs all season. Chris Baker jumped offsides on a fourth and three play at the 5 yard line which gave Carolina new life and Cam Newton eventually would score on a two yard touchdown run.

The way the Bucs lost this game and have lost these last five games are not traits of a good football team. I beg to differ with Mr. McCoy. The Bucs play hard. They play with enthusiasm and passIon. To quote Herm Edwards “You play to win the game”. The Bucs are not winning because they are not making enough good plays at key points in the game to win. You don’t get a W based on your effort and passion.

The Bucs are now 4-11 and are on the verge of going winless in the NFC south for the first time in history. The NFC South was formed in 2002 when the Bucs joined the division.

The New Orleans Saints will be here next Sunday to try to beat the Bucs and in the process win thier first NFC South title since 2011 when they finished 13-3.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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