Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
October, 20, 2013
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
ATLANTA -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome:
What it means: The Bucs are 0-6, and they’ve lost 11 of their last 12 dating to last season. This loss was similar to the first five of this season. The Bucs were in the game but never able to take control. That storyline is getting old. The lack of progress doesn’t bode well for coach Greg Schiano, who clearly is on the hot seat. About the only thing Tampa Bay fans have to look forward to is an early draft pick next year.
Stock falling: On a play in which the Bucs had seemed to force a punt near the end of the first quarter, reserve defensive end Trevor Scott was called for roughing the passer. That gave the Falcons a first down, and they followed up with a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Jacquizz Rodgers.
Stock rising: Rookie running back Mike James got extensive playing time after starter Doug Martin left with a shoulder injury. James looked fairly solid, which could lead to more playing time, even if Martin is all right. The Bucs have been using Martin too much and need to reduce his workload.
Missing in action: Tampa Bay’s pass rush was pretty much nonexistent. That’s why Ryan, who was without starting receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, was able to have such a productive day.
Why bother? I don't understand Schiano's decision to kick a field goal with five minutes left in the game. Even with the three points, it still was a two-score game.
What’s next: The Bucs host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.