The Tennessee Titans (3-5) travel to the Sunshine State this weekend to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) but everything in Tampa Bay is not as warm and fuzzy as the weather. After a dismal eight games so far this season, one should not have to look too far to recognize the problem.
One may ask if it is the defense. After all, the Buccaneers’ overall defense is ranked 29th in the NFL through the first nine weeks of the season. They are currently 31st in the NFL in pass defense giving up an average of 279 yards per game through the air but are exceptional against the rush, placing 9th overall. In addition to that, they are 2nd in the NFL in red zone defense allowing teams to score only 34.6% of the time. On the other hand, they are the worst defense when it comes to preventing third-down conversions by their opponents. But this is not the reason they deserve to lose.
One may ask if it is the offense. The Buccaneers are currently ranked 21st overall averaging 302.5 yards per game while they are ranked 15th in passing with an average of 224 yards per game, They have one of the worst rushing offenses in the league (30th overall) averaging only 78.3 yards per game and are only averaging 19.8 points per game (21st overall). But this is not the reason they deserve to lose.
One may ask if it is their schedule. Before the season began, the Buccaneers had the 14th toughest schedule in the NFL according to PFF. This is not the reason they deserve to lose.
Fans may ask if it’s Baker Mayfield that is the reason they deserve to lose. Mayfield has thrown for 1,865 yards this season with 12 TDs and only 4 interceptions. But he’s not the reason they deserve to lose.
So you’re probably to the point where you’re asking, why do the Buccaneers deserve to lose? The reason is simple. The decision to allow Todd Bowles to take over the head coaching duties is the reason the Buccaneers deserve to lose. It is important to understand that just because you are a good coordinator does not guarantee that you will be a great head coach.
The Buccaneers have had experience with this. They should have learned from Raheem Morris who compiled a 17-31 record as head coach and from Dirk Koetter who wasn’t any better in his three seasons at the helm going 19-29. Didn’t someone once say that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity? They must have forgotten to tell Jason Licht and the Glazers.
Bowles is one of the more respected defensive coordinators of the 2000s but failed as a head coach with the Jets where he compiled a 24-40 record in 4 seasons. It raises the question, why do you think he would do better in Tampa? He currently has an 11-14 record as the Buccaneers leader and things don’t look to be on the upward trend.
With 9 games left in the season, it looks like the Buccaneers and their fans will continue to look for blame. I say it’s about time the organization stops the insanity and makes the necessary corrections. Otherwise, they will continue to deserve to lose.
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