Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles is taking a beating for not calling his final timeout as the Lions took a knee in victory formation at the end of Sunday's game. The Bucs could have forced Dan Campbell to make a decision about whether to try a 49-yard field goal or punt the ball back to the Bucs.
And because the Lions mismanaged the clock, kneeling down before burning the full 40 seconds on each of the three kneel downs, Tampa Bay could have gotten the ball back with around 30 seconds left instead of 12.
Campbell admitted Monday that the Lions needed to do a better job of running down the clock.
"First of all, we didn’t handle that whole thing well on our end," Campbell told beat writers. "We should have bled it more than we did. Look, I'll be the first to admit that, and that's on me. But yeah, we knew he had a timeout left. I could tell he wasn't going to call it. That's how it ended."
Bucs coach Todd Bowles still didn’t realize Monday that the Lions erred in their time management. He repeated what he said Sunday night that the Bucs would have gotten the ball back with 12 seconds left if he had called timeout.
The Bucs, though, realistically let the Lions off the hook with even worst time management.