Morale in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room is low, and Sunday’s loss didn’t help.
The Bucs fell to the Tennessee Titans 27-23 on Sunday in Nashville after a late blown-call from the officials negated a go-ahead touchdown that would have given Tampa Bay the lead with just minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Bucs held a 6-point lead in the third quarter, too, making their third-straight loss — and fourth in the past five weeks — that much more difficult to swallow.
“At this point, I just, I f---ing hate losing,” said Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who had 11 receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. “Everybody’s face, everybody’s down in the locker room. I want to see everybody jumping up in the locker room, being happy. Against especially teams that we’re better than. Obviously, if you watched the game, we’re better than them. We gave them the game. We can’t do that in the NFL.
“They’re still NFL players. They’re solid. But I believe we’re a better team.”
The Titans have now won two straight after last week’s three-point victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 21-of-33 for 193 yards and had three touchdowns.
Mistakes, receivers cost Bucs the game
On paper, it looks as if the Bucs were in fact the better team on Sunday.
Tampa Bay racked up 389 total yards compared to Tennessee’s 246, and had more than 100 yards through the air than the Titans did, too. The Bucs won the time of possession battle, converted on more third downs, had seven more first downs and ran nearly 20 more plays.
Yet it was the mistakes, and the blown call, that cost Tampa Bay the game in the end. The Bucs had four turnovers on the day, two fumbles and two interceptions all at the hands of quarterback Jameis Winston, and had nine penalties for 87 yards.
While Winston will shoulder the blame for the fumbles, coach Bruce Arians said he shouldn’t have to for the interceptions — his ninth and 10th of the year. In his eyes, they weren’t his fault at all.
“Jameis didn’t throw one damn interception that was his fault,” Arians said, via USA Today. “His receivers let him down today. Guys stopped on routes that were supposed to be going down the middle. The last play, the guy’s supposed to go down the middle. It should’ve been a big play.
“[Winston] played his tail off. You can write what you want. Not one of those interceptions was his fault, and it’s a damn shame.”
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