Advertisement

Studs and Duds from Tampa Bay’s 31-23 loss to the Detroit Lions

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t go down without a fight against the Detroit Lions.

They fought valiantly, but in the end, Tampa Bay was unable to overcome the Lions and ended their season with a 31-23 loss. The team may have dropped the game, but they kept it close all the while and proved that they belonged on that stage in front of a stifling crowd in the stands.

As per usual, some players showed out in the game and others were disappointing. Here’s who we thought were studs and who we thought were duds in Tampa Bay’s playoff loss to Detroit:

Stud: QB Baker Mayfield

Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK
Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yes, he threw the last interception of the game, but Mayfield was a warrior. He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns and scrambled for 15 yards at that, with some crucial plays made in between. It probably wasn’t the way that Mayfield wanted his game to end, but he played a hell of a ballgame and certainly deserves to come back to Tampa Bay next year.

Dud: CB Zyon McCollum

Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK
Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK

Zyon McCollum had to play corner because a starter got hurt (again), but he didn’t make the most of it. McCollum was picked on, giving up multiple long plays to both Jahmyr Gibbs and then a subsequent touchdown to Amon-Ra St. Brown. It was a rough outing for the second-year player, and where he ends up playing next year could be interesting to watch.

Stud: WR Mike Evans

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

What can’t he do? Sure, there was an early drop, but Mike Evans went crazy across the entire game. He caught a touchdown and went off for 147 yards in the matchup, showcasing his dominance in a game he needed to do it in. Evans is a free agent in 2024, and the Bucs should make it a priority to bring him back.

Dud: LB Devin White

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Devin White was put behind K.J. Britt for this game, and he didn’t do much with the minutes he did play. He ended the game with just one assisted tackle and didn’t do much else.

Stud: RB Rachaad White

Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Rachaad White continues to eat in space, as evidenced by his touchdown on a screen pass, but he also was effective on the ground today. White only had nine carries, but he had 55 yards for 6.1 yards on average. White proved that he can make it work as a do-it-all back, and he could feast next year with a better offensive line and an experienced playcaller.

Dud: HC Todd Bowles

Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from more busted coverages, Bowles committed a cardinal sin I feel must be addressed. With 36 seconds on the clock, the Lions kneeled out on 3rd and 12. The Bucs had a timeout, but didn’t call it — had they done so, it would have forced the Lions to kick a 48-yard field goal, which could have been blocked. That decision simply seems to radiate a defeated mentality, and with a season on the line, it should never come to something like that — Bowles has to be better.

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire