For the second straight week, the Buccaneers lost on a field goal in the final seconds by the opposition and, also for the second straight week, their loss came after making a mountain of unforced errors in the 59-plus minutes leading up to the fateful kick.
There were 10 penalties this time, down from 13 in the opener against the Jets, and multiple timeouts burned as the team failed to get the right players on the field in a timely manner against the Saints. The mix of disorganization and indiscipline was too much to overcome and coach Greg Schiano vowed after the game that the the team would get things on a better path.
“It’s very disappointing, and, again, it falls on me. It’s my job to make sure that our staff and our players understand those procedural things, and I’m not getting it done,” Schiano said in his postgame press conference. “I’m going to get it done, and we will get it done. I’ll get my staff, and we’ll all get it fixed, and the players — we’ll get it fixed. This is a good football team. We’ll be back.”
It’s hard not to try to draw a line from a week of players only meetings and innuendo about Schiano’s relationship with the team to such a chaotic performance on Sunday, especially since it mimicked so closely what happened in Week One, but the glass is half-full group could also say that the team has sabotaged itself over and over and still lost two games by a combined three points. The defense shut down Drew Brees for almost the entire game Sunday and Doug Martin found his footing in the ground game, so cleaning things up even a little bit would make a significant difference for Tampa.
If Schiano can do that, there are 14 weeks left for the Bucs to change the story. If he can’t, he’s already told you who should take the blame.