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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Stall in 20-6 Loss to Lions

The Buccaneers struggled on third down on both sides of the football, sealing the team’s fate against the visiting Lions


In the 'Creamsicle' matchup at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stalled against the visiting Detroit Lions, 20-6. Third down became the difference-maker in the Week Six outcome. Neither club was able to run the ball particularly well, as the Bucs finished with 16 carries for 46 yards and the Lions posted 22 totes for 40 yards. 

"We were just not able to take advantage of our opportunities," described right tackle Luke Goedeke. "We all know what our offense is capable of this year, and we are not even close to finding our identity. We really have not hit our full stride yet." 

Tampa Bay converted only two of 12 third-down attempts and conversely, Detroit was able to move the chains on third-and-long (9-16). Both of the Lions' touchdowns came from third-and-10 and third-and-14. In critical moments, the Lions were able to make adjustments to sustain drives. 

"We had two busts," said Todd Bowles on the scores from third-and-long. "That should have never happened, and that's on us as coaches, on us as players." 

In a matchup that pit two former first-overall picks with similar storylines against one another, Lions' Jared Goff came out on top with 353 yards and two touchdowns, completing 30-of-44 passes. The Buccaneers' Baker Mayfield was held to 206 yards on 19-of-37 passing and was intercepted on a tipped pass. Amon-Ra St. Brown, who caught 12 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, became Goff's go-to target and a YAC-threat off two-way go's, screens and underneath against off coverage. 

"We sucked today," said Mayfield. "I sucked today, we sucked today, it was awful from the get-go. We can't play like that. We didn't start fast; we didn't pick it up in the middle and we didn't finish strong. Plain and simple, we have to be better. The Lions are a good ballclub, but if we play like that we're going to lose every time. I think the defense and special teams did an amazing job yet again."

The Bucs came into the game ranked second in the NFL in turnover differential but committed the only giveaway of the clash, which shifted the momentum. Tampa Bay's defense had previously forced 10 turnovers through four games but did not come away with one on Sunday. Lavonte David, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and rookie first-rounder Calijah Kancey all recorded sacks on Jared Goff, but throughout the night, he routinely had enough time in the pocket to dish the ball and go thorough progressions. David led the Buccaneers' defense with 12 tackles, including two for loss and a pass defensed in addition to the sack. 

"We didn't force the issue and they didn't make any mistakes," said cornerback Jamel Dean of the team's lack of takeaways. "In a game like this, the team that makes the least mistakes is probably going to win, and we made the most."

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