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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Ravens 27, Buccaneers 22 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall to the Baltimore Ravens 27-22 in prime-time

RR Week 8 Ravens_

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 27-22, falling to 3-5 on the season. The Bucs have lost three straight games, as the same troubling trends occur in all phases.

After a two-game losing streak, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a hot start at Raymond James Stadium. A play-action shot from Tom Brady to Chris Godwin led to a 44-yard gain, as Godwin utilized his physical prowess to produce yards-after-catch. The explosive play set up a Leonard Fournette one-yard touchdown rush. The Bucs took a 7-0 lead and Ryan Succop kicked a 31-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, giving the Bucs a 10-3 advantage. The Ravens' defense then imposed their will, forcing three quick, three-and-outs. Tampa Bay initially outgained the Ravens, 126-16 and then Baltimore usurped, holding a 128-26 advantage. For the Bucs' defense, Vita Vea and Shaquil Barrett spearheaded the charge in the first half, each recording a sack on elusive speedster, Lamar Jackson. A blocked field goal by Patrick O'Connor as the clock expired, held the Ravens to three entering the half mark. 

Things spiraled in the third quarter as the Buccaneers' defense gave up 17 unanswered points to the Ravens. On the second score, Demarcus Robinson forced several missed tackles to convert on third down, culminating in a Lamar Jackson touchdown pass to Isaiah Likely. Over the second and third quarters, the Ravens surpassed the Bucs by a point margin of 288-64, making it a 17-10 ballgame entering the fourth. Conversely, the Bucs could not find consistency on offense, resulting in a quick three-and-out to open the third frame, followed by another punt.

In the fourth, despite a 51-yard Tom Brady-Mike Evans connection, the Buccaneers could not capitalize. Brady could not find an open receiver, scrambled, and was short of the first. Succop then kicked a 30-yarder to make it a 17-13 score. The Ravens then capped off a 93-yard drive with a Devin Duvernay 15-yard touchdown run, extending their lead 24-13. Despite a promising start, the same issues that have hindered Tampa Bay in the previous several games, reappeared: missed opportunities on both sides of the ball. A microcosm of the game – late in the fourth quarter, a Tom Brady connection with Cade Otton for a touchdown was negated by a Donovan Smith holding penalty. On the subsequent play, a false start penalty on Fournette resulted in a no play, forcing another Succop field goal with just under four minutes to play. Overall, the offense's inability to sustain drives led to defensive fatigue in the fourth quarter – a perpetual cycle. Missed tackles led to chunk yardage for the Ravens on the ground, eclipsing the 200-yard rushing marker. Baltimore concluded the game with over 400 yards of total offense. The Bucs' late-game comeback bid, including a Julio Jones touchdown, was snapped. Too many miscues sealed Tampa Bay's fate.

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