Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Presented by

Takeaways from Buccaneers-Lions | Week 6

Top observations from the Buccaneers’ 20-6 loss to the Lions in their Week Six ‘Creamsicle’ clash


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to the Detroit Lions in the Week Six 'Creamsicle' matchup. The clash pit two first place teams against one another with two former No. 1 overall picks manning their new clubs with Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff. Third down on both sides of the football became the deciding factor in the game, with the Lions holding the advantage. At Raymond James Stadium, Detroit won the battle in the trenches and dominated time of possession. Missed opportunities by the Bucs sealed the club's fate against the visiting Lions. Neither team was able to generate a rushing attack but the Lions were able to exploit voids with playmakers in space. In contrast, mistakes led to botched plays for the Bucs that could have changed the complexion of the game. 

"They did a good job on third down completing a high amount of percentages," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "I think we were two of twelve on third down, which was not very good at all. We weren't good on first or second down either, so you can say the whole game was a wash from an offensive standpoint… I thought we made a lot of mistakes. It looked like we came off a Bye Week. We don't compare who we play, and how we play. I think each game is different. I do think we have a good football team; I think we're young, I think it felt like we came off a Bye Week. We look sluggish and we played like that."

In a look back at the Week Six contest, here are the top observations from Sunday's matchup with the Lions: 

Offensive/Defensive Outlook 

The Buccaneers' offense was held to just two field goals during the 60-minute battle and the unit converted two of 12 third-down attempts. Miscue after miscue led to stalled drives and Tampa Bay's two red zone trips ended in Chase MacLaughlin field goals, from 33 and 36 yards, respectively. The Lions' defense only recorded a single sack, but Baker Mayfield faced consistent pressure and took several hard hits, specifically in the second half. 

"We sucked today," stated Baker Mayfield. "I sucked today, we sucked today, it was awful – from the get go. I mean, just – 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, so plain and simple we have to be better. The Lions are a good ball club. 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, and offense we just need to pick our [play] up –

there's really no other way around it… Just knowing that the plays are there. There were plays that we should've had and should've executed to where they were game changing plays, and we didn't do it. Left a lot out there that we should have taken advantage of."

On 10 possessions, the Bucs totaled just 54 plays and six of the drives ended in punts (one with an interception). Six of the team's 54 plays had the yards for a first down at four or less. The Bucs stayed in unfavorable down-and-distance, and in third-and-short, Tampa Bay went 0-for-4. The Lions' downhill, aggressive-styled defense rallied to the ball and limited ballcarriers, as well as the Bucs' screen game along the perimeter. 

"We started to get a little bit of steam in the second half, but it's too little too late in that fourth quarter," said receiver Chris Godwin. "Our defense played really [well] in the first half, and like we have to do a much better job of giving them some support, putting points on the board [and] scoring touchdowns."

The Buccaneers' defense started out strong, allowing just one touchdown through the first two quarters. Lions' running back Craig Reynolds made the critical lead block to open up the lane for Amon-Ra St. Brown when he turned the corner for the score. The touchdown came off third-and-13, which ended up being a microcosm of the day's events. During the first half, the Bucs' angling up front and fill by the linebackers made it challenging for the Lions on the ground. 

As the defense spent more time on the field I the second half, fatigue began to set in during the third quarter. Tampa Bay was unable to get off the field on third down, as St. Brown became the catalyst for Detroit, notching five third-down conversions including four first downs and a touchdown. He worked the middle of the field and took advantage of soft zones. In the third quarter, the Lions' struck again and the Bucs never recovered. From third-and-10, Jameson Williams came off the top of the bunch formation running a vertical route, and a Bucs' safety, who was too far deep to close, lost the outside help of the corner. Williams hauled in the grab, making it a 17-6 ballgame. Overall, the Bucs' defense registered three sacks on Jared Goff, including one each for Lavonte David, rookie Calijah Kancey and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. The Lions were able to impose their will and finished with 380 total yards of offense and converted nine of 16 third down attempts. 

Highlights: Lavonte David and Calijah Kancey 

Despite the outcome of the Week Six matchup, both veteran inside linebacker Lavonte David and first-round draft pick Calijah Kancey put on a show. David led the Bucs' defense with nine tackles and a sack. David jumped off the tape, making plays sideline-to-sideline and showcased his coverage prowess against Sam LaPorta. In the second quarter, David got home on Goff. Todd Bowles added an extra rusher, the Lions' guard and tackle froze on Vita Vea, which opened up a crease for David to exploit through the A-gap. He flew through the hole and set up third-and-18 as the clock ran out. Throughout the matchup, David was repeatedly placed on LaPorta in man coverage and made his mark. In the first quarter David nabbed a pass breakup on an inside fade to LaPorta. David shadowed the route and batted the pass on third down. He also became an integral force against the run. In the third quarter, the Lions put Craig Reynolds in motion. David tracked the bouncing runner and flowed, knifing through the gap to drop Reynolds for a loss of three yards, which set up third-and-13. The Lions were forced to kick a field goal and Riley Patterson missed a 52-yarder. 

Kancey, who missed three games after reaggravating a calf injury in Week One, made an impactful return to the gridiron. One of his most notable plays came in the second quarter. The Pittsburgh phenom displayed his first-step quickness, quickly bypassing Penei Sewell. He bent and turned to get small, then immediately worked upfield to tackle Reynolds. In the fourth quarter, the interior pass rusher posted a sack on Goff. Kancey looped inside, dropped his back and kept his eyes on the quarterback. That third-down momentum-shifting play forced a Lions' punt. Kancey was relentless and caused errant throws, collapsing the pocket. His leverage, motor, contact balance and burst ignited a forward-charging attack that bolstered the defense in Week Six.

Related Content

Latest Headlines