The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played some of their best football of the season in week 13 with their future on the line for any kind of meaning for the rest of 2017. But just like they seemed to run out of steam in overtime against the Green Bay Packers, the Buccaneers have now run out of steam with their eighth loss of the season. They will need to win the rest of their games just to finish at .500, with the Carolina Panthers safely in the first wild card spot and are still competing for the NFC South. After today’s loss, the front office will be inevitably just as busy in the upcoming off-season as they were last off-season.
Week 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Takeaways
Packers Win Sackfest
One thing that both teams were able to do throughout the game was sack the quarterback, a surprise on multiple fronts. Brett Hundley’s best asset is running as he displayed in overtime. Jameis Winston, although he prefers to stay in the pocket, can be relatively nimble in his own right. In addition, the offensive lines of both teams can protect the quarterback adequately, although the Buccaneers offensive line is generally better at it than the Packers offensive line.
The Buccaneers were able to sack Hundley twice, with Will Clarke netting both sacks for seven yards. Given the Buccaneers recent struggles at finding pass rushers, it seems fitting that their best action came from Clarke, who was a late addition in the preseason.
Clarke spent the first three seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, and might be someone to watch in the last month. Even though he was waived by the Bengals, his career highs in games played, tackles and sacks went up each season. He played in 16 games and had four sacks last season. He’s played in 10 games for the Buccaneers and had one sack and one fumble recovery prior to this game.
The lack of depth on the Buccaneers offensive line was probably a factor. Two starters in Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson went on injured reserve, Evan Dietrich-Smith was out of the last game with a concussion and Leonard Wester had an ankle injury.
One Team Took Advantage of a Turnover and the Other Did Not
Speaking of Clark, the critical moment of the game actually came in the second quarter of the game. Even though it was an exciting game that went into overtime, the Buccaneers got it handed to them in the period and didn’t give themselves a chance.
The Buccaneers gave themselves a rare lead with a touchdown after the first quarter in the hostile confines of Lambeau Field. The Buccaneers had seven plays on their first drive in the second quarter, which ended in a punt.
However, on the very next play, Hundley threw an interception to Justin Evans. Yet, the Buccaneers could only muster another pandering three and out. The Packers were let off the hook and scored a touchdown on their very next drive, which took just five plays.
And when the Buccaneers retained the ball on their next drive, Clark sacked Winston on the fifth play and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Dean Lowry and returned for a 62-yard touchdown. The Buccaneers could have made the score 14-3, but instead it swung to 17-7 in favor of Green Bay.
The Buccaneers Could Not Stop Jamaal Williams
The moment was punctuated in overtime when Aaron Jones bounced off of countless missed tackles and ran it in for a 20-yard touchdown to win the game. The Buccaneers could not stop the run the entire game. Hundley chipped with 66 yards on seven carries, but Jamaal Williams was the star of the game with 21 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
So while injuries hurt the Buccaneers offensive line, the Packers are without their best offensive lineman in Bryan Bulaga for the season. However, that didn’t stop David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley and Jahri Evans from owning the punchless defensive line of the Buccaneers that was without Clinton McDonald and Robert Ayers.