While it’s true that the officiating in Sunday’s game left much to be desired, our Bucs still committed too many mistakes and at the worst of times. Penalties that reverse a scoring play are very deflating to a team’s psyche. Besides turnovers, penalties are the next worse mistake that a player can commit and can steal a win almost as fast. Most penalties are mental errors, which doesn’t bode well for a team that cannot eliminate them over time. It’s almost a brain scan of sorts.
A player that cannot eliminate the errors over a span of time, especially when those errors are directly affecting the final score, is a liability. Bruce Arians has very little patience when it comes to penalties/players that often commit them. He has said so on several occasions, since his arrival in Tampa.
The Bucs have a short week to prepare for Carolina, but an improvement on the penalties front is something that I’m sure he is demanding. So many of the Bucs games are fairly close games. Games that are easily swayed by penalties and turnovers; for most of the game, the score is close. Then bam; a few quick penalties, especially ones that take touchdowns off the board. Then a turnover that leads to six and that’s a two-touchdown swing, in just a handful of plays.
No matter how good of a team you are, the penalties can reduce you to a below-average team in the blink of an eye. Bruce Arians had this to say on the penalties after Sunday’s loss.
“After watching the tape, it was obvious the penalties were probably the biggest thing in the game, other than the turnovers. We had a fourth-and-two and a third-and-10 that let drives keep going with questionable pass interference calls – one was pass interference.”
Can the Bucs stop the early trend of shooting themselves in the foot? Let’s hope so. If they don’t, it’s going to be a very long season, and we as fans have had too many of those. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping they can get a handle on it. C’mon Bucs, let’s turn this thing around, and take out McCoy and the Panthers. Go Bucs!!