The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Sunday as two-touchdown favorites over the Carolina Panthers. It seemed like the easiest win of the year for Tom Brady's crew. Carolina is reeling, firing Matt Rhule after five games and trading Christian McCaffrey earlier this week. Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield are both too hurt to play. PJ Walker, XFL legend, got the start. No chance this ragtag bunch could stand a chance against a Bucs team still loaded with the starters that won them a Super Bowl, right?
Wrong! The Bucs not only lost, they got blown out. By the Panthers. Tampa Bay failed to score a touchdown and ultimately lost by the score of 21-3. Again, this was to an offense led by PJ Walker, D'Onta Foreman, and DJ Moore. Brady went 32-for-49 with 290 yards. Mike Evans had the worst drop of the season on the opening possession and things only got worse from there.
Here's a useful tweet that exhibits how utterly inept the offense suddenly became on Sunday.
The Bucs are broken. Here's another useful tweet to show that without needing to waste too many words.
And this is all after last week's loss, which we all assumed would be the worst of the season, in which Brady failed to outduel the Kenny Pickett/Mitchell Trubisky duo in Pittsburgh.
Tampa Bay is just bad. There's no way around it. And it's impossible to pinpoint why. The offensive line is struggling without a few starters, and the receiving room is thin after Evans and Chris Godwin, and the secondary is yet again an issue. But any team with Brady throwing to Evans and Godwin should be fine at worst. Yet, as you can see, that isn't the case. Brady can't score with two All-Pro caliber receivers.
Everything is just off. Brady can't hit his guys in stride. When he does, they either drop it or can't make anything happen after the catch. The offense is insistent on running Leonard Fournette over and over again despite his 3.6 yards per carry average on the year. There are a handful of utterly mind-blowing defensive mistakes every week despite Todd Bowles being a defense-first head coach.
There is no easy solution. The Bucs are a broken team, and Brady is probably wishing he was up in the booth watching it happen instead of living it.