The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Hard-Luck Bucs

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Is any team free-falling quite like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Three weeks ago, they were a 9-3 juggernaut, competing for the one-or two-seed. Three losses later, they're looking up at the Panthers and Falcons in the NFC South standings -- and they have no-one to blame but themselves.

Go back to that Monday Night Football debacle on December 8, when the formerly clampdown defense allowed 299 rushing yards to the Panthers. Carolina's power-based offensive line just pushed the Tampa Bay defense back over and over, Then, a 13-10 loss to the Falcons, despite intercepting two Matt Ryan passes, because Michael Turner ran for 152 yards. Then, yesterday's loss to the Chargers, which was predicated in part on the fact that the Bucs couldn't get any ground game going -- Jeff Garcia led the team in rushing.

Tampa now needs a win over the Raiders and help from conference foes to avoid an inglorious postseason exit. With vaunted defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin set to depart to his son's program at Tennessee, it might be a while before the Bucs have a chance this good -- and they're throwing it away.

By Doug Farrar  |  December 22, 2008; 10:14 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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