Remember Ė Give us 17 points and weíll take care of the rest?
Roy Cummings, Florida Football Insiders, published 12 November 2018

Back in the good old days, when Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch were protecting the Buccaneers end zone and the Bucs won more often than they lost, the Bucs defense made a weekly promise. The current Bucs finally played a lot like those Bucs of old on Sunday. Now, they werenít special in any way, but for the first time all year, the current Bucs gave up less than 21 points. And guess what?

They still lost. The final score was a very un-Buccaneer-like 16-3 and it came despite the offense racking up 496 yards. So how did they manage to drop this one? Here we go:-

This game came down to red zone play. In particular, it came down to the play of the Bucs offense in the red zone, where weíre going to say Tampa Bay went 1-for-6 on the day. And it was a bad 1-for-6.

The Bucs first red-zone opportunity, which came on their first possession, ended with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing an interception on a ball he underthrew for running back Shaun Williams at the goal line.

Their second red-zone opportunity ended with kicker Chandler Catanzaro missing a 30-yard field goal. Their third resulted in Catanzaro actually making a 33-yard field goal, but then the real fun began.

On their fourth trip inside the Redskins 20, the Bucs got as far as the 16. Then on third-and-7, center Ryan Jensen fired his snap past Fitzpatrick for a 14-yard loss to the 30. Catanzaro then missed the ensuing 48-yard field-goal try.

The Bucs next advance into the red zone wonít go down as an official red zone possession because they never ran a play from scrimmage inside the red zone but weíre going to call it a red zone opp anyway and hereís why.

On a first-and-10 play from the Redskins 28, Fitzpatrick hit running back Jacquizz Rodgers with a short pass over the middle that Rodgers ran 10 yards with to the Redskins 18. It was there that linebacker Zack Brown came up from behind and popped the ball out of Rodgers arms so hard that the ball rolled in and out of the end zone for a touchback.

Finally, Fitzpatrick finished off the kind of game that got Jameis Winston benched as the Bucs starting quarterback by losing a fumble at his own 7 with a little more than three minutes left on the clock.

Score there and the Bucs have a chance to win this game, but that ended all hope of the Bucs winning what was yet another winnable game against yet another beatable team, which doesnít bode well for coach Jason Lichtís future.

The Bucs are a team that simply canít seem to put all the winning ingredients together on the same day. If itís not their defense that lets them down, itís their kicker and if itís not their kicker itís their red zone offense. On Sunday it was the kicker and the red-zone offense, and given that Fitzpatrick was responsible for two of those blown scoring chances, you have to wonder if the time has come to go back to Winston.

The belief here is that it has. The switch back to Fitzpatrick has not provided the Bucs with the spark it was designed to and heís not playing any worse (better) than Winston was when he was benched. Granted, the Bucs lost on Sunday for reasons that stretch far beyond quarterback play. But thatís been the case all year. So why not go back to Winston right now? It certainly canít hurt.