3 Takeaways from Buccaneers' Week 11 Loss

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

3 Takeaways from Buccaneers' Week 11 Loss

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    The end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Monday night game with the Los Angeles Rams was set up for another Tom Brady fourth-quarter comeback. 

    Instead, the six-time Super Bowl champion threw his second interception of the night and the Bucs dropped a crucial matchup in the NFC playoff picture. 

    Brady was not at his best in the Week 11 loss. He completed just over half of his passes and turned the ball over twice. He was outplayed by Jared Goff in the 27-24 defeat, which moved Tampa Bay's prime-time record to 1-3 in 2020. 

    The 43-year-old wasn't the only reason the Bucs lost, but he will be the primary figure in focus because of his stature within the team. 

    Tampa Bay failed to get a consistent rushing attack going, and its secondary struggled to contain the Los Angeles duo of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. 

Tom Brady Not Good Enough in 2nd Half

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Brady's two second-half interceptions set up a Rams touchdown and ended the game. 

    In the third quarter, the veteran quarterback was intercepted by Jordan Fuller, who took the ball back to the Tampa Bay 37-yard-line. 

    Seven plays later, Goff picked out Cam Akers in the left side of the end zone to give the Rams a 24-17 advantage. 

    Brady deserves credit for bringing the Bucs back to level the score at 24, but he did not have one final comeback in him. 

    The Tampa Bay signal-caller was given two minutes and 32 seconds to work down the field to either earn a game-tying field goal or a game-winning touchdown. 

    Brady completed the first two passes of the drive to Cameron Brate and Chris Godwin, but he then missed Antonio Brown and was picked off by Fuller again on his next throw. 

    Five of Brady's nine interceptions thrown in 2020 have come in his team's last two losses. New Orleans turned him over on three occasions. 

    He responded to the loss to the Saints by torching the Carolina Panthers for 46 points, but he will not have the same luxury in Week 12 versus the Kansas City Chiefs

Running Backs Were Ineffective

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Both sets of running backs struggled to gain ground on Monday, but Tampa Bay's shortcomings were more apparent due to Brady's second-half play. 

    Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette combined to run for 41 yards, and neither player was effective in the passing game. The latter was targeted on four occasions by Brady, but he dropped the ball on three occasions. 

    The lack of a rushing attack was similar to the blowout loss to the Saints, when the Bucs managed eight yards on the ground. 

    In Tampa Bay's four losses, it averaged 60.5 rushing yards per game, but that number feels high given how poor it performed against the Saints and Rams. 

    In their seven victories, the Bucs averaged 119.8 rushing yards. That total shows how important Jones and Fournette are to supporting Brady. 

    If the Bucs can get Jones and Fournette more involved in the coming weeks, they should finish the regular season on a strong note. After Kansas City in Week 12 and a Week 13 bye, they close with Minnesota, Detroit and Atlanta twice, all of which are winnable contests. 

Secondary Failed to Cover Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Los Angeles' game plan was clear from the first drive when Goff connected with Kupp for five catches and found Woods in the end zone. 

    The two Rams wide receivers experienced little trouble finding gaps in the Tampa Bay secondary. 

    Kupp finished with 11 receptions for 145 yards, and Woods totaled 12 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. They combined to catch 23 of their 28 targets. 

    The Tampa Bay defensive backs were put in the position to chase Kupp and Woods across the gridiron by the strong rushing defense. 

    The Buccaneers smothered the Rams running backs almost every time they took handoffs from Goff, which forced the quarterback to win the game through the air. 

    The 26-year-old was intercepted twice, but when it came time for one final stop, the Bucs failed to get it. Woods and Kupp combined for 50 receiving yards on the drive that led to Matt Gay's game-winning 40-yard field goal. 

    If the Bucs can't fix the secondary issues that plagued them on Monday, they could be in for a rough Sunday against the Chiefs.

                

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

    Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference