Last Thursday night, the Tampa Buccaneers started fast against the Chicago Bears and got out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter, but Nick Foles and the Bears were able to come back and ultimately defeat Tampa Bay 20-19 at Soldier Field.
It was a tough loss for the Buccaneers, especially when you consider they had an early lead and a lead late in the game. On Tuesday, Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul discussed the loss to the Bears, and according to the 11-year veteran, Tampa Bay should have beaten Chicago on Thursday.
“It was a disappointing loss. I feel like everybody in the locker room knew we should’ve won that game, and we didn’t play to our full expectation,” he said. “That’s just what it is. I’m speaking for myself right now – I don’t dwell on the games that have been played that we lost, or on the games that have been played that we win. I try to play each game individually and game by game. That’s just basically what I do. I don’t look at the loss and criticize myself. I do within that Monday, but then it’s all over and done, and I move on to the next.”
The Buccaneers, who many expected to one of the NFC’s favorites, are 3-2 and are in a three-way tie with the Saints and Panthers for first place in the NFC South. On Tuesday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians evaluated the team after five games.
“We did a bunch of self-scouting. There’s a lot of good things. The biggest negative thing is there are games where we have too many self-inflicted penalties and put ourselves behind the chains,” Arians said. “Does it happen every week? No. But when they happen, they happen in bunches, and we have to correct that. I think offensively, things [have gone] really, really well up until last week with the red zone. We’re still running the ball well – third-down conversion could be better, but they’re going to be better if we don’t get in third-and-long all the time. Defensively, again, just technique [and] getting our head around on back-shoulder fades, those type of things. [We are] playing very aggressive [and] doing a great job against the run. We’ve got to do a better job of getting off third down, also.”
The Buccaneers were sloppy last Thursday night against Chicago and ended the night with 11 penalties, but Pierre-Paul is right. Tampa Bay should have defeated the Bears, but they didn’t, and now it’s time to get right at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers(4-0), which won’t be easy.