After floundering through the 2011 season, many Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were pleased with a 6-4 start to their 2012 season. But after four straight losses, capped by a shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, fans are beginning to turn their attention to the coming second season under coach Greg Schiano after the 41-0 blowout all but eliminated the Bucs from playoff contention.
Over at Bucs Nation, the reaction had shades of 2011 as the bloggers felt this much-improved team reminded them too much of last year's 4-12 edition of the Buccaneers.
This was the first time this season, where the Bucs truly had no chance of winning the game. The first time they resembled the 2011 team that got blown out through ten straight games. The first time Greg Schiano's team has really looked lost.
Holes in the defense crushed any hope the Buccaneers had against Drew Brees and the Saints, and the bloggers knew it right away.
Yet today's loss was worse than that. We saw a defense that had trouble tackling, was taking bad angles and getting outflanked even in the running game. The defense in no way resembled the defense we've seen for most of this season.
Quarterback Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay's offense did little to pick up that slack, as they were held without points while Freeman tossed four interceptions on a difficult day for Buccaneers faithful.
Josh Freeman was awful and inaccurate, but the offensive game plan deserves some criticism, too. Dallas Clark was the team's most-targeted receiver, even though the New Orleans cornerbacks are awful and the Bucs have Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson. That's not a winning strategy.