The Tampa Bay Buccaneers led 3-0 after Thursday night's first quarter of play against the Baltimore Ravens, but ended up losing 44-16 before closing the book on their first preseason game of the season. It wasn't an easy game to watch, as Josh Freeman and the Bucs starters played sparingly, but it could signal trouble down the stretch this season.
Tampa Bay stuck with the Ravens early despite missing a pair of offensive linemen in injured starters Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph and saw nice plays made by third-down running back Brian Leonard and third receiver Kevin Ogletree early in the game.
The Bucs' play went south in a hurry midway through the second quarter, however, and there was nothing anyone on either side of the football could really do to change that. It was a bit of a case of bad luck -- Baltimore scored on a blocked punt recovery to close out the first half's scoring, but the backup quarterback play and middling depth on defense didn't help matters, either.
Second-string backup Mike Glennon completed 11 of his 23 passing attempts for 169 yards and an interception before the rookie gave way to fourth-stringer Adam Weber. Weber played ahead of Dan Orlovsky, but really struggled by throwing interceptions on his first two pass attempts before ending the game with just seven yards on 2-for-6 passing.
Not surprisingly, SB Nation's Sander Philipse over at Bucs Nation summed up the game by pointing to the lack of backup productivity.
Ultimately, the Buccaneers lost this game because of their backups. The Bucs looked to be outclassed, and the depth concerns we've had throughout the offseason have shown themselves to be justified, at least in this game.
The Buccaneers preseason schedule won't get any easier, either, with the team going on the road to play the New England Patriots next weekend.