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Buccaneer Bow Shots


September 21, 2009 6:29 PM

Buccaneers Get Buffaloed

"No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!" Chris Berman, ESPN

The Buffalo Bills didn't have to circle their wagons on Sunday.

No, the team they were facing wasn't that big of a threat.

Sure, there are no easy wins in the National Football League, but before some of the hometown fans were planted in their seats, the Bills had run up a quick 17-0 lead on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sure Tampa Bay fought back and made a game of it for a while, 20-14, Bills, but when all was said and done, when all the Buccaneer defensive weaknesses were exploited, Tampa Bay headed for home 0-2 and absorbed another defensive setback in the 33-20 loss.

The Buccaneer defense again surrendered more than 400 yards, 163 of that on the ground to a guy named Fred Jackson, who isn't even Buffalo's starter.

Out of hand?

"It's already out of hand," Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris said at his day-after press conference. The smile was gone from Morris' face on Monday. Even the King of Upbeat found it difficult to be upbeat about this latest Buccaneer failure.

To make it worse, he lost another key player -- Jermaine Phillips. "Jermaine broke his thumb and is out six to eight weeks," Morris informed.

Yikes!

This pirate ship is leaking and it springs more leaks each week.

To make matters worse, the Bucs next face the New York Giants on Sunday, yes the same Giants who spoiled the opening of Jerry Jones' new stadium on Sunday night in Dallas.

Morris was obviously most unhappy with the defensive line and Gaines Adams in particular. There was little to no pass rush on Trent Edwards all day. "We have to change things up if they're not getting it done," Morris said.

The secondary is still vulnerable to the long ball. Terrell Owens caught one and dropped another bomb that went right through his hands. Easy catch, but no catch.

It was a penalty party as well. The Bucs absorbed 100-plus yards in penalties, four of which were face mask yanks. Not pretty.

There was no running game, but Morris admitted that when the team got behind, he abandoned that game plan. "We're a running team, we have to be a running team. We can't be throwing the ball 50 times."

Byron Leftwich threw 52 times and absorbed an inhuman amount of punishment.

"They beat us, they played better than us," said Leftwich, who made Rocky Balboa look like he'd never been hit.

What it all adds up to is lower expectations for a team whose expectations were already in the dirt.

What's next?

Eli Manning is what's next.

And that's not encouraging.

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