TAMPA — Poor Tom Brady. This is three straight ugly ways.
This was a major crisis for the legendary quarterback and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were beaten 27-22 by Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, in a game that wasn’t quite as close as it seemed.
It also came with a unique distinction: Brady lost three consecutive games for only the second time in 20 years, looking like a shell in a matchup that featured two former NFL MVP quarterbacks.
The Ravens (5-3), a team that rushed for 231 yards and two drives of TD passes from Lamar Jackson (who threw for 238 yards without pickings), smashed a weak Bucs defense.
Brady was 26-of-44 for 325 yards and didn’t throw an intercept. He did manage one touchdown pass, however (on fourth down in the fourth quarter), despite a slow performance at Raymond James Stadium that was marked by near misses and blown chances as well as a few errant passes.
Brady’s unit continued to be a disappointment, converting just 4 of 13 3rd downs and rushing for only 44 yards (2.9 yards per carry). They settled for Ryan Succop field goals on three occasions where the Bucs were within striking distance of the 15-yard line.
Brady stated, after assessing the list of offensive problems, “Pretty much everything.” “Red area. Third downs. The running game. Short-yardage. Supported by field position The fourth quarter begins. Start of the third trimester.
It’s a long list, and defense has its own. This prompts Todd Bowles, first year Bucs coach to make significant adjustments.
Bowles stated, “We’re going talk about everything this weekend.” “Everything is on the table when you aren’t winning.”
Tampa Bay (3-5), was defeated in the previous two week by the one win Pittsburgh Steelers, and the one-win Carolina Panthers. The cause was not helped by being desperate or the possibility of being embarrassed in prime time. These are real woes. They have added another layer.
At halftime, the Bucs led 10-3. But Baltimore, which had lost tight end Mark Andrews to injury and receiver Rashod bateman to injury, passed a gut check and won the game. It ran for 204 yards in halftime.
John Harbaugh, Ravens coach, said that his team is able to finish the game again. His squad has stopped blowing leads in second half. “Fourth quarter, they talked a bit about that; it was nice to see. “So, I’m proud to be a part of this team.”
We also learned three other things Thursday night
Brady breaks a record that he would rather give back. The Bucs quarterback suffered his 555th career tackle when Justin Houston dropped him in the second quarter. This broke the record he had shared with Ben Roethlisberger. This is what happens when you play for 23 consecutive seasons. This was also a sign of how little protection Brady is getting from his O-line. Brady was then sacked on Houston’s next play, as if to show that the record is not a fluke.
Isaiah is likely to be a draft treasure. The next man up was more than capable after Mark Andrews, Pro Bowl tight end, was injured in the shoulder. Rookie Isaiah Likely led Ravens with six catches and 77 yards. He also showed his agility with his “toe tap swag” on a 10-yard go-ahead TD in the third quarter.
Likely is a steal from the latest NFL draft. He was selected out of Coastal Carolina in round four (139th overall) It was Likely who, fittingly enough, recovered the onside kick that sealed the win in the final seconds.
Although the Bucs can score a touchdown in quarter one, they are not able to do so in quarter two. This had not happened since the start of the season. On Thursday night, Leonard Fournette scored a 1-yard touchdown to cap an 8-play, 75-yard drive. The slow start to Tampa Bay’s O was not a good sign. However, the Ravens were not surprised by the Bucs early scoring march. After three previous drives that stalled at the 15 yard line, the Bucs scored a final touchdown in garbage time.