TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It was supposed to be a sweet reunion between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their classic Creamsicle jerseys Sunday, but the team was left with a sour taste after falling 20-6 against the Detroit Lions.
Despite the Bucs suffering their second loss of the season, fans still have a reason to smile as Tampa Bay (3-2) remains the leader of the NFC South heading into another divisional matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 22.
Coming off their early bye week with a new quarterback, the Bucs and Lions matchup was surrounded with hype – not only because of their throwback jerseys, but the NFL also flexed the game to a later time as the two teams had only one loss heading into the Week 6 contest.
Sunday marked the first time in over a decade that the Bucs put on the Creamsicle jerseys, and even though the orange and red glistened under the sun, it still wasn’t enough to take down quarterback Jared Goff and the NFC North leaders.
While the city of Tampa hosted a day full of Creamsicle celebrations to commemorate the return of the 70s-style jerseys months before the game even kicked off, when the day came, many fans still weren’t convinced the Bucs would walk away with a win simply because of the uniform choice.
From 2009-12, the Buccaneers wore their pastel orange jerseys once a year until the NFL installed its one-helmet policy, which stopped teams from using alternate color helmets. The Bucs decided that the Bucco Bruce white helmet just wouldn’t look right with their regular pewter grey and Buccaneer red.
However, in the four games wearing the Creamsicle jerseys, the Bucs put up a 1-3 record. Their lone win wearing the throwbacks came in 2009, the first year the jerseys returned.
All three of the Buccaneers’ defeats in Creamsicle came from their divisional opponents:
- 28-24 loss against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 5, 2010.
- 38-19 loss against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 4, 2011.
- 35-28 loss against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 21, 2012.
The last time the Bucs won wearing the throwback uniforms was in 2009 when they took down the Green Bay Packers 38-28. Tampa Bay’s loss against the Lions Sunday was the first time the Bucs didn’t put up double-digits. Their record is now 1-4 in the orange.
Now, the Lions are a good ball club, with their first win of the season being a 21-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. But history repeats itself, and the Bucs’ history playing in Creamsicle isn’t too optimistic.
When the Bucs lost to the Panthers (2011) and Saints (2012), both of those teams weren’t good in their respective years, yet Tampa still fell to both teams.
The only common denominator was the jerseys, so that begs the question, are the Bucs’ Creamsicle jerseys cursed? Most likely, no, as Baker Mayfield claimed the offense needed to play better, and head coach Todd Bowles said the team played “sluggish” coming off an early bye week.
However, it is a pretty odd coincidence that the Bucs have yet to secure another win wearing the sleek jerseys. Even after Tampa beat Green Bay, the Bucs went on to lose the next four games after that, so that win really didn’t break a curse – or perhaps that’s when the curse began?
Regardless, the Creamsicle jerseys look good, but whether or not the team will wear them next season has yet to be decided.
The Bucs will look to bounce back against the 3-3 Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium at 1 p.m.