TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles fielded questions Sunday and Monday regarding the frustrating end to regulation in his team’s 23-17 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Bowles joined News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas for their weekly “Bucs with Bowles” interview, and the coach explained the thinking behind not using one of his three timeouts, when his team ran a play with 32 seconds left on the clock.
The Bucs gained one yard on a pass reception by running back Rachaad White, then allowed 15 seconds to expire before quarterback Tom Brady completed a 26-yard pass to Julio Jones. By the time the Bucs lined up for their next play, the clock was down to just 8 seconds.
Bowles also expressed disappointment in the second half letdown that ironically began following the Bucs go-ahead touchdown to make the score 17-10 in the third quarter.
The ensuing Browns series was a quick one, five plays for 23 yards. The Bucs failed to capitalize on their next drive, then followed with four more short drives to end regulation.
The Bucs appear to have escaped a devastating scenario at the right tackle position as Tristan Wirfs, who left the game in overtime, will miss just three to four weeks with a high ankle sprain, rather than the feared knee injury that could have ended his season.
The Bucs will have to navigate their next slate of games (Saints, 49ers, Bengals and Cardinals) without arguably the top lineman right now in the NFL.