TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in a frustrating and stunning fashion on Sunday. After taking a 17-0 lead on the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of the game, the Bucs allowed 31 second-half points resulting in a 34-23 defeat.
Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles was joined by News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas for their weekly ‘Bucs with Bowles’ interview and a nightmare half of football was the main topic.
The Bucs began the third quarter with an attempted fake punt. The snap bounced off running back Giovani Bernard and the Bengals recovered deep in Bucs territory. After that play, the Bucs’ defense held the Bengals’ offense to a field goal.
The sequence that followed was much worse.
Quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception on the Bucs next offensive possession. That was followed by a fumble, another fumble, then a second interception. Each miscue led to Bengals points.
The events that led to the Bucs eighth loss of the season wiped out what was arguably the team’s best half of football all season.
The Bucs’ defense intercepted Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to begin the game. After a field goal by the Bucs, the defense shut down the Bengals again with a sack on third down. The ensuing Bucs drive resulted in a touchdown to make it 10-0.
At 6-8, the Bucs remain in first place in the NFC South with three games to play. The brackets and scenarios point to a win over the Carolina Panther in Week 17 as the day the Bucs will have a chance to lock up the NFC South.
However, this Sunday’s game is another trip out west, a Christmas Night game at the Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs will end the regular season on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.