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Bucs’ 2-game winning streak ends at hands of Matt Hasselbeck

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Tampa Bay Bucs coach Lovie Smith said that Sunday was not a step back for his football team.

Still, it felt that way.

A lot of the old problems plagued the Bucs in a 25-12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, a defeat that kept the Bucs on the bad side of .500. Tampa Bay had won two in a row, and it was looking like a team on the rise.

This time, however, it suffered a lot of the roadblocks it has the past two seasons.

Penalties: The Bucs had 12 for 95 yards, including one that took away a touchdown. Tampa Bay was already the most penalized team in the NFL coming in.

The red zone: The Bucs scored one touchdown and attempted three field goals (making two).

Pass coverage: Indy’s 40-year-old backup quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, threw for 315 yards.

Pass blocking: The Bucs gave up five sacks, and quarterback Jameis Winston was constantly harassed.

“They were just a better team today,” Bucs’ coach Lovie Smith said.

The loss leaves the Bucs at 5-6, making it harder to talk about the playoffs than it was a week ago.

There is no room for error with six losses,” Smith said. “All of our goals are still in front of us.”

The Bucs got 90 yards rushing in the first half from Doug Martin, but he touched it only three times in the second half.

The Bucs are home against the Atlanta Falcons, who they beat in overtime earlier in the season, Sunday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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