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.