What it means: What once looked like a promising season for a young team with a rookie head coach has gone down the drain. The Bucs lost their fifth straight game to fall to 6-9 and guarantee themselves a losing season. They also have a chance to finish in last place in the NFC South, after looking like a playoff contender only a month ago. What might be more disappointing than anything is that the Bucs haven’t even been competitive the past two weeks and that’s been against mediocre teams. All the progress that coach Greg Schiano seemed to bring in the early and middle part of the season has been negated. Things may not be as crazy as they were when the Bucs lost their final 10 games under coach Raheem Morris last season, but the quality of play is starting to look very similar.
Freeman watch: Tampa Bay fans have been all over quarterback Josh Freeman in recent weeks. Now, they’ve got even more negative evidence to work with. Don’t be fooled by the fact Freeman threw for 361 yards. The real story is that he was intercepted four times and most of his passing yards came after the Rams were in control of the game. I’ve always been a big believer in Freeman and thought the Bucs had found their franchise quarterback. But, like many Tampa Bay fans, I’m starting to have some very real doubts. Freeman has thrown for one touchdown and eight interceptions in the past two games.
What’s next: The Buccaneers close out the season next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.