TAMPA, Fla. -- If someone makes a lowlight film of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season, they now have the perfect opening scene.
It came in Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings and it summed up the way things have been going for the 1-6 Buccaneers. It came on the first play of overtime.
Rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a pass from Mike Glennon that would have been a first down. But what happened next decided the game. Minnesota’s Anthony Barr knocked the ball out of Seferian-Jenkins' hands. Barr grabbed the ball and ran 27 yards for a touchdown to win the game.
“No excuse," Seferian-Jenkins said. “I’ve got to hold onto the ball better than that.’’
Seferian-Jenkins’ mistake might have been one of youth. He was fighting for extra yardage when the fumble took place.
“You have to get down in that situation," coach Lovie Smith said. ‘We had a positive play. In an overtime situation, when you know if you score a touchdown down there, you’ve got to protect the ball. If you take the ball right away, then you have to protect it and you can’t have a takeaway on that end of the field. That’s Football 101 and we have to correct it.’’
Seferian-Jenkins’ play was crucial. But it wasn’t the only reason the Bucs lost. The offense did nothing for three quarters and the defense didn’t do anything special against rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Bucs could have won the game in regulation if cornerback Johnthan Banks had held onto a potential interception, but he did not.
“It’s not [Seferian-Jenkins’] fault that we lost the game,’’ wide receiver Mike Evans said. “There were a lot of other plays. We only scored 13 points as an offense. We’ve got to be better.’’