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Buccaneers still looking for elusive winning streak under Lovie Smith

TAMPA, Fla. -- Coach Lovie Smith remains puzzled why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have failed to win consecutive games under his watch.

"There's a missing piece," he said Monday. "Exactly what it is [I don't know]. I want to get back to that position again. Right now, what we have figured out is how to have a disappointing loss and come back and win the following week. First step for us is to get back to that place [to win consecutive games]."

The Bucs (3-5) were unsuccessful in their latest bid Sunday, when they lost to the New York Giants one week after defeating the Atlanta Falcons.

In late September, Tampa Bay followed a victory in New Orleans with a loss in Houston. In October, but Bucs followed a victory over Jacksonville with a loss at Washington.

The Bucs have come close to a winning streak under Smith. After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 in 2014, Tampa Bay lost to the Saints in overtime the following Sunday. The loss to Washington this season happened after Tampa Bay blew a 24-point lead.

"Eventually, whether it be penalties, dropping into coverage, who we put out on the football field -- eventually all that will come together, and we'll get a win," Smith said.

The Bucs last won consecutive games in 2013, when they claimed three straight from Weeks 10-12 under former coach Greg Schiano.

"We have to learn how to do that, get some consistency, myself in general, week-in and week-out," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

The Bucs are 3-1 coming off a defeat this year, with their only consecutive losses happening in Weeks 3 and 4.

"We've learned how to lose a game and fight back and win the next one," McCoy said. "We have to learn how to win a game and keep fighting and then win the next one. And that can be frustrating, but that's something we're trying to figure out as a whole."