The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to struggle to close out October. The Bucs lost 27-16 to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football to open Week 8 and have dropped to 3-5 on the season. The Bucs got off to a solid start, taking a 10-3 lead in the first quarter, but things went south until the fourth quarter, and by then it was too late to come back.
With the loss, the Bucs are off to their worst start since 2018. Tampa has a lengthy history of bad football, but the past two years they’ve had a strong run behind quarterback Tom Brady. They won the division last year and lost in the Divisional Round, but won the Super Bowl the year prior as a wild card team.
In 2018, they started 3-5 en route to a 5-11 season. They have started seven seasons with a 3-5 record and only once finished over .500. In 2016, they finished the season 9-7 and second in the NFC South. They missed out on the playoffs due to losing a tiebreaker to the Lions.
The Bucs are struggling, and yet they remain firmly in the mix for a playoff berth thanks to the awful NFC South. The Falcons face the Panthers on Sunday and a win would move Atlanta into first place. And yet, the Bucs will remain the favorites to win the division because expectations remain that low.
Things don’t get easier for the Bucs ahead of their Week 11 bye. They are home until then, but they face the Rams and Seahawks, both of whom are tough opponents. At best, the Bucs are 5-5 heading into their bye, but they could easily be 4-6 or 3-7 before their bye week.