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Did a play-clock screwup ruin the Bucs’ chances of tying the Packers on Sunday?

How much did the clock operator cost the Buccaneers in Week 3?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s Week 3 matchup between the Green Bay Packers Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t the duel between two old gunslingers that many expected, but it did have a dramatic ending.

Trailing by eight with 3:04 left in the contest, Tom Brady did his usual late-game heroics and marched the Bucs’ offense downfield for a clutch touchdown within the final minute. After getting backed up by a delay of game penalty on the initial two-point conversion attempt, Brady’s subsequent pass to Russell Gage went incomplete, allowing for the Packers to escape with a 14-12 victory.

But wait, what was the deal with that delay of game penalty?

According to Greg Auman of The Athletic and Bucs fans on social media with a watchful eye, the clock operator at Raymond James Stadium may have screwed this up by putting five less seconds on the play clock.

If valid, that’s a really tough break for the Bucs, especially considering that Leonard Fournette appeared to have been able to simply walk in the game-tying score before the whistles blew for the penalty. Adding to the controversy is that the Bucs appeared to have gotten away with one on the touchdown play right before the conversion as the play clock appeared to have expired right before the ball was snapped. After the game, Aaron Rodgers explained the situation on the Fox broadcast with a slight smirk.

Brady himself opted to not dwell on the penalty in his post-game press conference, instead blaming the lack of execution for why they lost. The Bucs have struggled on offense early in the season as receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones have all missed action for various reasons. The defense has been what’s carried the 2-1 ball club so far, harkening back to the late-90’s Tampa teams during the Tony Dungy era.