- Buccaneers faced a defeat against the Lions, with Mayfield admitting to the team’s poor performance.
- Baker Mayfield criticized the NFL’s inconsistent COVID-19 testing protocols on Twitter.
- Cleveland Browns are grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak, putting more than 20 players, including Mayfield, on the list.
- The Bucs, despite their strong standings entering Week 6 and Mike Evans’ return, faced coordination and conversion challenges post their bye week.
- Baker Mayfield had a particularly tough game, especially against zone defenses, marking one of his lowest completion rates of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced a significant defeat against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, with their offense failing to find its rhythm throughout the game. Following the 3-2 loss, Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield did not mince words when addressing his own performance and the team’s overall showing.
Tampa Bay’s Rough Day Against Detroit Lions
“We sucked today,” a candid Mayfield remarked in a postgame press conference. Highlighting the entire team’s shortcomings, he stated,
“I sucked today. We sucked today. It was awful from the get-go.”
He went on to emphasize the need for improvement, saying,
“We didn’t start fast. We didn’t pick it up in the middle, and we didn’t finish strong. We have to be better.”
Mayfield did acknowledge the strength of the Lions, praising them as a “good ballclub.” Despite the harsh self-assessment, fans appreciated his frankness and accountability.
In a notably weak performance against the Lions, Tampa Bay had issues converting on third downs, an area they had previously thrived in. Their conversion rate was just 2-of-12 (17%), a stark contrast to their season average of 47%, which ranks them sixth in the NFL.
Mayfield’s Take on NFL’s Policies
On another front, Mayfield expressed his discontent with the NFL’s COVID-19 testing procedures via a Twitter outburst on Thursday night. Addressing the inconsistencies in the testing regime, Mayfield criticized the league, saying, “Make up your damn mind on protocols.”
His frustration primarily stemmed from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within the Cleveland Browns, where more than 20 players, including Mayfield, are currently on the COVID-19 list. He opined that the game against the Las Vegas Raiders should be postponed to ensure player safety.
However, fans and followers remained divided over his statements. While Browns fans rallied behind their quarterback, fans from other teams offered contrasting views, referencing past instances where teams played under similar adverse conditions.
According to a report published by ESPN, The usually reliable screen game for the Bucs, which has served as a cover for their run-game deficiencies, did not fare well either. When it came to shorter passes, Mayfield completed just 53.8% of throws of 5 yards or fewer.
Chris Godwin emphasized the need for the offensive unit to up their game. He stressed on “increasing their intensity” and truly understanding the seriousness of their current standing. He believes that mere words won’t change things; the team must act.
Following the Bucs’ loss to the Detroit Lions, Mayfield didn’t hold back on his criticism, especially emphasizing the need for the offense to enhance their performance. He underscored the offense’s role in upholding the team’s winning standard.
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Team Dynamics After the Bye Week
Entering Week 6 in a strong position, the Buccaneers, even after a significant win against the New Orleans Saints and with Mike Evans back in form, could not maintain their momentum. Coach Todd Bowles and Mayfield felt the team handled the bye week poorly, and Bowles pointed out that the team seemed “sluggish” despite added practice.
In a game where connections were rare, Mayfield’s targeting was off, particularly with Mike Evans and rookie Trey Palmer. However, Chris Godwin was an exception, securing 6 receptions from Mayfield out of 7 tries.
When it came to zone defenses, Mayfield struggled significantly, logging a completion percentage of 48.1%, marking one of his lowest of the season. The Bucs’ quarterback acknowledged the challenges and pressure from the opposition, especially in the red zone.
Fans React to the Statements
Fans stand on both sides of the statement. Some are supporters, as some have different views. They took their expressions on platform X (formerly Twitter).
While some bashed him, many were in his support too.