The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken a lead into the final minute of regulation in each of their first two games this season. They are 0-2 for their efforts.
It's been that kind of start for Greg Schiano's team, which lost a 16-14 heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in Tampa. Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Saints as time expired, just minutes after Bucs counterpart Rian Lindell missed a 47-yard attempt that would have given Tampa Bay a four-point lead with 1:10 to play.
Instead, Saints quarterback Drew Brees took over and completed three consecutive passes to move his team to the Bucs' 9-yard line. After a spike play killed the clock, Hartley dropped the dagger that killed the Bucs.
The loss will obscure an otherwise impressive performance by the Bucs' defense, which consistently pressured Brees and kept the Saints' offense in check for most of the afternoon.
The Bucs hurt themselves with penalties for a second consecutive week, however. Tampa Bay committed 10 penalties for 118 yards. Factor in the similarly painful Week 1 loss to the New York Jets, and that's 23 penalties for 220 yards over eight quarters.
The worst among them also was the most senseless. In the third quarter, right tackle Demar Dotson was flagged for improperly lining up on the line of scrimmage. That 5-yard illegal-formation penalty took a 73-yard Vincent Jackson touchdown reception off the board. You can't make this stuff up.The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.