As inaccurate passes sailed by receivers, promising drives sputtered to a halt and the deficit grew field goal by field goal, one question creeped up: Was there any thought by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano to finally bench Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon?
"No, there wasn't," Schiano said in his postgame news conference.
Schiano, who reportedly did not return home with the team because of an undisclosed family medical matter in the Boston area, said Freeman gave the Bucs the best chance to win, and he never considered pulling his starting quarterback during Sunday's 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
Freeman's cringe-worthy stat line (19-for-41 passing, 236 yards and one interception) highlights his struggles. It's the third straight week that Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
Yes, the drops by Buccaneers receivers didn't help, and the loss of Vincent Jackson was big. But quarterbacks are judged by how they perform when games go sideways and how they lead. Freeman failed another test Sunday.
Continuing to prop up Freeman tells us that Schiano must not feel Glennon is ready yet. He knows what he has in Freeman. If he thought Glennon was ready to play, there would be no reason to keep tossing Freeman out there.
There will come a point when Schiano has no choice but to make a switch. To get the evidence for that statement, we don't have to look any further than Schiano's own response to a question about all of Sunday's dropped passes.
"When you have a situation that you have control over and you don't make it, then you are living on borrowed time," he said.
Freeman already is on borrowed time. Schiano needs his offense to show promise, or he might be on it as well.