I want to lead off with this disclaimer: I know it is early, and Arians has only just begun to leave his mark on this team, as well as Bowles so, he should be given the time to make the changes that don’t happen overnight. I am in no way saying the needed changes won’t happen; just not yet.
The Bucs are very uncultured in winning
When Bruce Almighty Arians was announced as our next head coach and was replacing the band of merry idiots that was kept on the payroll for far too long; it was believed by most that Arians wasn’t only bringing great coaching to the Bucs, but a change in culture and attitude, that hadn’t been here since shortly after Gruden Arrived. That X-factor was what Dungy brought with him and instilled in those players back then. It is what this team needs.
Knowing how to win is the biggest thing they lack
That X-Factor brings many things with it, namely, the ability to finish off teams when you have them down. Partly it is a lack of mental discipline and the mentality to finish the kill. There is a responsibility that comes along with knocking a team down off of its feet. It’s not all about the euphoric feeling that comes with dominating an opponent for one, two, and three-quarters of a game, smacking each other on the back in celebration, jumping up and down, and feeling victorious. That responsibility is finishing the job because the smacking down of an opponent is only half of it. The other half requires mental toughness, and every player doing their job to the highest level. It requires discipline and believing in yourself, and your teammates. The intensity should rise once you have your opponent down, not fleeting as it can be once the high fives have stopped. If the other team is of any character at all, they are going to do their best to rise up off their feet and punch you right in your sniffer, drawing blood. That is why you must double down on your opponent and suck the life right out of them, crushing whatever hope is still within.
With Barkley out, it should have been mop-up duty
The Bucs don’t know how to win. They know how to score points, and to play well for long periods, but honestly, who would have believed that Barkley would be a nonfactor, and then exit early, and we still lose? But, that is exactly what happened. They beat our butts with a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start, and without probably the best running back in the league. They made Sterling Shepard look like Jerry Rice, and they should have paid more attention to Evan Engram, the tight end, as he lead his team in receiving yards coming in. But, there he was streaking down the field for a touchdown.
Wrapping up, and assigning blame
There can be lots of blame to go around, but to this writer, the inability of the offense to convert on 3rd down on five separate occasions and settling for field goals was what beat us. You convert just one of those in route to a touchdown, and I’m not writing this article. For the love of God, Go Bucs!!