If you needed any confirmation that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be reaching the playoffs this season, this week's Thursday night game certainly provided it.
Hosting their divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs lost 43-28 in a game that was pretty much one-sided for the entire second half. Once again, the errors come from the Tampa Bay coaches.
Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter has been making at least one questionable coaching decision in almost every game. Another one came on Thursday night against the Falcons, and it showed how much faith he has in his own defense.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
In the second quarter while down 10-7, the head coach decided to decline a personal foul penalty that would have pushed back the Atlanta offense from the 23-yard-line to the 38-yard-line, and possibly out of field goal range.
For any NFL coach in a situation where you are down by three and you have a chance to push the opposing offense back down in the field, you would rather have the opposing offense move back to try and keep the game tight and provide your own team with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
Koetter picked not to, and the Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (one of the most reliable kickers in the league) converted a 41-yard field goal. If he had decided to push Atlanta back and they didn't convert their third down try, it would have been a 56-yard kick for the 41-year-old.
The fact he didn't have the faith in his defense to stop their divisional rivals ultimately swayed the outcome of the game, as after the Bucs responded to the field goal with a touchdown, the Falcons scored four touchdowns without reply.
If they had been forced to take a 56-yard field goal instead of a 41-yard field goal, the final score may have been different because of the momentum of the game.
These kinds of coaching decisions and lack of faith at this point of the season can pretty much confirm that the Buccaneers will not be making the playoffs this season as they're not taking advantages of the opportunities given to them, especially against their divisional rivals as well.