Close games and losses for all Florida teams in the third week of activity of the 2021 NFL season.
tampa bay buccaneers: lost to los angeles rams 24-34
The Bucs have plans to return to Sofi Stadium in February for Super Bowl LVI. However, they have a lot to improve before thinking about repeating, especially on the defensive side. The Rams would undoubtedly be one of the toughest games of the season (and one of the few teams they lost to last year), but they really were dominated Sunday afternoon.
Matt Stafford was very comfortable in the pocket and burned the Bucs’ flimsy secondary several times, including a 75-yard touchdown pass to veteran DeSean Jackson. The secondary is precisely the weakest point of the champions, lacking the “punch” of the closing of last season, and the front 7 are not exerting much pressure either. Tampa Bay has allowed 29.3 points per game, the 6th worst mark in the entire league, and 338.3 passing yards per game, worst in the entire NFL.
Tom Brady, in the first game of his career in Los Angeles, threw for 432 yards and had a TD in the air and another on the ground, but he threw the ball 55 times, something far from ideal for the success of the team. His next game is the most anticipated of the entire season: visit the New England Patriots on Brady’s return to what was his home for 20 seasons.
miami dolphins: lost in overtime to las vegas raiders 28-31
There are some things to highlight from this duel in Las Vegas for Miami. Jacoby Brissett looked more than competent as a substitute for Tua Tagovailoa (maybe even better). The Dolphins dramatically tied the game with two seconds remaining, also successfully converting two points. Even in overtime, when they needed a field goal to stay alive, they got it too.
But they faced a Raiders team that, despite their surprise two previous wins and Tua’s absence, was by no means impossible to beat, and they squandered a 12-point lead. while they spent more than 40 minutes without scoring any points.
Worst of all, the Raiders are direct opponents in their fight for the wild card, and this loss could come back to haunt them at the end of the season. Their next meeting: before the desperate Colts 0-3, still without Tua.
jacksonville jaguars: lost to arizona cardinals 31-19
Little consolation for Jacksonville on this 18-game losing streak is that at least they were competitive for a while against the undefeated Cardinals. They had an incredible 109-yard kicking return. Until the end of the 3rd quarter they still held a 9-point lead over Arizona.
But it all fell apart in less than a minute when the Cards scored twice, first James Conner, and then after a pick-6 from Byron Murphy, turning it around and controlling the game at will throughout the fourth quarter.
Trevor Lawrence threw multiple interceptions (again) and leads the league with 7 (tied with the quarterback taken right after him in this draft, Zach Wilson). Kyler Murray did not have his best day, but he threw for more than 300 yards and did what he wanted at the important moment of the game.
Now The Jags face a short week with their game this Thursday in Cincinnati, in the reunion of Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence who met in the NCAA national championship in January 2020, winning Burrow and the LSU Tigers.
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