The dark ages of the Bucs

With Super Bowl LV on the horizon, we look back at the most painful games of the past 13 years prior to the Bucs’ current Super Bowl run.


In case you weren’t aware, we let Mitch Trubisky throw for six touchdowns.

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

Eight seasons. Eight seasons ago I became an avid football fan, especially one of the Bucs since I of course adopted my hometown team, as one should do, although back then you’d find more Giants or Patriots fans around town than Bucs fans. I began watching when the Bucs were in a five-season playoff drought. It was sure to end soon, right? It didn’t, and up until this point I was used to the heartbreak and spectacular displays of awful football. I’ve learned a lot about losing up until this point, so here are the Bucs losses that still stick in my head to this day.

Bucs vs Jets, 2013, Week One

The season opener. The Bucs took a 17-15 lead with 34 seconds left. All they had to do was stop rookie QB Geno Smith playing in his first ever game from getting his team in field goal range. Next thing you know, 2nd year player LaVonte David makes a boneheaded late hit on Smith, allowing the Jets to kick a game winning field goal as time expired. Luckily, David has learned from his mistakes and become one of the key pieces to this Bucs defense.

Bucs vs. Seahawks, 2013, Week Nine

Sporting an 0-7 record, the Bucs shockingly took a 21-0 lead on the 7-1, Super Bowl favorite Seahawks. Then, the Bucs did what they did best, they allowed the Seahawks to come back and win in OT, 27-24. The Seahawks would end up winning the Super Bowl that year, but hey, at least the Bucs put up a better fight than the Broncos did.

Bucs vs. Falcons, 2014, Week Three

Let’s just say that going down 56-0 at the end of the third quarter on Thursday Night Football isn’t ideal.

Bucs vs. Ravens, 2014, Week Six

Let’s just say that allowing Joe Flacco to throw five touchdown passes 17 minutes into the game and trailing 38-0 at halftime at home isn’t ideal.

Bucs vs. Titans, 2015, Week One

There’s just something about the Bucs and stinking it up in season openers. The Jameis Winston era started off with a bang in Tampa, as he threw a pick six on his first NFL throw (a warning sign to get used to it). Winston got outplayed by Marcus Mariota, the 2nd overall draft pick, as the Bucs lost 42-14.



Bucs vs. Washington, 2015, Week Seven

I refuse to watch anything back from this game. Blowing a 24-0 lead to Kirk Cousins, of all quarterbacks was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen this team do. Even worse, this is the game that spawned the “you like that!” clip from Kirk Cousins, double whammy there.

Bucs vs. Raiders, 2016, Week Eight

The Bucs love to give mediocre QBs their career games, there’ll be more of that later on. The Raiders committed 23 penalties, an NFL record, and the Bucs still managed to lose. Even worse, they let Derek Carr throw for 513 yards in a 24-30 OT loss. Even worse, if the Bucs win this game, they probably make the playoffs that season. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Bucs 2017 Season

This season is just a black hole to me, it’s been wiped out my memory. After a 9-7 season and free agent acquisitions such as DeSean Jackson, the Bucs had playoff expectations, they were even featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, that’s how much hype was around them. So many disappointing games and losses led to an eventual 5-11 finish.

Bucs vs. Bears, 2018, Week Four

We let Mitch Trubisky throw for six touchdowns. We let Mitch Trubisky throw for six touchdowns. One last time. We let Mitch Trubisky throw for six touchdowns. Final score, 48-10.

Bucs vs. Bengals, 2018, Week Eight

My closet door still has a big hole in it. You want to know why? Because of this game. I swear Jameis Winston was out there playing drunk; he threw some of the worst, most inexcusable interceptions I’ve ever seen. He threw his fourth pick in the third quarter, a pick-six to extend the Bengals lead to 34-16, and next thing you know, there’s a binder being thrown full force at my closet. Somehow, the Bucs came back to tie the game when Ryan Fitzpatrick came to the rescue, only to lose on a last second field goal. A Buccaneers classic, giving you hope only to snatch it all away.

Bucs vs. Giants, 2019, Week Three

Blowing an 18-point lead to a rookie playing in his first NFL game is a problem in itself. Missing a 31-yard game-winning field goal after some clutch heroics by the offense is even worse. This game left me devastated. Giants QB Daniel Jones has never had a game as good as this one since, which makes this game all that much worse.


Bucs vs Panthers, 2019, Week Six.

I woke up at 9 AM on a Sunday to watch Jameis Winston throw five interceptions in front of a London crowd.

Bucs vs. Falcons, 2019, Week 17

The final game in the Jameis Winston era was a showcase of the franchises last 6 years all mashed up into one. You’ve got the three missed field goals that would’ve won the game in regulation. You’ve got the defense giving up a lead to end regulation. You’ve got Jameis Winston throwing a pick six on the first play of OT, his last with the Bucs. It sucked then, but it was a beautiful sendoff to the years of failure that preceded it. It encapsulated all of the issues that plagued the Bucs, and luckily, they were able to fix it the following year.


Years of awful QB play. Years of defenses giving up an ungodly amount of yards to the most mediocre of QBs in the league. Years of kickers being cursed to miss the most crucial and easiest of field goals. All of that can hopefully come to a close this coming Sunday. This year’s been fun to watch to say the least. I just surely hope these years of failure and horrible memories can get wiped out with a Super Bowl victory on Sunday.