Buccaneers offensive play calling didn't make sense

USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs played it safe with the ball and the lead late in the game, it ended up coming back to bite them.

A conservative play call late in Tampa Bay's 23-21 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday may have cost the Buccaneers the game. Tampa Bay faced a 3rd-and-8 situation at its own 33 with a little under three minutes to play and a 21-16 lead and opted to run the ball rather than attempt a throw for the first down. The Eagles defense stopped Doug Martin for no gain, called timeout, and got the ball back with enough time to mount what would become the game-winning drive.

"There are two ways to play it," Schiano said afterward. "You can try to throw the ball. We decided to run the ball and make them use their timeout or let it tick. My thinking was that we can punt the ball away and if we get a stop, the game is over."

But the Bucs were not able to get that stop. Nick Foles converted a pair of fourth downs on the Eagles' final possession, including a throw to Jason Avant that got the ball down to Tampa Bay's one yard line with two seconds to play. Foles then hit Jeremy Maclin for the game winning score as time expired.

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