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Buccaneers Collapse Attributed To Fatigue On Defense

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were worn down in the fourth quarter of their 41-34 loss to the New York Giants. On Bucs Nation, blogger Sander writes that the Buccaneers defense played 84 snaps in Sunday's game, the third most by an NFL defense this season, trailing only the Jacksonville Jaguars in their loss to the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns in week one's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sander believes that the fatigue was forced by three separate issues:

1. The offense wasn't sustaining long drives. Not once did they produce a drive of over seven plays, and seven drives consisted of three plays or fewer. This happened both because of quick touchdowns, and because of three-and-outs.

2. The defense couldn't get quick stops, leading to a lot of lengthy New York drives. They had four drives of eight or more plays and gained 31 first downs, against the Bucs' 14.

3. Heavy rotations were impossible because of a lack of depth on defense.

The Buccaneers allowed 25 points in the fourth quarter against the Giants, including 243 passing yards and two touchdowns by quarterback Eli Manning. The lack of depth defensively is one thing that the Buccaneers are going to have to develop over time.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage, visit Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.