The 3-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain in a dark place, dropping their third straight game Thursday night in a 27-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. It's the Bucs' fifth loss in six games as they've put up dismal performance after dismal performance.
With the extended break before a Week 9 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, coach Todd Bowles said that changes could be coming to the coaching staff following Thursday's loss.
"We are going to talk about everything this weekend," Bowles said, via the official transcript. "When you are not playing well, everything is on the table for us, and we will discuss it as a staff."
The comment was a departure from his claim after a Week 7 loss to Carolina that he wouldn't consider coaching changes.
The biggest question is whether offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will continue to lead an offense that has struggled throughout the season.
On Thursday night, Tampa generated its fourth game of the season with fewer than 50 rushing yards, most in the NFL. Tom Brady and the passing game have struggled mightily with consistency and in the red zone. In the second and third quarters Thursday, the Bucs punted on five consecutive possessions. They also went 2-of-5 in the red zone in the loss.
The Bucs have put up more than 22 points just a single time in eight games this season.
Thursday's loss marked the first time in Brady's career as a starter he has a record of of at least two games below .500. It's also the first three-game losing streak for a Brady-led team since 2002.
"I think we're going to try to figure out everything," the QB said. "We're going to try to, again, evaluate. We'll have a little extra time to see kind of exactly what we're doing and what we can do better moving forward."
Everything should be on the table for the disappointing Bucs during their mini-bye. The offense could curtail Leonard Fournette's snaps, upping rookie Rachaad White's touches, and the defense needs to make changes after getting gashed on the ground once again.
"It's very difficult, very difficult, man," linebacker Lavonte David said. "I ain't going to sit here and lie to you. It's frustrating just because we know we have the talent in the locker room. To lose three straight games that we thought we should have run, it's very frustrating. I don't know what it is, but I told them last week: It ain't no more looking in the mirror. You've got to dig in your soul and pull one out. Whatever you think you're doing, it ain't it. We've got to find a way to get better, someway, somehow."
Somehow could include changes coming to Tampa as the Bucs find themselves in despair.
"It is still dark," Bowles said. "Until you win ball games consistently, and play four quarters consistently, it is going to be dark. That doesn't mean we can't get out of it. We just have a lot of work to do, as coaches and as players."